Clean Energy Investment May Double to $395 Billion by 2020

Investment in renewable power generation may double to $395 billion a year by 2020, led by growth in offshore wind and solar energy projects, Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast.

The total may rise further to $460 billion a year in real terms by 2030 from $195 billion last year, according to the research unit of Bloomberg LP. The investments would boost clean energy as a portion of total world generation capacity to 15.7 percent within 20 years from 12.6 percent last year.

The findings suggest wind, solar and biofuel industries will continue quick growth through stumbling economic growth and a lack of commitment from the U.S. and China to restrain pollution blamed for global warming.

“Last year’s record renewable energy investment was no one-off despite the recent economic gloom,” Guy Turner, director of commodity market research at London-based New Energy Finance, said in a statement today.

In 2014, China will likely take the lead over Europe in terms of money spent on clean energy projects, with annual outlays of almost $50 billion. The U.S. and Canada together will reach the same amount by 2020. The most rapid spending growth, ranging from 10 percent to 18 percent, will come in India, the Middle East and Africa, the report said.

“Big winners over the next 20 years will be the emerging renewable energy hubs in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa - by 2020 the markets outside of the European Union, U.S., Canada and China will account for 50 percent of global annual investment in renewable energy capacity,” Turner said.

Offshore wind investment will grow fastest in terms of technologies, reaching $140 billion in 2020 compared with $82 billion last year. Solar installations will reach 1,137 gigawatts by 2030, compared with 51 gigawatts last year.

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