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Renewable energy: Growth and global investment (2017)

Renewables outshine the competition more and more with each passing day 

 

Renewable energies are increasingly becoming the cheapest form of new power capacity in many parts of the world as is reflected in the chart below where they claimed nearly 70% of 2017 global investments in new power capacity.

Renewable Energy Global Investment- BNEF

Solar led the way with $160 billion in investments – head and shoulders above coal and natural gas which attracted $103 billion combined. The major player here was China as they were responsible for over half of the global investments in solar, thanks to a 58% year over year increase. China also accounted for 40% of clean energy investments overall.

Other countries with sharp increases in renewable investments included Australia, Mexico, and Sweden which were up 147%, 810%, and 127% respectively.

This trend will continue until new power brought online is almost always renewable. The next, and much needed, major landmark will be when it becomes cheaper to replace existing fossil fuel plants with renewables than to continue paying for their operating costs.

According to the UN and Bloomberg, the world has invested $2.9 trillion in renewable energy since 2004. See below for the breakdown over time.

Global Investments in Renewables over time - BNEF

This post originally featured as a section of the What on EARTH?! sustainability newsletter.

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