根據聯合國環境署（UN Environment）、法蘭克福財經管理大學聯合國環境計畫署合作中心（Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre）和彭博新能源財經（Bloomberg New Energy Finance，BNEF）合作發表的「全球再生能源投資趨勢」年度報告，2016年風力、太陽能、生質和垃圾焚化發電、地熱、小型水力和海洋發電共增加138.5GW發電量，等於全世界前16大發電廠的發電總和，比前一年（2015年）多8%。
國際能源局（International Energy Agency）的資料顯示，溫室氣體排放量2014至2016連續三年持平，同時全球經濟成長3.1%，其中一個原因是再生能源發展。
The world added record levels of renewable energy generating capacity in 2016, at an investment level 23 percent lower than the previous year, finds new research reported in the latest issue of “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment.”
Wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro and marine sources of power added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016, up eight percent from the year before.
The added generating capacity roughly equals that of the world’s 16 largest existing power producing facilities combined, according to the report issued Thursday by three institutions – UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, BNEF.
Investment levels in renewables fell in 2016. Less investment was needed due to falling costs.
The report shows that the average dollar capital expenditure per megawatt for solar photovoltaics and wind dropped by more than 10 percent compared to the previous year.
Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuel generation, the report shows.
The new generating capacity from renewables was equivalent to 55 percent of all new power brought online in 2016, the highest proportion to date.
The proportion of the world’s electricity coming from renewables, excluding large hydro, rose from 10.3 percent to 11.3 percent. The report indicates that this prevented the emission of an estimated 1.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide.
Recent figures from the International Energy Agency cited the switch to renewables as one of the main reasons for greenhouse gas emissions staying flat in 2016, for the third year running, while output in the global economy rose by 3.1 percent.
The total investment in renewables last year was $241.6 billion due in large part to falling costs.
Purchases of assets such as wind farms and solar parks reached a new high, $72.7 billion.
Solar capacity additions rose last year, while wind capacity additions fell.
New investment in solar totalled $113.7 billion, down 34 percent from the record high in 2015. Even so, solar capacity additions in 2016 rose to an all-time high of 75 gigawatts.
Wind made up $112.5 billion of investment globally, down nine percent; wind capacity additions fell to 54 gigawatts from the previous year’s high of 63 gigawatts.
While much of the drop in financing was due to reduced technology costs, the report documented a slowdown in China, Japan and some emerging markets, for a variety of reasons.
China saw investment drop 32 percent to $78.3 billion, breaking an 11-year rising trend.
Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, South Africa and Morocco all saw falls of 60 percent or more, due to slower than expected growth in electricity demand, and delays to auctions and financings.
Japan slumped 56 percent to $14.4 billion.
Jordan was one of the few new markets to buck the trend; investment there rising 148 percent to $1.2 billion.
The United States saw commitments slip 10 percent to $46.4 billion, as developers took their time to build out projects to benefit from the five-year extension of the tax credit system.
“The question always used to be ‘will renewables ever be grid competitive?'” said Michael Liebreich, chairman of the Advisory Board at BNEF.
“Well, after the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years, unsubsidized wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world,” he said, “sometimes by a factor of two.”
“Instead of having to subsidize renewables, now authorities may have to subsidize natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability.”