Power Watch India - - GREEN AHEAD -

Global new in­vest­ment in re­new­able power and fu­els was USD244 bil­lion in 2012, down 12% from the pre­vi­ous year’s record. The to­tal was still the sec­ond high­est ever and 8% above the 2010 level. If the un­re­ported in­vest­ments in hy­dropower projects larger than 50 MW and in so­lar hot wa­ter col­lec­tors are in­cluded, to­tal new in­vest­ment in re­new­able en­ergy ex­ceeded USD 285 bil­lion. The de­cline in in­vest­ment — af­ter sev­eral years of growth — re­sulted from un­cer­tainty about sup­port poli­cies in ma­jor de­vel­oped economies, es­pe­cially in Europe (down 36%) and the United States (down 35%). None­the­less, con­sid­er­ing only net ad­di­tions to elec­tric gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity (ex­clud­ing re­place­ment plants) in 2012, global in­vest­ment in re­new­able power was ahead of fos­sil fu­els for the third con­sec­u­tive year.

The year 2012 saw the most dra­matic shift yet in the bal­ance of in­vest­ment ac­tiv­ity be­tween de­vel­oped and de­vel­op­ing economies. Out­lays in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries reached USD 112 bil­lion, rep­re­sent­ing 46% of the world to­tal; this was up from 34% in 2011, and con­tin­ued an un­bro­ken eight-year growth trend. By con­trast, in­vest­ment in de­vel­oped economies fell 29% to USD 132 bil­lion, the low­est level since 2009. The shift was driven by re­duc­tions in sub­si­dies for so­lar and wind project de­vel­op­ment in Europe and the United States; in­creased in­vestor in­ter­est in emerg­ing mar­kets with ris­ing power de­mand and at­trac­tive re­new­able en­ergy re­sources; and fall­ing tech­nol­ogy costs of wind and so­lar PV. Europe and China ac­counted for 60% of global in­vest­ment in 2012. So­lar power was the lead­ing sec­tor by far in terms of money com­mit­ted in 2012, re­ceiv­ing 57% of to­tal new in­vest­ment in re­new­able en­ergy (96% of which went to so­lar PV). Even so, the USD 140.4 bil­lion for so­lar was down 11% from 2011 lev­els, due to a slump in fi­nanc­ing of CSP projects in Spain and the United States, as well as to sharply lower PV sys­tem prices. So­lar was fol­lowed by wind power (USD 80.3 bil­lion) and hy­dropower projects larger than 50 MW (es­ti­mated at USD 33 bil­lion).

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