Clean Power Sector Could Attract $2.3 Trillion By 2020

Private investments in clean power projects in G-20 countries could total $2.3 trillion by the end of the decade, according to a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Massive energy demand and strong clean energy policies will drive investment to Asia.

However, by adopting such policies, every G-20 member has the opportunity to attract more private investment in clean power projects and compete more effectively for business in this emerging global industry, the report says.

The report examined projected private investment in solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, geothermal and marine energy projects. The underlying data for this report were compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The report modeled three policy scenarios to determine future growth through 2020: business-as-usual (no change from current policies); Copenhagen (policies to implement the pledges made at the 2009 international climate negotiations in Copenhagen); and enhanced clean energy (maximized policies designed to stimulate increased investment and capacity additions).

The report found that G-20 members have the potential to gain an additional $546 billion in clean power project investments over the next decade compared to business-as-usual. Under the enhanced clean energy scenario, the projected $2.3 trillion investment in clean power projects would be equivalent to adding the entire gross domestic product of the U.K. to the global economy.

Over that same time span, total renewable energy capacity additions in the G-20 are projected to reach 1,180 GW – almost four times the amount of renewable energy capacity that exists today, the report adds.

Asia became the top regional destination for clean power finance this year, with China and India leading the way due to strong clean energy policies. By 2020, China, India, Japan and South Korea will account for approximately 40% of global clean power project investments.

Under all three scenarios, China maintains its global leadership position and has the potential to attract cumulative clean energy asset investments of $620 billion over the next decade. Due to its clean energy policies, India rockets up to third place by 2020 under all scenarios after being ranked 10th in 2009. India could realize a 763% increase in investment under the enhanced scenario, the largest of all G-20 members.

Europe was an early leader in the global clean energy economy, thanks to strong clean energy policies and targets. The report found investment in clean power projects in the European Union could total $705 billion over the next decade under the enhanced clean energy scenario. The U.K. and Germany – traditional clean energy powers in Europe -rank in the top five globally of attracted clean power project investments under all three scenarios.

The report also found that the U.S. is among those countries with the most to gain from passing strong clean energy policies. For example, the U.S. has the potential to attract $342 billion in clean power project investments over the next 10 years under the enhanced clean energy scenario. That would represent an additional $97 billion compared to attracted investment under business-as-usual, a 40% increase in investment. Only India and the U.K. have the potential to increase investments at a higher rate.Â

The full report is available here.

SOURCE: The Pew Charitable Trusts

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