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Continued Global Growth for Renewable Energy Investment

October 13, 2010

Despite global economic instability, investment in renewable energy capacity in 2009 continued to expand.

According to the 2010 REN21 Renewables 2010 Status Report, while utility-scale investment decreased 6% on 2008 levels, 2009 global investment levels reached $150 billion – up from $130 billion in 2008.

Annual Investment in New Renewable Energy Capacity (2004-2009)

Source: REN21 Renewables Status Report 2010

Average Annual Growth Rates of Renewable Energy Capacity (2004-2009)

Source: REN21 Global Rewewable Status Report 2010

Installed capacity of solar PV and wind demonstrated extremely strong growth, with real activity for solar thermal starting from a very low base.  What the growth rates above don’t show is the absolute levels of existing installed capacity per technology:

Renewable Energy Installed Capacities Developing World, EU, and Top 6 Countries

Source: REN21 Renewable Global Status Report 2010

Wind and small hydropower account for a sizeable share of existing capacity, with small hydro being particularly important in the developing world, with major increases in this technology category occurring in India and China in particular, and projected to continue as there remains a large technical potential and newly conducive policies and tariffs available for this low-cost resource opportunity.

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