Solar investment more popular than wind in 2011, reports say

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REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report - .PDF file.

Solar attracted nearly twice as much investment as wind, according to new reports issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2012 is the fifth edition of the UNEP report, based on data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

According to a statement, it shows that, despite an increasingly tough competitive landscape for manufacturers, total investment in renewable power and fuels last year increased by 17 per cent to $257bn (£165bn), a six-fold increase on the 2004 figure and 94 per cent higher than the total in 2007, the year before the world financial crisis.

Although last year’s 17 per cent increase was smaller than the 37 per cent growth recorded in 2010, it was achieved at a time of rapidly falling prices for renewable energy equipment and severe pressure on fiscal budgets in the developed world.

The REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report notes that during 2011 renewables continued to grow strongly in all end-use sectors — power, heating and cooling and transport.

Renewable sources have grown to supply 16.7 per cent of global energy consumption. Of that, the share provided by traditional biomass has declined slightly while the share sourced from modern renewable technologies has risen.

In 2011, renewable energy technologies continued to expand into new markets: around 50 countries installed wind power capacity and solar PV capacity moved rapidly into new regions and countries.