Global Renewable Investment Rises to $285.9 Billion; Nigeria Plans to Follow Trend

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Global investment in renewable energy rose from $285.5 billion in 2011 to $285.9 billion in 2016, representing a five per cent increase from the previous year.

According to United Nations Global Renewable Investment 2016 report released recently, investment in renewables has been running at more than $200 billion per year in the past six years.

Besides, the Federal Government said in its action plan for the Nigerian power sector that development of renewable energy sources, alongside other clean energy technologies remained some of the key objectives of the power sector.

 A document released by the Federal Ministry of Power titled: “National Renewable Action Plan’, noted that the development of a strategic energy efficiency approach will also enable Nigeria to play its full part in regional efforts to reduce the production of harmful greenhouse gases.

According to the report, the Federal Government believes that climate change is one of the threats facing the country, and that urgent action at home and abroad is required. Nigeria needs to use a wide range of levers to decarbonise the economy.

It stated: “The overall objective of the National Action Plan is to advance the development of renewable energies in Nigeria. Thus, this National Renewable Energy Action Plan provides details on the sets of measures and plans that would enable Nigeria to meet its 2020 and 2030 targets.

But it is important to go a lot further. The Government will also seek to secure the country’s energy supplies through 2030 and beyond and provide a sound framework for businesses to develop in the new industries, providing jobs and cutting harmful greenhouse gases.

“The Nigerian Energy Roadmap, and the new National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy sets out a range of pathways to ensure that Nigeria goes as far as possible in exploiting its renewable energy resources”.

It added that the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency will be strengthened to review the renewable energy target and provide advice on increasing the level of ambition.

The report disclosed that the Federal Government will also commit to making an Annual Energy Statement to the Federal Executive Council to set strategic energy policy and guide investment in all forms of energy including renewables.

At the global level, the improvement in investment was achieved despite exchange rate shifts that depressed the dollar value of investments in other currency zones, and despite sharp falls in oil, coal and gas prices that protected the competitive position of fossil fuel generation.

The global renewable report disclosed that global investment in renewable power capacity, at $265.8 billion, was more than double allocations to new coal and gas generation, which was an estimated $130 billion in 2015.

However, it said that the huge weight of conventional generation capacity already built meant that new, clean technologies only accounted for just over 10 per cent of world electricity last year.

It noted that developing economies jumped ahead of developed countries for the first time in 2015 in terms of total new renewable energy investment.

The report stated: “The share of global investment accounted for by developing countries rose from 49 per cent in 2014 to 55 per cent in 2015, with the dollar commitment at $155.9 billion, up from $131.5 billion the previous year. Developed economies invested $130.1 billion, compared to $141.6 billion in 2014.

Within the developing-economy category, the “big three” of China, India and Brazil saw investment rise 16 per cent to $120.2 billion, while “other developing” economies enjoyed a 30 per cent bounce to $36.1 billion.

China was by far the largest investing country for renewables excluding large hydro.  Its $102.9 billion for 2015, up 17 per cent, represents well over a third of the global total. The US was a distant second, with $44.1 billion, up 19 per cent.

Japan was a clear third in the ranks of investing nations, its $36.2 billion, level with 2014, followed at a distance by the UK with $22.2 billion, up 25 per cent, and India on $10.2 billion, up 22 per cent. Germany recorded $8.5 billion, down by 46 per cent, and Brazil $7.1 billion, down by 10 per cent.

Three “new markets” completed the top 10 investors – South Africa up by 309 per cent to $4.5 billion, as its auction programme crystallized into financed projects; Mexico doubling to $4 billion, and Chile rising by 143 per cent to $3.4 billion.”

Commenting on the report, Secretary-General, United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said reducing the risks of climate change requires urgent action now.  He added that the Paris Agreement, universally adopted in December 2015 by all Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, finally provides the policy signals the private sector has asked for to help accelerate the low-carbon transformation of the global economy.

“We have entered a new era of clean energy growth that can fuel a future of opportunity and greater prosperity for every person on the planet. Governments, businesses and investors around the world are realizing that the progression to low-emission, climate-resilient growth is inevitable, beneficial and already under way. In 2015, significant strides were made in the financing of renewable energy technologies.

“Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016 increases our confidence that a low-carbon world is attainable and that we are on the right path to reach our objectives, including those under the Sustainable Development Goals”, it added.

Source: The Guardian

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