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Clean energy “investments” just a tiny $243 Billion in 2010

Click on the image to go to a fully interactive infographic where you can find out just how much money people have buried,  I mean, invested in clean energy in your country. It’s nifty.

Have you ever thought about how lucky we are that only kind-hearted helpful souls are involved in the erstwhile cottage industry known as “renewable energy”?

Imagine if a less-than-scrupulous agent got into these green-fields of money, and frolicked in the vast acreage of subsidies, schemes, and easy loans? Where would we be? The public would think the people and the industry were here to save us, the industry could prod levers of government to encourage more subsidies and pro-renewable energy legislation. The “cottage” industry could also pay for and help write reports that the government then used in order to convince the people to put more of their goods and chattels in the public-trough. In variations on the circular theme, the industry could apply for grants from the government to help pay for the reports it wrote for the government to help it earn even more subsidies, or to cripple it’s competitors. (eg. See here).

Thus deadly positive feedback would spiral out of control.

Then imagine it wasn’t just less-then-scrupulous renewable energy fans, but if money-hungry-profiteers from large well financed houses were set loose in a global trough?

Ponder that it doesn’t take a less-than-scrupulous operator to fund an army of full time emissaries-of-green as PR agents and lobbyists. Any honest businessman would do it, and no one would fault that. It’s just advertising and networking.

Even a small percentage of $243 billion worldwide buys quite a lot of lobbying. It’s time the world woke up and realized that renewables are no longer a small time struggling industry. They might not produce more than a tiny percentage of the goods and services, but they’re a large multinational conglomerate force.

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Low-Carbon Energy Investment Hit a Record $243 Billion in 2010, BNEF* Says

China Led All G-20 Members Receiving a Record $54.4 billion

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Global clean energy finance and investment grew significantly in 2010 to $243 billion, a 30 percent increase from the previous year. China, Germany, Italy and India were among the nations that most successfully attracted private investments, according to new research released by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

China continued to solidify its position as the world’s clean energy powerhouse. Its record $54.4 billion in investments in 2010 represents a 39 percent increase from 2009. Germany was second in the G-20, up from third last year, after experiencing a 100 percent increase in investment to $41.2 billion.

The only good news here is that The US and UK are headed down the rankings of the hall-of-renewable-fame as the slowdown of helpful legislation turns off investors. But China attracted a huge slab of “investment”. That doesn’t make China green, it just means — like everything else — the worlds manufacturing base for those gadgets is in the Far East.

From Pew Charitable Trusts

Italy attracted $13.9 billion in clean energy financing last year, improving its global standing to fourth, from eighth in 2009. Italy is the first country to achieve grid parity, or cost-competitiveness, for solar energy. For the first time, India joined the top 10 ranking, attracting $4 billion, a 25 percent increase.

Wind power continued to be the favored technology for investors at $95 billion. However, the solar sector experienced significant growth in 2010, with investments growing 53 percent to a record $79 billion and more than 17 gigawatts of new generating capacity globally. Germany accounted for 45 percent of global solar investments.

This is one area where the Americas can be glad to be a distant third…

  • * Regionally, Europe remained the leading recipient, attracting $94.4 billion, led by Germany ($41.2 billion) and Italy ($13.9 billion).
  • The Asia/Oceania region, led by China, continued its sharp rise, attracting $82.8 billion, a 33 percent increase over the previous year.
  • The Americas also saw investment grow 35 percent, but as a region it remains a distant third, attracting $65.8 billion.
  • Investments in small-scale, residential solar grew by 100 percent to $56.4 billion in the G-20. Germany accounts for nearly half the total, followed by Japan, France, Italy and the United States.

I don’t know why, I sense a bust could be on the way…

In less than a decade, clean energy has grown from a small, niche industry to a significant source of trade, investment, manufacturing and job creation. “The clean energy sector is emerging as one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world, witnessing 630 percent growth in finance and investments since 2004,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director, Pew Clean Energy Program. “In 2010, worldwide finance and investment grew 30 percent to a record $243 billion.” [link]

The entire report, including country profiles, and too-clever-by-half interactive graphics www.PewEnvironment.org/CleanEnergy.

BNEF = Bloomberg New Energy Finance

ht Linda M

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