I believe it is wise from an environmental and economic viewpoint to invest in renewable energy projects. I believe the costs of fossil fuel based energy will continue to increase. Renewable energy is continuing to improve and when considering the negative externalities caused by oil, gas and coal and the continuing improvement in wind, solar and geothermal generation investment in renewable energy are going to payoff well for countries.
|Top countries for installed renewable energy capacity|
The largest increases in renewable energy capacity by country from 2005 to 2010 are: China (up 106%), South Korea (up 88%), Turkey (up 85%), Germany (up 67%), Italy and Japan (up 45%). All the data is from the Pew Clean Engery Program report: Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? (pdf).
India is poised to take a leadership role in the solar sector, with a target of deploying 20 GW by 2020. In 2010, the country set about getting its National Solar Mission in place by permitting 0.5 GW worth of large solar thermal capacity and a modest 150 MW worth of photovoltaic (PV) solar.
My guess is that the stimulus packages in several countries contributed greatly to the increases (notably Germany and Italy targeted green investments – as did China to some extent, in Wind Energy). Spain took a hit as debt levels caused the government to cut spending. I would imagine this is likely to happen in Italy (and was expected to happen in Germany – the extent of decreases is less certain after the earthquake in Japan).
Related: Chart of oil consumption by country from 1990-2009 – Wind Power Capacity Up 170% Worldwide from 2005-2009 – Japan to Add Personal Solar Subsidies (2008) – Chart of Top Nuclear Power Generating Countries from 1985 to 2009 – Wind Power has the Potential to Produce 20% of Electricity Supply by 2030
|2010 Rank||Country||% of GDP||2010 Investment (billions of $USD)||2009 Investment||Increase|
Public and private investments in research and development (R&D) totaling about $35 billion in 2010 are not
included in the totals above. The key investment categories are asset financing (investing in renewable energy projects), small scale and residential projects and equity financing of companies (including venture capital).
I especially believe developing countries would be wise to invest in renewable energy projects. One area I would really like to see tried is micro-financing type support for small scale solar and wind power generation to reach remote areas.