Last week The Pew Charitable Trusts released their “Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race?: 2013 Edition“. This report examined the investments made globally in the renewable energy sector, as well as the breakdown of new renewable power generation capacity added. These are important and interesting trends to follow as the renewable energy sector continues to be at the forefront of energy discussions.
The PEW report states that both newly-added capacity and investment decreased in 2013 as compared to 2012, globally. This trend varied for different regions, with Japan’s, Canada’s and the UK’s markets expanding. Investment in the Asia/Oceania region grew, and much incremental renewable energy capacity was brought online in 2013. China increased domestic production of renewable energy dramatically, installing 35 GW of new capacity.
The report cites multiple causes for the decrease in renewable energy investment and installed capacity, including the termination of incentives for renewable projects in the EU and uncertainty about wind sector policy in the United Sates. More solar energy was installed than wind energy in 2013, which was a first for that sector, and according to the report, it seemed that investment in non-G20 countries increased for 2013 while it decreased for G-20 nations.
Despite the decreased growth in various business segments, renewable energy remains strong world wide. As technology costs continually falling, renewably generated power becomes increasingly competitive with conventional sources.