Renewable Energy Hit Record Levels in 2015
A new report confirms that 2015 was a record-breaking year for renewable energy in which 147 Gigawatts of renewable electricity came online.
That figure represents the largest annual increase ever recorded, and is due in part to the $286 billion invested in renewables. In fact, in 2015 almost twice as much money was spent on renewable energy, like solar and wind power, than fossil fuels like gas-fired power stations — only $130 billion.
This information comes as part of the Renewables Global Status Report authored by the global renewable energy policy network known as REN21.
“The fact that we had 147GW of capacity, mainly of wind and solar is a clear indication that these technologies are cost competitive (with fossil fuels),” explained Christine Lins, executive secretary of REN21. ”They are the preference for many countries and more and more utilities and investors and that is a very positive signal.”
The report highlights another factor that may have made a difference in 2015: the level of interest and cooperation in the banking sector.
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Investment vehicles, like green bonds and crowdfunding, meant that renewables could flourish. In addition, the report says that mainstream financing has invested for higher yield even in the face of higher risks. For campaigners this is a significant win. In effect, it shows any fears that investors won’t back renewables to be unfounded.