For the first time last year, developing countries across the globe spent more money on renewable energy than developed nations, bringing about the swiftest increase in green energy sources ever recorded. The findings are part of the latest Renewables Global Status Report.
According to the report, in 2015, total investment in green resources was more than twice the amount spent on coal and natural gas-fired energy. When it comes to renewable power, the global expenditure has undergone a 5-percent increase from 2014 to over $286 billion. This, as the study points out, is even better than the previous record set back in 2011.
Of the developing countries in the world, China took the lead, providing for more than one-third of the global investment. Others, including India, South Africa, Mexico and Chile, also took substantial steps towards the development of green energy. Consequently, an additional 147 gigawatts of electricity, which is equivalent to the total generating capacity of the entire African continent, was produced last year, making it the largest increase ever observed. The report stated:
Renewables are now established around the world as mainstream sources of energy. New markets for both centralized and distributed renewable energy are emerging in all regions.
More than half of the global investment went towards the development of solar energy, with wind power following closely behind. Spending on other kinds of green energy, such as hydropower and biofuels, actually dropped from the previous year. Last year also saw a decrease in the spending on renewable power by developed nations, especially the ones in Europe. Total investment from developed countries across the world fell to only around one-fifth of the amount spent in 2014. The report went on to write:
Policy makers need to remove barriers that are preventing the increased share of renewables in heating and cooling and transport. Policy makers should think on a long-term basis in order to increase investment in clean energy and advance the energy transition in their countries.