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Solar Energy Sees a Global Investment Surge

08 Apr 11:00 by Steve Walia

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The United Nations has reported that global investment levels in renewables have surged upwards for solar power - well ahead of other sources of renewable energy as well as nuclear power and fossil fuels. The report assessed how different countries invested in new sources of power generation.

In 2017, solar energy saw 98GW of new capacity installed. This compared to 52GW of wind and 70GW of fossil fuels. China was the main driver behind the figures, with 63pc of the total clean energy investment for the world coming from Chinese projects last year. The country has led the way in spending on clean and green renewable energy sources as it seeks to distance itself from earlier perceptions of being a global polluter.

In fact, on a global scale, China now accounts for just under 50pc of total renewables investment - almost three times as much as America, which was the second biggest renewables investor. Although China is working towards creating $361 billion of new renewable energy projects, however, it's expected that only 15pc of the country's total energy consumption will come from clean sources by 2020.

Solar has also seen a great boost thanks to its plummeting costs. Solar-generated electricity now costs 72pc less than it did nine years ago. Although nations are committed to furthering their green agendas, there is no doubt that tumbling solar technology costs are driving forward its popularity. Across other markets, solar PV and onshore wind are the cheapest power sources.

Australia was another big spender in green energy, increasing its investment by 147pc. This was despite the Australian government removing renewable subsidies in 2017. Mexico also increased its investment to $6 billion and Sweden to $3.7 billion. Investment across Europe dropped as a whole after the UK government ceased its subsidy schemes.