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Investment In Clean Energy Shifting To Developing Nations, Pew

A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts has shown that investment in and deployment of clean and renewable energies is shifting towards developing nations.

The report, Power Shifts—Emerging Clean Energy Marketsshows that investment and deployment of electricity infrastructure is shifting from the industrialized economies of the Northern Hemisphere towards the developing economies collectively known as “the global south.” On top of this, there is a similar shift away from fossil fuel energy development towards development in clean energy technology.

Tracking clean energy investment, finance, and deployment trends in the world’s leading economies since 2009, the report shows that during this span, “a global recession, broad changes in energy markets, and uncertainty surrounding international policies on renewables and climate change have buffeted the industry.” Nevertheless, the authors of the report note that “despite these challenges, the clean energy sector is now a $300 billion fixture of the world economy.”

“Developing countries are prioritizing solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources in order to reduce energy poverty, power economic progress, enhance national security by reducing imports, and protect the environment,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew’s clean energy initiative.

Research done by The Pew Charitable Trusts finds that “clean energy investment in developing countries has grown in real and relative terms.” The analysis also identifies the top 10 most attractive emerging markets for clean energy: “Thailand was the leader, attracting $5.6 billion over the five-year period. Bulgaria and Ukraine accounted for almost $8 billion, garnering $4.6 billion and $3.3 billion, respectively. Kenya was fourth with $2.6 billion, and Peru was fifth with $2.2 billion. Taiwan, Morocco, Vietnam, Pakistan, and the Philippines rounded out the top 10.”


According to Pew, “all of the top 10 countries invested in wind power from 2009 to 2013, with Pakistan ($1.6 billion), Bulgaria ($1.4 billion), and Ukraine ($1.2 billion) accounting for the greatest investments. Eight of the 10 countries installed wind energy (1.8 gigawatts total in the 10 countries) and six nations installed solar (3 GW total in the 10 countries).”


Other key findings include:

  • Small hydropower capacity grew by 649 megawatts across seven countries, with Vietnam bringing in $1.2 billion of the nearly $2.1 billion invested in this sector.
  • Led by Thailand, the 10 countries added 481 MW of biomass production.
  • Kenya accounted for nearly all of the additional geothermal plants.

“A clear take-away from our research is that emerging markets have the potential to be important export opportunities for clean energy technologies from the United States,” Cuttino said. “With demand growing in coming years and decades, the United States should enhance its clean energy competitiveness and seize this new trade potential. Consistent policy prioritizing the innovation and deployment of renewables is essential.”

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