An "extraordinary" year for renewable energy saw new investment in renewable power and fuels hit $286 billion in 2015 and an estimated 147 gigawatts added to renewable power generating capacity, according to a new study from the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).
In addition the study, Renewables 2016 Global Status Report, found that the use of renewables expanded in the transport sector. China also appears to be emerging as a big player in renewables, accounting for a third of the $286 billion spend.
REN21 also added that if spending on hydropower projects bigger than 50 megawatts is included, then new investments in renewable power and fuels – excluding renewable heating and cooling – hit $328.9 billion in 2015.
"What is truly remarkable about these results is that they were achieved at a time when fossil fuel prices were at historic lows, and renewables remained at a significant disadvantage in terms of government subsidies," Christine Lins, executive secretary of REN21, said in a statement.