Clean energy investments at ‘record high’ in 2015

New figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance demonstrate clean energy surge is ‘irreversible’ say analysts, despite falling oil and gas prices

The Gemasolar plant in Spain, one of a growing network of solar thermal power plants around the world (Pic: Torresol Energy Investments)

The Gemasolar plant in Spain, one of a growing network of solar thermal power plants around the world (Pic: Torresol Energy Investments)

By Ed King

Clean energy investment rose 4% in 2015, hitting a new record of US $329.3 billion on the back of substantial growth in China and the US.

Mexico, Chile, South Africa and Morocco saw significant spikes in backing for wind and solar projects, while investment in India rose 23% to $10.9 billion.

European investment levels fell 18% on 2014 levels to $58.5bn, nearly half from the UK.

In numbers

China $110.5 bn (+17%)    US $56bn (+8%)

Europe $58.5bn (-18%)     India $10.9bn (+23%)

Brazil $7.5bn (-10%)          Canada $4.1bn (-43%)

Analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which released the new figures on Thursday, said the rises are significant given plummeting costs of oil and gas over the last year.

“Wind and solar power are now being adopted in many developing countries as a natural and substantial part of the generation mix,” said BNEF chair Michael Liebreich.

“They can be produced more cheaply than often high wholesale power prices; they reduce a country’s exposure to expected future fossil fuel prices; and above all they can be built very quickly to meet unfulfilled demand for electricity.”

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