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The renewable energy market is growing, and it’s generating exciting, large-scale changes to the distribution of energy across many regions of the world. A new report, The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018, jointly published by the UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and the Bloomberg New Energy Finance, finds that the falling costs for solar electricity and wind power are continuing to drive the development of renewable technologies. 2017 was the second year in a row in which global investment in renewables exceeded US$200 billion.

The 2017 World Energy Outlook predicts that in 25 years, the world’s growing energy needs will be met by renewables and natural gas. Despite the positive outlook, projections across leading energy publications (BP Energy Outlook, IEA 2017 Outlook, and Exxon Mobil 2018 Outlook) suggest that oil and coal will continue to dominate energy generation; accounting in some scenarios of up to 60% of the global energy mix by 2040.

A 2017 study by Center for Global Energy Policy (CGEP) at Columbia University found that mobilizing finance for investment and innovation of clean technologies is one of the biggest constraints to scaling up investments in renewable energy. The analysis, however, identified new insights from the financing of the oil and gas industry that can be useful for investing in solar and wind energy. The report recommends renewable resource-based finance, electricity production payments and capacity payment finances as alternative financing options that may address the gaps in renewable project financing.  Hence, the report concludes that if the world should stand a chance of meeting the agreed international target of limiting global warming to 20C or 1.50C (Paris Climate Conference, December 2015), investment in renewables needs to increase to an estimated US$500 million per year over a 25 years horizon.

 

For Further Reading:

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018

Financing Solar and Wind Power: Insights from Oil and Gas

BP Energy Outlook 2018 Edition

World Energy Outlook 2017

Explore to Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 (ExxonMobil)

What Would a Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Be Like?

 

 


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