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Economic Crisis Hits EU and US Clean Energy As Emerging Economy Investments Rise 27% to $36 billion

  • However Renewables Draw More Investment than Fossil-Fueled Energy Technologies in '08
  • Geothermal Sees Fastest Growth - Wind Power Tops Overall Investment, Solar Posts Largest Gains
  • New York/London/Nairobi, 3 June 2009 - $155 billion was invested in 2008 in clean energy companies and projects worldwide - not including large hydro, a new report launched today says.

    Of this $13.5 billion of new private investment went into companies developing and scaling-up new technologies alongside $117 billion of investment in renewable energy projects from geothermal and wind to solar and biofuels.

    Extremely difficult financial market conditions prevailed during 2008 as a result of the global economic crisis.

    Nevertheless investment in clean energy topped 2007's record investments by 5% in large part as a result of China, Brazil and other emerging economies.

    Of the $155 billion, $105 billion was spent directly developing 40 GW of power generating capacity from wind, solar, small-hydro, biomass and geothermal sources.

    A further $35 billion was spent on developing 25 GW of large hydropower, according to the report.

    This $140 billion investment in 65 GW of low carbon electricity generation compares with the estimated $250 billion spent globally in 2008 constructing 157GW of new power generating capacity from all sources.

    It means that renewables currently account for the majority of investment and over 40% of actual power generation capacity additions last year.

    Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: "Without doubt the economic crisis has taken its toll on investments in clean energy when set against the record-breaking growth of recent years. Investment in the United States fell by two per cent and in Europe growth was very much muted. However, there were also some bright points in 2008 especially in developing economiesóChina became the world's second largest wind market in terms of new capacity and the world's biggest photovoltaic manufacturer and a rise in geothermal energy may be getting underway in countries from Australia to Japan and Kenya".

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    Further Resources

    UNEP Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative (SEFI)

    SEFI: Global Trends Report 2009

    New Energy Finance

    UNEP Green Economy Initiative

    Seal the Deal 2009 - Climate Conference - Copenhagen


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