Renewable Energy Markets and Investments

Over the last two decades many analysts have projected that nuclear power will be the main source of power generation in an effort to find more efficient and cleaner (in terms of CO2 emissions) sources of energy. However, the recent nuclear disaster in Japan forced many countries to change their plans and turn to renewable energy sources as the only way to meet their goals.

According to Bloomberg the global investments in renewable energy projects for 2010 were $195bn and are expected to reach $395bn by year 2020 and $460bn by year 2030. This corresponds to $7tr of new investments in 20 years. In this projection we note a 103% increase in investments in the first decade and a 16% increase during the second decade. The aggressive investment plan for the first decade is due to the urge of the countries to meet their 2020 targets (particularly in Europe).

Most of these investments will be more or less equally spent to solar energy and wind energy sources. According to Bloomberg, these two sources of energy attracted 157bn out of the $195bn of 2010 (81% of total investments). They are expected to attract $290bn out of the $395bn of year 2020 (73% of total investment) and $332bn out of the $460bn of year 2030 (72% of total investment).

The main driving force for the big investments in renewable energy technologies is the goal of the major countries to cover a big percentage of their power production for the next 10-20 years from renewable sources. Europe has the most aggressive roadmap with a target to generate 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. US government is also pushing for renewable energy technologies with a plan to install 300GW capacity from wind power by 2030 in order to generate 20% of the country’s needs from Wind Energy. Moreover, China has a steady plan for renewable energy with a target to reach 15% of its installed capacity by 2020 and 30% by 2030.

Besides the need to invest in clean energy sources in order to mitigate climate change effects, another reason for the increase in the investments in renewable energy sources, is the continuous declining prices of renewable energy technologies in conjunction with the advancements in the renewable energy technologies that constitute power generation from renewable sources more efficient and more profitable.

So it is more than just apparent that investing in renewable energy sources will continue in an effort not only to invest in more profitable sources of energy but most importantly to create a better future for both the environment and the economy. This key combination of profitability with renewable energy production is exactly what investors were waiting for in order to invest in renewable energy sources. Hence now there are no more excuses and no need to wait any longer.