March 31 (SeeNews) - Total investment in renewable power and fuels for 2014 reached USD 270.2 billion (EUR 251.6bn) globally and for the first time was spread nearly equally between developing and developed countries.
The 17% increase on 2013 figures was due to a surge in solar capacity additions in China and Japan and offshore wind projects in Europe. Total renewables capacity of 103 GW was added last year, after 86 GW in 2013, 89 GW in 2012 and 81 GW in 2011, according to the "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investments" report by the Frankfurt School–UNEP Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
Spending on such projects in developing economies amounted to USD 131.3 billion last year, while in developed economies it stood at USD 138.9 billion. China was the top investment destination as its yearly total rose by 39% in annual terms to USD 83.3 billion. The US and Japan followed with USD 38.3 billion and USD 35.7 billion, respectively.
The report's authors pointed out that thanks to the rapid decline in technology costs, every dollar invested in renewables translated into significantly more generating capacity last year.
Wind and solar power were responsible for 92% of the global renewables investments in 2014. More specifically, spending on solar capacity rose by a quarter to USD 149.6 billion and wind investment grew by 11% to USD 99.5 billion.
According to BNEF and Frankfurt School’s study, wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-power, geothermal, small hydro and marine power plants accounted for an estimated 9.1% of global power generation in 2014, up from 8.5% in 2013. If that same percentage had come from the fossil-dominated mix responsible for the other 90.9% of world electricity, 2014’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would have been 1.3 gigatonnes higher.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.931)