|9 April 2017|

The global shift to renewable energy is accelerating while production costs fall, new research published this week has revealed.

Record levels of renewables capacity were added in 2016 with the costs of clean tech down 23% on the year before. Investment in renewables capacity outstripped that made in fossil fuels generation by twofold with the additional 138.5 gigawatts an increase of 8% on 2015 figures.

“Ever-cheaper clean tech provides a real opportunity for investors to get more for less. This is exactly the kind of situation, where the needs of profit and people meet, that will drive the shift to a better world for all,” said Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment.

While overall investment in renewables was down year-on-year, Europe saw a 3% increase at $59.8 billion.

“The question always used to be ‘will renewables ever be grid competitive?’,” said Michael Liebreich, Chairman of the Advisory Board at BNEF. “Well, after the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years, unsubsidised wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world – sometimes by a factor of two.”

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017 was published by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.