Sustainable Energy

Cost, not climate, is driving transition to renewables: BlackRock's Jim Barry

BlackRock: We have almost $5 billion invested in renewables
BlackRock: We have almost $5 billion invested in renewables

BlackRock has almost $5 billion invested in renewables, the global head of BlackRock Infrastructure Investment Group told CNBC on Friday.

"As I look at infrastructure, I'm looking for where the structural shifts (are) underway, and there's a massive structural shift underway in the power generation system," Jim Barry said.

"To give you a sense of the scale, renewable deployment has gone from less than $20 billion a year 10 years ago to $300 billion a year. It's almost 30 percent of the global addressable market in infrastructure. This is no longer niche, it's fundamental to any infrastructure allocation."

Barry offered an insight into why this shift was taking place. "What's driving it now, is not that people want to be green, it's not about climate – it's cost," he said.

"The transformation that's underway, it's fundamentally being driven by economics now," he added.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) describes renewable energy as being at the center of the transition to a "less carbon-intensive and more sustainable energy system." Renewables, the IEA states, have "grown rapidly" over the last few years, with sharp cost reductions in both solar photovoltaics and wind power.