A report released by an American organisation, Pew Charitable Trust has projected that on a business-as-usual basis, $1.7 trillion would be invested globally in renewable technologies such as solar, wind, biomass and other low-carbon forms of electricity generation over the next decade. However, this would still be $546 billion short if the G-20 governments do not adopt more aggressive policies toward climate change.
The report, titled Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity, models three scenarios over the span of the next decade: A continuation of the status quo, the adoption of Copenhagen policies, and more enhanced clean energy policies. The highlight of the document is the claim that the UK will strengthen its position as an investor in green technology globally, increasing its spending by 260 per cent over the next decade. However, it will still fall short of India, which will nudge ahead into third place by 2020, behind China and the US.
Asian countries – particularly China and India – are expected to pour investment into clean energy regardless of what policies are adopted. Under the ‘enhanced policy scenario’, China, which last year became the world’s biggest investor in clean energy, is expected to triple spending over the next decade to over $ 90 bn per year by 2020, with more than half going on wind power. Chinese spending is forecast to be almost twice that of the second biggest spender, the US. Mature markets such as Germany, where renewables have enjoyed significant investment for some time, are expected to see investment levels decline over the decade.