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Incentivizing investment in underfunded areas, including clean and affordable energy

Global clean energy investment in 2015 was $ 348.5 billion according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. As shown in the figure, in 2015, for the first time, investments in renewables in developing countries outweighed those in developed economies according to REN21, a global renewable energy policy multi-stakeholder network that connects a wide range of key actors including governments, nongovernmental organisations, research and academic institutions, international organisations and industry.

The developing world, including Brazil, China and India, committed a total of USD 156 billion, up 19 per cent from 2014, while developed countries invested USD 130 billion, down 8 per cent. China was by far the largest investing country for renewables (excluding large hydro), with USD 102.9 billion in 2015, representing well over a third of the global total. The United States was a distant second with USD 44.1 billion.  Developing countries have increased investment almost steadily over the past years, while investment in developed countries peaked in 2011. Developed country investments are now 47 per cent lower than in 2011. Renewable energy technologies today are more cost-competitive than ever before, as technology and installation costs of a range of renewable energy technologies have continued to fall in 2015 and 2016.

Role of renewable energy in global energy supply

The role of renewable energy in global energy supply continues to increase in both developing and developed countries. The share of renewable energy (derived from hydropower, solid and liquid biofuels, wind, the sun, biogas, geothermal and marine sources and waste) in the world’s total final energy consumption has only increased slowly, however, from 17.4 per cent in 2000 to 19.2 per cent in 2014 according to the latest figures from REN21. As shown in the chart, the strongest growth rate has been in solar and wind power.