Stockholm (NordSIP) – Investments in solar energy amounted to $160 million in 2017, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The figure represents an increase of 18 per cent over the previous year and the installation of 98 gigawatts of solar power globally, apparently surpassing the installation of fossil fuel and nuclear power technology for the year.
China was a driving force behind the boom, Izabella Rosengren of aktuelhallbarhet.se reports. The country installed 53 gigawatts of solar power worth $86 million last year. The UNEP estimates that the rise in popularity of solar energy is due to reduced installation costs.
2017 was the eighth consecutive year global investments in renewable energy more generally exceeded $200 million, according to Rosengren. China has the highest investment rate, but Sweden (which has increased investment by 127 per cent), Australia and Mexico have also contributed.
Investments in the United States last year fell by 6 per cent, by contrast, which paled in comparison with the UK, where investments fell by 65 per cent, and Germany, with its flailing EnergieWende policy, whose solar investments decreased by 35 per cent.
“Investments show we are moving in the right direction but the fact that renewable energy is still a minority issue suggests we still have a long way to go,” said Nils Stieglitz, chairman of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, which developed the annual statistics together with the UNEP.
Image: (c) Giant photovoltaic array