Global dip in renewable market share but generation grows

Global investment in renewables fell by 14% during 2013, but the percentage of electricity generated by renewable sources still grew, according to a new United Nations report – Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014

It said investment fell for the second year in a row because of cheaper technology such as falling cost of solar photovoltaic systems, but also as a result of uncertainty surrounding energy policy.

However, falling costs meant renewables accounted for 8.5% of the global electricity mix in 2013, up from 7.8% in 2012.

Renewables accounted for 44% of newly installed generation capacity in 2013.

Renewables reducing CO2 emissions.

Globally, renewables excluding large hydro accounted for 43.6 per cent of newly installed generating capacity in 2013. Were it not for renewables, world energy-related CO2 emissions would have been an estimated 1.2 gigatonnes higher in 2013. This would have increased by about 12 per cent the gap between where emissions are heading and where they need to be in 2020 if the world is to have a realistic prospect of staying under a two degree Centigrade temperature rise.

“A long-term shift in investment over the next few decades towards a cleaner energy portfolio is needed to avoid dangerous climate change, with the energy sector accounting for around two thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP. “The fact that renewable energy is gaining a bigger share of overall generation globally is encouraging. To support this further, we must re-evaluate investment priorities, shift incentives, build capacity and improve governance structures.”

“While some may point to the fact that overall investment in renewables fell in 2013, the drop masks the many positive signals of a dynamic market that is fast evolving and maturing,” he added. “This should give governments the confidence to forge a new robust climate agreement to cut emissions at the 2015 climate change conference in Paris.”

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