New reports confirm renewable energy market stalled last year as technology costs fell, but emerging economies promise to drive growth
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has today confirmed global investment in renewable energy slowed down last year, even as deployment in key technologies and markets continued to accelerate.
The agency has this afternoon published two major reports on progress in the renewables industry, which echo previous studies showing investment fell 12 per cent last year to $244bn, primarily as a result of the drastic fall in the cost of solar and wind power and policy uncertainty in several industrialised nations.
Despite the investment slowdown, the reports stressed that the general trend for the industry was encouraging, noting that $1.6tr has been invested in renewables since 2006, 2012 marked the third consecutive year investment comfortably topped $200m, and that the sector now employs 5.7 million people globally. The data also confirms once again that investment in new renewables capacity topped investment in new fossil fuel generation capacity.
The reports also demonstrated that the slowdown in investment had not been matched by a slowdown in deployment, due to the fact solar prices fell by 30 to 40 per cent, while wind energy costs also saw more modest falls. As a result solar installations hit a new record of 30.5GW, while wind energy capacity deployment rose from 42.1GW in 2011 to 48.4GW last year.
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