According to a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), China’s total investment in the renewable energy sector has reached US$758 billion during the period from 2010 to the first half of 2019.
The report, dubbed “The Renewables 2019 Global Status Report” (GSR 2019), shows that the U.S. was the second largest green-power investor during the period with US$356 billion, followed by Japan with US$202 billion, Germany with US$179 billion, and the U.K. with US$122 billion. The investments by the entire European region reached a total of US$698 billion.
As a result of the investments, the total global renewable-energy capacity (excluding those from the large-scale hydroelectric power plants) is expected to top 1,650 GW by the end of 2019. This is four times larger than the amount in 2010. During the period from 2010 to the first half of 2019, the world’s total green-power investments totaled US$2.6 trillion, of which half is for PV power. The global PV power capacity is expected to reach a total of 663 GW by the end of 2019, which is more than 26 times higher than the level in 2009.
In 2018, the total global renewable-energy investment amounted to a total of US$272.9 billion. This is around three times higher than the total amount for fossil fuel-fired thermal power during the same period. By the end of 2018, green power was able to account for a total of up to 12.9% of the overall global power supply, which has made it possible for the global CO2 emissions to be reduced by 2 billion tons.
The renewable energy market has become increasingly competitive over the past 10 years. Since 2009, the LCOE (levelized cost of energy) for PV power has plunged by 81%, while that for onshore wind power has fallen by 46%.
Inger Andersen, the executive director of UNEP, points out that the skyrocketing investments in renewable energy over the past 10 years underscores the sustainability and profitability of such investments in the industry. However, she also points out that such investments will need to be speeded up to accelerate the transformation of the global energy structure.