House Tablet

Find The Best Solar Deals In Australia

  • 3 Free, No Obligation, Solar Quotes
  • From Fully Qualified Installers
  • With 1000’s of Customer Reviews
  • Competing for Your Business
Finn Peacock Caricature

Ready for some quotes? Enter your postcode now

Renewable energy surpasses fossil fuel investment

9th Dec 2011

Investments in renewable energy projects - including solar power - have surpassed those in fossil fuel power plants for the first time in history, according to new research.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), $187 billion was invested in renewable energy installations last year - $30 billion more than that invested in new natural gas, oil and coal plants for the period.

"The progress of renewables has been nothing short of remarkable," United Nations Environment Program Executive Secretary Achim Steiner told BNEF at the recent climate change conference in South Africa.

"You have record investment in the midst of an economic and financial crisis."

Government and renewable energy subsidies played a large part in encouraging investment in the sector - approximately $66 billion in grants were handed out last year.

An increase in production and accelerated installations intensified competition between manufacturers, ultimately making clean energy more competitive with coal.

"The zeal to replace fossil fuels, which take millions of years to form from dead organic matter, belies the failed efforts at the UN talks to broker a deal that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal and oil blamed for global warming," BNEF explained.

Without a deal, existing pollution caps under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol expire next year.

According to the recent data, global solar installations will total 26.4 gigawatts this year - up from 18.2 gigawatts last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy.

Predictions for the future expect global solar to reach 27.8 gigawatts in 2012, while investment in renewable energy could double to $395 billion a year by 2020.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has also recorded the trillionth dollar of investment in renewable energy, efficiency and smart technologies since its records started in 2004.

"Like the recent birth of the world's seven billionth baby, it is impossible to pinpoint with certainty the one trillionth dollar of investment," the research provider said in a statement (December 6).

"However it is almost certain it took place during the last two weeks of November, probably somewhere in the developing world."

According to BNEF, one of the projects that could have potentially earned the trillionth-dollar title was the 125 megawatt Ouarzazate solar project, which the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy received debt financing for to develop phase one of the scheme. 

Posted by Mike Peacock - Solar correspondent

Solar Power News Categories

Government Rebate & Regulations
Solar Power & Technology

More Solar Power & Technology

Australia to be a part of huge Asian renewable energy growth
SunPower steps up to make solar more affordable
Canberra makes strides toward carbon neutrality
GTM puts solar's massive growth in perspective
Examining Australia's falling solar PV rooftop prices
Australia's shift toward renewable energy picks up the pace
Australia shines at solar decathlon
University of Queensland tapped as lead researcher on massive solar project
100 per cent renewable energy is possible in 10 years, environmental group says
Climate Commission releases report on solar progress
Aussie government actually shows spine for solar power
Be gone, skeptics: One million solar installations and counting
Australia embarks on its greatest solar journey ever
Australia looks to solar thermal for commercial success
Solar power helps King Island reach 100% sustainability
Australians 'heavy supporters of solar power'
Mildura solar plant officially unveiled
Solar power trumps other renewables in Australian minds
Sunshine Coast solar farm "fantastic initiative"
Sunshine Coast cashes in on namesake with solar plans
Energy storage 'could maximise solar power utility'
Solar powered family car - a world first?
Code of conduct for solar installers in the works
'Stop punishing households' for solar PV
Australian solar companies 'adjusting well'
Australian mining 'next solar frontier'
"Rooftop revolution" underway across Australia
Global PV market emerging from sluggish period
Royalla solar farm receives final approval
Leadership challenge a "debacle" for Australian solar power
Solar power giving global renewables a helping hand
Australia's largest CPV solar power plant up and running
Renewable energy misinformation "staggering"
CEC: Don't underestimate consumer desire for solar
Setting energy efficient examples on TV
Solar PV brightening up household bills
World's largest solar powered boat on the move
Climate change is heating up
The global solar power shift
New solar tech win for NSW
Industry orgs praise City of Sydney solar efforts
Clean Energy Council supports Regional Renewables scheme
Asian nations emerging as PV leaders
Solar PV demand continues to grow
Regional areas of Australia to receive more renewables
Australia's significant renewable energy growth
Solar panel reprieve for Queensland
New funding for solar research
Find love with sustainable speed dating
New Victorian solar power deal