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Clean Energy Investments Achieve $1 Trillion Milestone

Solar power plant – Spain

While many have expressed disappointment with the lack of international commitment to greenhouse gas reductions, a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance on clean energy investments gives reason to be optimistic.

According to Bloomberg NEF, total clean energy investments have achieved the $1 Trillion milestone since the group began keeping records in 2004. Although pinpointing the exact $1 trillionth dollar investment remains elusive (much like determining who the 7 billionth person born on Earth was), Bloomberg suggests it could have been Rhodia Energy, China Huadian Corporation, Mexico’s Marena Renovables Capital, German biodiesel maker Petrotec, or Fisker Automotive.

Back in 2004, clean energy investments totalled $52 billion. But since then, the annual growth rate has been a whopping 29%, with clean energy investments in 2011 topping off at $243 billion. Even more surprising is that these gains have been made alongside a shaky international economy and the high profile bankruptcy of US based Solyndra.

And Bloomberg does not see these investments in clean energy and energy efficiency subsiding anytime soon. As the capital costs associated with renewable energy continue to fall, 2012 could see some record-setting investment numbers as well.

Given the recent clean energy investment numbers, Bloomberg New Energy Finance chief executive Michael Liebreich says:

“It should serve as a message to the UN and all those in Durban to stop obsessing about a binding deal to cap carbon emissions, and to think much harder about how to speed up investment in the solutions. Another five years of investment growth at the same compound rates, and the world will have broken the back of emissions growth.”

Do you agree with Liebreich? Given the continued investments in clean energy, do you think the world can effectively curb greenhouse gas emissions without an international agreement?

Image CC licensed by alex lang: 11 megawatt solar power plant, Spain

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