The latest Climatescope report found some interesting things. In 2015 the price of solar projects were essentially equal to those of wind projects—and that investments in solar power across the world surpassed wind power for the first time. Looking ahead, the report also found that developing nations have pledged to build 18 percent more renewable energy than wealthier nations.
The report showed that even leading up to last year’s Paris Climate Agreement, and this year’s ratification of it, three-quarters of the countries studied in Climatescope submitted or reiterated pledges to cut future CO2 emissions. “An even higher number are now on record with promises to achieve certain clean energy consumption goals in coming years,” the report stated.
Climatescope, now in its fifth year, has grown from researching the state of renewable energy in Latin America and Caribbean to 58 developing countries around the world, including the Mexico, China, India, Brazil and a multitude of others. It’s researched and authored by Bloomberg Clean Energy Finance. This year China, followed by Chile, led the world in renewable energy, according to the report.
Asia, particularly India and China, led the world in renewable energy development. In 2015, the Asian region installed 62 gigawatts of wind, solar, small hydro and biomass, up 60 percent over 2014.
“Investment in utility-scale solar in Climatescope nations spiked 43 percent to $71.8 billion in 2015,” Climatescope reported. “Total clean energy investment in Climatescope countries rose $24.8 billion with solar accounting for nearly all of that. Photovoltaic (PV) costs are essentially on par with wind and, as recent tenders for power contracts have demonstrated, PV can now out-compete fossil-fueled projects on price.”
“Solar saw the largest transformation in its role, growing from 8 percent of investment in 2011 to just over 46 percent in 2015,” the report stated. “It is also likely to top investment in wind for the first time in 2016.” Wind and solar are also accounting for increasingly more of the renewable energy installed. They accounted for 65 percent of the new clean energy investment in 2011. Last year they rose to 94 percent of the renewable energy investments made across the world.
Already developing nations are adding more renewable energy than wealthier nations already is playing out. They added 69.8 gigawatts of new wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable power generating capacity in 2015, Climatescope found. Meanwhile, wealthier nations in the Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries built about 15 percent less renewable energy, 59.2 GWs last year.
While developing nations are investing in more clean energy, developed economies, like those in the OECD are playing an important role in financing these projects. “Private investors, lenders, and development finance institutions in OECD countries accounted for nearly half of all capital to Climatescope countries (excluding China, where virtually all capital was provided locally).”Tweet