Investment in renewables falls by 20 per cent in 2009

| 10th November 2009
Offshore wind turbines
UK capacity for offshore wind farms could provide 33GW of energy - enough to power every home in the country

Investment in the renewable energy sector has fallen over the past year

Governments would need to pump upwards of $10 trillion into energy sector to limit greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to safe levels

The renewable power sector has been hit by a significant fall in investment over the past year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Energy companies around the world have been cutting back on project spending as a result of falling energy demand faltering cash flows because of the global financial crisis.

However, renewables-based power generation has suffered far worse than any other sector, with investment expected to fall by almost one-fifth.

In its World Energy Outlook 2009, the IEA said that without the stimulus provided by government fiscal packages, investment would have fallen by almost 30 per cent. 

'Falling energy investment will have far-reaching and, depending on how governments respond, potentially serious effects on energy security, climate change and energy poverty.

'Weaker fossil-fuel prices are also undermining the attractiveness of investments in clean energy technology,' said the report.

Trillions needed

The IEA said falling energy investment in all sectors would have 'potentially serious effects' on energy security, climate change and energy poverty.

It estimated that $1.1 trillion would now need to be invested every year until 2030 to meet the projected growth in energy demands.

But an additional $10.5 trillion would be needed by the energy sector over the same period (2010-2030) to limit greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to around 450 ppm of CO2 and keep potential temperature rises within 2 degrees.

Useful links

IEA world outlook 2009

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