A new report out from the Climate Policy Initiative finds that international investment in climate change reduction technologies fell in 2013 to $331 billion from $359 billion the year before. But it’s not all bad. The report attributed roughly 80 percent of the investment decrease to the dropping cost of solar photovoltaics. However, the report cautioned that much, much more investment is needed to staunch the overwhelming clouds of climate change.
While the investment in solar power has decreased deployment of the technology actually has increased, according to the study. “Solar deployment cost $40 billion less in 2013 than would have been the case with 2012’s solar investment costs,” the initiative said in a release.
In fact, more solar PV panels were installed in 2013 than in 2012. Looking at European Photovoltaic Industry Association figures, Greentech Media’s Stephen Lacey observed that 37 gigawatts of PV was installed in 2013, that’s 5 gigawatts more than the 32 gigawatts of PV installed in 2012—“For tens of billions of dollars less,” he wrote.
Solar power is indeed a growing force in terms of clean energy. Just a couple of years ago global deployment reached 100 gigawatts. Some are expecting the world to hit 200 gigawatts of solar deployment by the end of this year.
While that’s a highlight, the overall report is much less sunny. “The situation remains grave: The International Energy Agency estimates that an additional $1.1 trillion in low-carbon investments is needed every year between 2011 and 2050, in the energy sector alone, to keep global temperature rise below two degree Celsius,” the initiative stated. “In cumulative terms, the world is falling further and further behind its low-carbon investment goals.”
The report comes ahead of the Global Climate Agreement meeting in 2015. “As policymakers prepare a new global climate agreement in 2015, climate finance is a key ingredient to bring the world on a two degree Celsius pathway. Our analysis shows that global investment in a cleaner more resilient economy are decreasing and the gap between finance needed and actually delivered is growing,” said Barbara Buchner, Senior Director of Climate Policy Initiative and lead author of the study. She added, “Our numbers demonstrate that most investment is happening at the national level with investors favoring familiar environments they perceive to be less risky. This implies that domestic policy frameworks and appropriate risk coverage are critical to encourage investment.”
The report, Global Landscape of Climate Finance, found that overall investments in low-carbon technologies, including clean and renewable energy like solar and wind, fell by $28 billion. It noted that public funding remained largely unchanged, while private sector funding contributed $193 billion in 2013, 14 percent or $31 billion less than in 2012.Tweet