China the world leader in renewables; wind most mature renewable energy: UN report

In 2010 China was the world leader in investment in renewable energy technology according to the UN’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011.

Globally investment was up almost one third in 2010 over 2009, at a record US$211 billion, and for the first time developing economies put more into “financial new investment” than developed ones. Global increase was in large part due to small-scale solar power systems on rooftops in Europe, and wind farms in China.

The increase in small scale-solar panel installations is due partly to the decrease in costs – the price of PV modules per megawatt has fallen 60% since mid-2008 – and partly due to the many generous feed-in tariff programmes which were operating in 2010. While many of these have now been reduced or done away with, the report points to continuing strength in the small-scale solar sector.

Meanwhile wind turbine prices have fallen 18% per megawatt in the last two years, and there are further drops in wind, solar and other renewable energy technologies to come, according to the report.

See the United Nations Environment Programme website for more information on the report.

Wind turbines expanding along a ridge in Galicia, Spain

Wind turbines in Galicia, Spain, Photo Credit: Luis Alves