The latest research from the Renewable Energy Policy Network was
released this morning, and the news is great for renewables globally. In 2014,
new investment in renewables soared to more than USD$300 billion dollars, with
record-breaking wind and solar installations.
The spectacular growth of renewables has reached a tipping point, driving a landmark year in which the world economy grew for the first time without a parallel increase in emissions – congratulations world!
According to the report, more than a quarter (27.8%) of the world’s generating capacity now comes from renewables, with developing world investments on par with that of the developed world. Solar PV capacity has grown at a phenomenal rate, up 48-fold over the last decade while wind power capacity is up 8-fold.
Unfortunately, Australia did not reap the benefits of the
record-breaking renewables year in 2014, with investment and jobs in the
renewables industry slashed due to ongoing reviews of the Renewable Energy
Target (RET), which the Australian Government has now said it will cut. According to
forecasts, investment in renewable energy in Australia will be reduced by $5-6
billion as a result of the cuts.
Renewable energy is the new economic powerhouse worldwide,
attracting investment and growing jobs. Those countries that ride the
renewables wave in this energy revolution, are going to leave the latecomers
This global growth in investment and capacity in renewable energy
is encouraging, as it’s key to tackling climate change – the science states
that renewable energy must make up more than 80 per cent of electricity
generation by 2050 to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change.
It’s well and truly time for Australia to join the worldwide
shift to renewables, as it will not only boost our economy, it’s crucial to
lessening the consequences of large-scale changes to the climate such
as sea level rise and more frequent and intense extreme weather.
You can access the full report from REN21 here.