• 10 hours Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 14 hours Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 16 hours South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 19 hours Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 20 hours Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 21 hours Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 23 hours ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 3 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 4 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 4 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 4 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 4 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 4 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 4 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 4 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 4 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 5 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 5 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 5 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 5 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 5 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 5 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 5 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 6 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 6 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 6 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 6 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 6 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 6 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 7 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 7 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 7 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 7 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 7 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 7 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 7 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 7 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 8 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 8 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 8 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects

Breaking News:

Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High

Clean Energy Investments Reduce Prices, Increase Policy Initiatives

Clean Energy Investments Reduce Prices, Increase Policy Initiatives

Global rankings place the United States in the top spot for investment in clean energy in 2011, with over $48 billion in energy sector investments, including solar, biofuels and wind energy, up from $34 billion the year before.

The US now has a total installed renewable energy capacity of 93 GW, which includes the addition of 6.7 gigawatts (GW) of wind and more than 1 GW of solar energy – the equivalent necessary to power over 800,000 homes. 

China, which was bumped to second place, saw investment in clean energy increase by $0.5 billion since 2010, for a total of $45.5 billion in 2011, according to the Who is Winning the Clean Energy Race report. 

From a global perspective, total investments in the clean energy sector reached $263 billion, a 6.5% increase from 2010. Over half of that investment, $137 billion, went to solar energy, with investment in wind energy at $75 billion.

The report also applauds the fact that the installation of clean energy generation capacity has now outstripped nuclear capacity installation by 47%.

The rise in global investments in clean energy have three important implications that put the numbers into a broader perspective. First, the increasing level of investment in the clean energy sector is driving prices down; second, the momentum is driving policy intervention in a positive way; and third, it creates more jobs.

According to the Climate Institute, solar PV panel prices have fallen by 75 percent over the last five years. Likewise, the cost of wind energy has fallen by over 50 percent for onshore generation and over 75 percent for offshore generation since 1985. According to Thinkprogress.org, “Clean Edge” projects in 13 US states could drive solar PV prices down in less than a decade to make the cost-competitive at the residential level, without subsidies.

Energy security, energy independence, and environmental concerns are driving global investments in clean energy. Subsidies for renewable energy have amounted to $66 billion.

Still, this compares to billions more in subsidies for fossil fuels. 

Job creation has also been a positive effect of the increase in clean energy investment.

According to the Climate Institute, globally, the renewable energy industry now employs up to 3 million people and could employ as many as 30 million by 2030. In fact, some recent independent studies show that investments in the clean energy sector create three times the jobs created by the same investments in the fossil fuel sector. 

Will the US be able to maintain this pace of progress? In order to do that, policymakers will have to work hard to keep the momentum.  Treasury grants and loan guarantee programs managed by the Department of Energy will expire at the end of 2012, along with important alternative fuel production tax credits.

The US Treasury renewable energy subsidy created some 75,000 jobs and as much as $44 billion in economic output, but it expired at the end of 2011, and Congress balked at its renewal. The $9 billion subsidy funded 23,000 solar and wind energy projects and generated a total of $30 billion in investments from private, regional, state and federal actors.

And the Who’s who in clean energy report, notes that the US is at risk of losing its top ranking to China next year as it fosters a “boom and bust” approach to renewable energy.

Experts note that the sudden increase in US investment in clean energy in 2011 was a result of investor panic as they struggle to finish up projects before subsidy incentives expired.

By Jen Alic of Oilprice.com

Jen Alic is a geopolitical analyst, co-founder of ISA Intel in Sarajevo and Tel Aviv, and the former editor-in-chief of ISN Security Watch in Zurich.




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News