$2.9trn have been invested in renewable energy since 2004, according to UNEP
According to a new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a total of US$2.9trn have been invested in green energy sources since 2004.
The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report claims that solar was the most popular renewable energy investment last year.
“In 2017, the world installed a record 98 gigawatts of new solar capacity, far more than the net additions of the rest – other renewables, fossil fuel and nuclear”, the report reads.
With solar investments rising by 18% in 2017, reaching $160.8bn, it is believed that China’s additional 53GW of capacity was a large contributor.
China’s new solar capacity accounted for more than half of the global total and cost $86.6bn – a rise of 58% from what was spent in 2016.
2017 was the eighth consecutive year in which renewable energy finances exceeded $200bn, the report claims.
“The extraordinary surge in solar investment shows how the global energy map is changing and, more importantly, what the economic benefits are of such a shift,” commented Erik Solheim, CEO of UNEP.
“Investments in renewables bring more people into the economy, they deliver more jobs, better quality jobs and better paid jobs.”
“Clean energy also means less pollution, which means healthier, happier development.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.