1 April 2015 2015 06:21 AM GMT

Solar and Wind Development Catalyst for Renewables Investment Rebound in 2014

The pace of solar project developments in China and Japan, and wind farms in Europe helped in leading a strong rebound in  global investments in renewable energy in 2014, according to the UN.

Investment in clean energy increased 17% in 2014 to US$270 billion from a year earlier. It was the first annual increase in dollars invested in and committed to renewable, excluding large hydro-electric projects, in three years, a total just 3% below the all-time record of $279 billion set in 2011.

The falls in the investment figures for 2012 and 2013 were attributed in part to lower prices for renewable energy technologies due to economies of scale, the United Nations Environment Programme said in its Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investments report.

The 103 gigawatts of generating capacity added globally made 2014 the best year ever for newly installed capacity. A continuing sharp decline in technology costs – particularly in solar but also in wind – means that every dollar invested in renewable energy bought significantly more generating capacity in 2014. The 103GW of capacity added by new renewable energy sources last year compares to 86GW in 2013, 89GW in 2012 and 81GW in 2011.

The 103GW of capacity added by renewables last year equals the energy generating capacity of all 158 nuclear power plant reactors in the USA. Wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-power, geothermal, small hydro and marine power contributed an estimated 9.1% of world electricity generation in 2014, up from 8.5% in 2013. This meant that last year the world electricity system emitted 1.3 gigatonnes of CO2 – roughly twice the emissions of the world’s airline industry – less than it would have if that 9.1% had been produced by the same fossil-dominated mix generating the other 90.9% of world power.

“Once again in 2014, renewables made up nearly half of the net power capacity added worldwide,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP. “These climate-friendly energy technologies are now an indispensable component of the global energy mix and their importance will only increase as markets mature, technology prices continue to fall and the need to rein in carbon emissions becomes ever more urgent.

“The growing penetration of renewable generation in the world’s developing economies is one of the important and encouraging aspects of the 2014 report.”

China saw by far the biggest renewable energy investments last year – a recordUS $83.3 billion, up 39% from 2013. The US was second at US$38.3 billion, up 7% on the year followed by  Japan, at $35.7 billion, 10% higher than in 2013 and its biggest total ever.

As in previous years, the market in 2014 was dominated by record investments in solar and wind, which accounted for 92% of overall investment in renewable power and fuels. Investment in solar jumped 25% to US$149.6 billion, the second highest figure ever, while wind investment increased 11% to a record US$99.5 billion. In 2014, some 49GW of wind capacity and 46GW of solar PV capacity were added worldwide, both records.

The dominant feature of the solar sector was unprecedented expansion in China and Asia. Between them, the two Asian giants invested US$74.9 billion in solar in 2014, around half the world’s total.

August 16th 2019
Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Growing, Taking Place in 75 Countries

Companies in 75 countries actively sourced 465 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable energy in 2017, an amount close to the overall electricity demand of France, according to the report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). With the continued decline in the costs of renewables, the report suggests, corporate demand will continue to increase as companies seek to reduce electricity bills, hedge against future price spikes and address sustainability concerns.

August 14th 2019
Wind: China Maintains Emerging Markets Top Spot Following 19.7GW Build Boom

Wind industry intelligence service A Word About Wind has launched its Emerging Markets Attractiveness Index report for 2018, which provides insight and analysis into the most attractive emerging markets for wind companies. The index, now in its second year, ranks the top 30 emerging markets that investors should consider when investing in wind in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The list considers factors including political and economic stability for investors, alongside the growth of electricity demand and potential for wind growth, in order to rank the countries by overall potential. As with last year’s report, China tops the list and the ongoing trade war with the US shows no sign of slowing China’s formidable growth.

November 27th 2018
Solar And Wind Provide 100% Of New Generating Capacity Additions In September

US – According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), solar and wind were the only energy sources adding new capacity to the U.S. electricity generation mix in September. Three “units” of new wind accounted for 363-MW while nine units of solar provided 339-MW.

November 19th 2018
US: EIA Data Shows Renewables Outpacing Nuclear Power In Electrical Generation

The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is showing that electrical generation by renewable sources has edged past nuclear power. Additionally, wind and solar now provide 10% of the nation’s electricity, overall; with solar alone surpassing biomass and geothermal combined. Significantly, solar now triples electrical generation by oil. In addition, the data reveals that solar and wind both showed strong growth with solar (i.e., utility-scale + distributed PV) expanding by 27.6% and wind by 11.2%. Combined, they accounted for nearly a tenth of the nation’s electrical generation.

August 12th 2019
EU Approves Ambitious Energy Efficiency Goals, Encourages Clean Energy Feed-In

Europeans will now be entitled to consume, store and sell the renewable energy they produce in line with ambitious targets set by the EU. The targets are to be reviewed by 2023, and can only be raised, not lowered. By making energy more efficient, Europeans will see their energy bills reduced. In addition, Europe will reduce its reliance on external suppliers of oil and gas, improve local air quality and protect the climate. For the first time, member states will also be obliged to establish specific energy efficiency measures to the benefit of those affected by energy poverty. Member states must also ensure that citizens are entitled to generate renewable energy for their own consumption, to store it and to sell excess production.

January 10th 2018
US: Doubling Of Wind & Solar Capacity Possible By 2020 as Coal & Nuclear Drop

In the latest issue of its “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data through November 30, 2017), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes that proposed net additions to generating capacity by utility-scale wind and solar could total 115,984 megawatts (MW) by December 2020 – effectively doubling their current installed capacity of 115,520 MW.  The numbers were released as FERC prepares for a January 10 meeting to consider U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal for a bailout of the coal and nuclear industries.

August 12th 2019
Battery Boom: Wind And Solar Can Generate Half Of Worldwide Electricity By 2050

Coal is to shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38% now, as costs shift heavily in favour of wind, solar and batteries. Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 due to reductions in cost. “Cheap battery storage means that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

December 6th 2017
Renewables Provide 17.8% Of Total US Electricity. Solar Now 2.0% And Wind 6.0%

According to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly” report, U.S. electrical generation from renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar – inc. distributed solar, wind) rose by 14.69% during the first three-quarters of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Simultaneously, electrical generation by fossil fuels and nuclear power combined declined by 5.41%. Nuclear power and coal both dropped by 1.5%, natural gas (including “other” gas) was down by 10.7%, and oil (i.e., petroleum liquids and petroleum coke) plunged by 17.1%.

March 24th 2019
Clean Energy: Most Competitive Source of New Power Generation in the Middle East

Renewable energy is the most competitive form of power generation in GCC countries, according to a new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It says that achieving stated 2030 targets brings significant economic benefits to the region including the creation of more than 220 000 new jobs whilst saving over 354 million barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE) in regional power sectors. Furthermore, the power sector’s CO2 emissions can be reduced by 136 million tonnes (22%), while water withdrawals in the power sector can be cut by 11.5 trillion litres (17% reduction) in 2020.

August 10th 2018
Major Role For WorleyParsons’ Advisian On World’s Largest Solar Power Project

Noor Energy 1 has appointed Advisian, the global consulting firm of WorleyParsons, as Owner’s Engineer for the concentrating solar power (CSP) fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. The 700MW project will be the largest of its kind in the world and as an Owner’s Engineer, Advisian will protect the owner’s interests by ensuring all contractors are adhering to project specifications. It will also provide a review of the basic and detailed engineering, manage risk and provide technical support during construction & commissioning of the plant.

November 16th 2018
India: Improved Monsoon Winds Help Power Producers in 2018 

After a prolonged period of decline, wind speeds in India during the 2018 monsoon season were significantly higher than normal; and up to 20% higher than long-term averages in some regions. These higher wind speeds benefit wind farm production; welcome news for wind energy operators and investors, who have faced several years of lower-than-normal wind energy production during the monsoon period. These increased wind speeds can thus counter recent patterns of decline contributing to an increase in investor confidence with a data-driven approach.

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