Bloomberg New Energy Finance just announced that global investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and smart energy technologies broke through the $1 trillion benchmark since report started in 2004.
While, out of context, this is a bit of a abstract milestone, current trends in the arena are showing positive signs. Michael Liebreich, executive chief of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, sees reason to be optimistic:
The trillionth dollar milestone shows that the world is not waiting for a deal on climate in order to start turning the supertanker away from fossil fuels Another five years of investment growth at the same compound rates, and the world will have broken the back of emissions growth.
While his prediction may be a bit far-fetched, encouraging data provides a strong foundation to support the claim. Since these records began, annual investment in clean energy has risen five-fold, from $52 billion in 2004 to $243 in 2010 (outlined below). This year is projected to continue that trend, as experts estimate record-setting 2011 figures.
While the absolute number may not carry much tangible weight, its symbolic value is buttressed by strong underlying investment fundamentals. The report succinctly summarizes that, as capital costs for wind, solar, geothermal, marine, hydro and bioenergy continue to fall, and as energy smart technologies remake the world’s grids, clean energy investment flows are expected to maintain their long-term rise, supported by a network of policies and initiative around the world.
By Kenneth Lipschutz