FRANKFURT, Germany — Global investment in renewable energy technologies increased 17 percent to $270 billion in 2014, according to "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015," the eighth edition of the report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Based on data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the report showed the first global increase in investment in renewable energy technologies in three years.

China saw the largest renewable energy investments in 2014, with a record $83.3 billion, which was up 39 percent from 2013. The United States was second at $38.3 billion, up 7 percent on the year but below its all-time high reached in 2011. In third was Japan, at $35.7 billion, 10 percent higher than in 2013 and its biggest total ever.

As in previous years, the market in 2014 was dominated by record investments in solar and wind, which accounted for 92 percent of overall investment in renewable power and fuels. Investment in solar jumped 25 percent to $149.6 billion, the second highest figure ever, while wind investment increased by 11 percent to a record $99.5 billion.

Also, a continuing sharp decline in technology costs — particularly in solar but also in wind — means that every dollar invested in renewable energy bought significantly more generating capacity in 2014.

“Once again in 2014, renewables made up nearly half of the net power capacity added worldwide” said Achim Steiner, U.N. under-secretary-general and executive director of UNEP. “These climate-friendly energy technologies are now an indispensable component of the global energy mix and their importance will only increase as markets mature, technology prices continue to fall, and the need to rein in carbon emissions becomes ever more urgent.”

To access the full report, click here.

Publication date: 4/27/2015

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