A recent report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) shows that developing countries, such as Brazil, China and India, had invested more in renewable energy last year than had developed countries, such as the U.S. and U.K.
The report states that worldwide renewable investment grew by 32% and reached a record high of $211 billion in 2010. This new total is up one-third from 2009 renewable investment, and clean energy is now responsible for over 5% of the world's total power production.
For the first time, developing economies overtook developed countries in terms of new financial investment, spending on utility-scale renewable energy projects and provision of equity capital for renewable energy companies, according to the report, which was prepared for UNEP by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Developing countries invested $72 billion in renewable energy, compared to $70 billion invested in developed economies. This contrasts with 2004, when new financial investments in developing countries were about one-quarter of those in developed countries.
Other highlights of the report include the following:
– China accounted for 70% of the total clean energy investment, with $50 billion put into projects, primarily in wind power;
– The Middle East and Africa witnessed the largest leap, with their combined investment doubling to $5 billion; and
– India ranked eighth in the world, growing its investments by 25% to $3.8 billion, with wind projects as the biggest single item at $2.3 billion, followed by $400 million each for solar, and biomass and waste-to-energy.
The report notes that the recession in the G-7 countries and the dynamism of China, India, Brazil and other important emerging economies have transformed the balance of power in renewable energy worldwide.