Total Global Investment in Wind, Solar & CCS: 2006 to 2015

 

In 2015 total global wind and solar investment passed US$2-trillion ($2,023,400,000,000!).  To most people that's just a big number with lots of zeros. So it may make more sense to say it represents about $285 for every person on the planet. That might not sound like a lot - but consider that about 30 percent of the World's population lives on less than $3 per day.

 

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance via The Frankfurt School FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre 'Global Trends in Energy Investment 2015', Global Wind Energy Council, US EIA 2014 & 2015 Levelised Cost of Electricity, Global CCS Institute, US DOE Wind Technologies Market Report (multiple years), the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015, Clean Energy Canada 'Tracking the Energy Revolution - Global 2016'. MIT Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies 'Large Scale Power Plant CCS Projects Worldwide'. (as @ Mar-2016)

 

The sharp-eyed (because it is very small) will also notice the red bar which appears in 2014 (when the world's first Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) unit, attached to a power station, was opened. That event took place right here in Saskatchewan at SaskPower's Boundary Dam coal-fired power station in Estevan. No other power station CCS units were opened anywhere in the World either in 2014 or 2015.

We included power station CCS investment to show the scale of investment into that technology versus the amount of capital which is currently going to wind energy and solar power.  The numbers speak for themselves: at the end of 2015, of total global capital investment in wind, solar and power-station CCS ($2.025-trillion), 52.7 percent went into solar, 47.3 percent into wind and 0.07 percent into CCS.

 
 

 

Global Investment in Wind: 2006 to 2015

 

This chart seeks to give an idea of the economic scale of the global wind industry by showing the total investment in installed wind capacity since 2006.

 

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance via The Frankfurt School FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre 'Global Trends in Energy Investment 2015', Global Wind Energy Council, US EIA 2014 & 2015 Levelised Cost of Electricity, US DOE Wind Technologies Market Report (multiple years), the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015, Clean Energy Canada 'Tracking the Energy Revolution - Global 2016'.

 

The total installed capacity is relatively simple to ascertain and is sourced from annual statistics provided by the Global Wind Energy Council. Total capital invested, for 2004 to 2014, is from  BloombergNEF via various sources.

And to put the total global wind energy investment to date ($957-billion) in context: the International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that a total of $550-billion must be invested annually in renewables in order to restrict the global temperature increase to 2°C. According to BloombergNEF a total of $367-billion was invested in renewables in 2015: in other words - we're getting there but still have a way to go.