Tipping point? Investment in renewable energy tops fossil fuels for first time

Global investment in power plants fueled by renewable energy sources topped investment in fossil fuels for the first time in 2010, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

The report placed investment in renewables at $187 billion for the year, compared with $157 billion for power plants fueled by coal, natural gas, and oil.

An article from Bloomberg News quoted United Nations Environment Program Executive Secretary Achim Steiner as saying, “The progress of renewables has been nothing short of remarkable … You have record investment in the midst of an economic and financial crisis.”

Additional highlights from the article:

– Growing demand for wind and solar equipment has led to a surge in production and overcapacity and falling prices

– The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) predicts that 43,000 MW of new wind generating capacity will be installed worldwide this year, and 48,000 MW in 2012, compared with 36,000 MW in 2010.

– Investment in renewable energy-fueled power plants could reach $395 billion annually by 2020.

More reading:

Yergin: 'Larger [picture]: Renewable energy … becoming a big business', October 28, 2011
Yergin's 'The Quest': Wind power 'will certainly grow', October 4, 2011
1st IEA Clean Energy Progress Report: Continued fossil fuel dominance poses political, environmental risks, April 8, 2011

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