The Global Trends report in Renewable Energy Investment 2018

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2017 was an important year for projects for power plants powered by renewable energy. The Global Trends report on Renewable Energy Investment 2018 shows that in 2017 a total of 157 gigawatts were installed, compared to 143 in 2016: even more remarkable, it is more than twice the power of the new fossil fuel plants (70 gigawatts) ). Of this amount of energy produced by the renewable energy, a large part comes from solar energy.

With these new records, the world electricity generated by wind, sun, biomass, tides, geothermal and small hydroelectric power plants (large dams are not considered), compared to other sources, rises from 11% in 2016 to 12.1 % of 2017. By recalculating the benefit in terms of CO2 equivalent we are at about 1.8 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide not released into the atmosphere.

renewable energies, investments, global trends Global investments in renewable energy in the period 2004-2017, in billions of dollars, from direct investments, subsidies, investment funds and so on. | UN Environment, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

On China, down Europe. This growth was made possible by investments, which in 2017 rose by 2 percent compared to the previous year, with an absolute value of 279.8 billion dollars. A value that added to that of the years from 2004 to 2016 brings the total investment figure to 2.9 trillion dollars. The driving country in 2017 was China, which invested 126.5 billion dollars, thus about 45 percent of total investments. In solar only China has installed plants for 53 GW.

renewable energies, investments, global trends 2017 growth in 2016 of the renewable energy sector in billions of dollars. | UN Environment, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The United States and Europe, on the other hand, have held back investments: the US has put 40.5 billion dollars into the pot, 6% less than the previous year. Europe has invested 40.9 billion dollars: 36% less than in 2016: the countries that invested the least were Great Britain and Germany.

Considerable investments, but starting from very low initial bases, were made by Australia (+ 147%, to 8.5 billion dollars), from Mexico (+ 810%, 6 billion dollars), from Egypt (2, 6 billion dollars) and the United Arab Emirates (2.2 billion dollars).

renewable energies, investments, global trends Global investments in renewable energy in the period 2004-2017, in billions of dollars, for macro economic regions. | UN Environment, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Uncertainties for the future. All this thanks not only to a greater generic sensitivity to air quality, but also to the fact that costs, in particular of solar energy, have fallen by 15% compared to 2016 and by 72% compared to 2009. Encouraging data, although the US position towards some of these technologies (and the environment in general) creates uncertainty about what could happen in the coming years.