2015 was a massive year for renewables, with more money invested (USD $329 billion) and more capacity added (121 gigawatts) than ever before, according to new data released this week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Here’s a wrap up of what the data shows, according to Bloomberg:
1. “New markets” run the show
For the first time, half of the world’s annual investment in renewables came from emerging markets, with record increases including Mexico ($4.2 billion, up 114%), Chile ($3.5 billion, up 157%), South Africa ($4.5 billion, up 329%) and Morocco ($2 billion, up from almost zero in 2014).
2. Costs keep falling
The 2015 renewables installation record is all the more remarkable as cost-competitiveness improvements in solar and wind power mean that more megawatts can be installed for the same price.
3. Wind and solar’s capacity share rises
The 122GW of wind and solar installed in 2015 made up about 50% of the net capacity added in all generation technologies (fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable) globally.
4. No impact from low fossil fuel prices
Neither the 67% plunge in the oil price in the 18 months, nor continuing low prices for coal globally and natural gas in the U.S. restrained the boom in clean energy investment.
5. Europe falls behind (except the UK)
The region saw investment fall 18% to $58.5 billion in 2015, its lowest figure since 2006. While the UK investment bucked the trend and grew 24%, Germany and France saw their investment levels fall by 42% and 53% respectively.
Read more from Bloomberg New Energy Finance here.
Note: All dollar figures in USD.
Preview image credit: Flickr user Russ Loar licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0