According to reports, India was among the top five countries in attracting larger new investments in renewable energy sector in 2011. While China continued to be the leader amid slip in growth, India displayed fastest rise in investments in the year.
“Despite the uncertainties, global new investments in renewable power and fuels increased by 17 per cent to a new record of $257 billion in 2011. Including hydropower projects of over 50 mw, net investment in renewable power capacity exceeded that for fossil fuels. The top five countries for total investment were China, which led the world for the third year running, followed closely by the United States, and by Germany, Italy, and India,” according to the latest report of United Nations environment programme and the renewable energy policy network for the 21st century (REN21).
Developed countries made up 65 per cent of this total investment, the rest accounted by developing nations. The developing nations’ share of total investments globally slipped back after several years of consistent increases.
During 2011, developing economies accounted for $89 billion in new investments (up 11 per cent from 2010), compared with $168 billion in developed economies (up 21 per cent from 2010). This relative performance marked a shift from 2010, when the developing world increased its total investment in renewable energy by 46 per cent against a 30 per cent rise for richer economies.
The three developing economies boasting by far the largest investment in renewable energy in 2011 were China, India, and Brazil: China reached $ 52 billion (up 17 per cent), India $12 billion (up 62 per cent), and Brazil $7 billion (up 8 per cent).
“Although China remained the global leader, its growth in renewable energy investment slowed sharply in 2011. India displayed fastest expansion in investment of any large renewables market in the world by recording 62 per cent growth rate, which reflects a sharp rise in the financing of solar projects under the country’s National Solar Mission, increases in wind capacity additions, as well as growth in venture capital and private equity investment in renewable energy companies,” it pointed out.
The strong performance of developed economies was due mainly to the impending expiry of subsidy programmes. US was the biggest investor in renewable energy among developed econo-mies, committing $51 billion in 2011, with the largest share for asset finance of utility-scale projects. Overall, Europe saw investment of $101 billion in renewable energy in 2011, up 10 per cent from 2010.
The renewable energy sector is often seen overwhelmingly as a creature of Europe and the United States, as well as China, India and Brazil. However, some 13 per cent of total investments in 2011 took place outside these economic powerhouses, and this share has been above 10 per cent in each of the last eight years. Total investment in the Americas (excluding US and Brazil) was $7.1 billion in 2011, while that in the West Asia and Africa was $4.9 billion, and in Asia-Oceania (outside China and India) it was $19.5 billion. Asia-Oceania was the only region to show growth during 2011, at five per cent, it stated.