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Global renewable energy investment hits record $257 billion by efvf thbtn

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Global renewable energy investment hits record $257 billion by
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Global renewable energy investment hits record $257 billion

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The gathering follows the Earth Summit in 1992, also held in Rio,during which countries adopted Agenda 21 - a blueprint to rethinkeconomic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmentalprotection. "Despite the continuing economic crisis in some key traditionalmarkets, and continuing political uncertainties, more renewableenergy was installed last year than ever before," said Dr.El-Ashry, who chairs REN21. The REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report shows that during2011 renewables continued to grow strongly in all end-use sectors -power, heating and cooling and transport. "Policies helped to drive renewable energy forward. Policydevelopment and implementation were stimulated by the Fukushimanuclear catastrophe in Japan, along with improvements in renewableenergy costs and technologies.

As a result, renewable energy isspreading to more countries and regions of the globe," Dr. El-Ashrysaid. "Globally there are more than five million jobs in renewable energyindustries, and the potential for job creation continues to be amain driver for renewable energy policies," he said. In 2011, renewable energy technologies continued to expand into newmarkets.

Some 50 countries installed wind power, and solarphotovoltaic capacity moved rapidly into new regions and countries.Worldwide, solar hot water collectors now are used by more than 200million households and in many public and commercial buildings. Interest in geothermal power has taken hold in East Africa's RiftValley and elsewhere; interest in solar heating and cooling is onthe rise in countries around the world; and the use of modernbiomass for energy purposes is expanding in all regions of theglobe, the reports show. In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of theestimated 208 gigawatts (GW) of electric capacity added globallyduring the year. Wind and solar photovoltaic accounted for almost40 percent and 30 percent of new renewable capacity, respectively,followed by hydropower at nearly 25 percent. By the end of 2011, total renewable power capacity worldwideexceeded 1,360 GW, up eight percent over 2010.

Renewables made up more than 25 percent of total globalpower-generating capacity - estimated at 5,360 GW in 2011 - andsupplied an estimated 20.3 percent of global electricity. Highlights 2011 from both reports: Total investment in solar power jumped 52 percent to $147 billionand featured booming rooftop photovoltaic installations in Italyand Germany, the rapid spread of small-scale PV to other countriesfrom China to the UK and big investments in large-scaleconcentrating solar thermal power projects in Spain and the UnitedStates. The United States surged back close to the top of the renewablesinvestment rankings, with a 57 percent leap to $51 billion, asdevelopers rushed to cash in on three significant incentiveprograms before they expired during 2011 and 2012. After leadingthe world for two years, China saw its lead over the U.S. shrink tojust $1 billion in 2011, as it recorded renewable energy investmentof $52 billion, up 17 percent.

India's National Solar Mission helped to spur an impressive 62percent increase to $12 billion, the fastest investment expansionof any large renewables market in the world. In Brazil, there wasan 8 percent increase to $7 billion.

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