Developing nations take leading spot in global clean energy market - BNEF

Share of annual capacity additions by technology in emerging markets. Source: BNEF.

November 28 (Renewables Now) - Developing countries are spearheading the global clean energy market, taking the lead from wealthier nations in terms of newly-installed capacity and fresh investments, BloombergNEF (BNEF) said.

Developing countries brought online 114 GW of zero-carbon power generation capacity, including 94 GW of wind and solar, in 2017 and cut new coal-fired capacity by 38% to 48 GW. The upsurge in those countries is driven by rising electricity demand, falling technology costs, particularly in the wind and solar sectors, as well as innovative policy-making, according to a new study by BNEF conducted as part of its annual Climatescope project.

“It’s been quite a turnaround. Just a few years ago, some argued that less developed nations could not, or even should not, expand power generation with zero-carbon sources because these were too expensive,” said Dario Traum, BNEF senior associate and Climatescope project manager. Thanks to the ongoing trends, however, the price of renewables power is now often lower than electricity from fossil fuel plants, with developers in 2017 committing to supply wind power for just USD 17.7 (EUR 15.67) per MWh and solar power for as low as USD 18.9 per MWh

In terms of investment, developing nations have emerged as a hot destination, not only for development banks, export credit agencies and other backers but also for private sector players. At the end of last year, some 54 developing countries recorded investment in at least one utility-scale wind farm and 76 countries secured support for solar parks of 1.5 MW and above. A decade ago, the number of those nations stood at 20 and three, respectively.

Climatescope 2018 contains data about clean energy investment and deployment in 54 countries. According to those levels, Chile tops the statistics, followed by India, Jordan, Brazil and Rwanda. Last year’s leader China has now slipped to the seventh spot, BNEF said. For 2018, the project was expanded to survey 100 nations.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.885)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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