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Who will win the green energy revolution.

Date: 2011-08-17

After more than a year worrying new energy such as nuclear accidents, oil spills and rising gas prices may be startling to learn that installed renewables capacity in the world now exceeds that of nuclear power. Global investment in clean energy, driven by intelligent, future-oriented national policies, reached a record 243 billion dollars in 2010, up 30 percent over the previous year.

Indeed, in less than a decade, the green energy industry grew from niche to a significant source of trade, investment, production and job creation. Since 2004, annual investment in the sector grew by an impressive 630 percent. You should make sure that this encouraging trend to continue.

The development of green energy is a reflection of prudent policies of the world's largest economies in the areas of scientific development, finance and tariff incentives. These measures are still pale in comparison to supporting conventional fossil fuels will continue to decrease in parallel with the realization of economies of scale and falling prices. Not far from the time when green energy can compete with coal, oil and gas.

In many places, wind energy prices are already competitive in recent years it has attracted almost half (48%) of all renewable energy investments in countries of the G-20. This led to the emergence of new 40 gigawatts of installed capacity, enough to cover the needs of 30 million households.

Fastest growing renewable energy sector is solar energy. Its growth is due mainly to declining prices for solar panels with over 60% in the last 30 months. By the end of this year is expected to cost photovoltaic modules as half in 2007. In 2010, investments in solar power plants were a total of 79 billion dollars, and added 17 gigawatts of capacity sufficient to feed a current 12.5 million households.

Recent studies of charitable trust "Pew" and "New Energy Finance Bloomberg" showed that geographical Europe continues to be a leader in renewable energy investments. In 2010, it has attracted a total of 94.4 billion dollars, which is 25% more results than the previous year. Investment in Germany increased more than twice the country surpass the U.S. to order the second worldwide.

Italy has reached the fourth position (in 2009 it was only the eighth), attracting investments of 14 billion dollars. France is arranged in the top ten after the annual renewable energy investments in the country rose 25 percent to 4 billion. At the same time investments in Spain have fallen by half, but with 4.8 billion dollars the country remains among the top ten.

Studies also show that by successive policies in Europe remains well positioned to compete in the green energy sector. Investors want to make sure that the demand for renewable energy will be saved. EU offers them that their security through clear targets for renewable energy through carbon markets, and ensure over time the preferential feed-in tariffs.

Example of the effect of these European policies is an explosion of small, decentralized installations for solar energy. Investments in such projects in 2010 have doubled. Globally, they have reached 59.6 billion dollars, mostly in Europe and in Germany alone have poured more than half.

The example of Germany also demonstrated that good policies green energy can trigger not only the investment at the national level, but production and export opportunities. Last fall, the German environment ministry said the number of jobs in the renewables sector has doubled compared to 2004 and reached 340,000, thanks to investments in the country in education, research and innovation.

Following the high prices of conventional energy and abundant sunshine Italy became the first country achieved parity network (ie price competition) in solar energy. In 2010 64% of its renewable energy investments are focused on small solar projects. Against this background it is remarkable that the Italian manufacturers of solar panels almost completely failed in gaining positions in the booming sector.

At the same time the global leadership of Europe in the field of clean energy is already threatened by Asia, where private investment, stimulated mostly by a powerful impetus to China, growing faster. At the national level in the first place is China with its investment attracted 54.4 billion dollars in 2010 just a few years the country has become a leading destination for private investment in renewable energy production equipment.

In 2010, China put into operation vertiginous 17 gigawatts wind power currently produces half of the equipment for wind and solar power plants in the world, partly to deal with the achievement of their own ambitious targets for green energy. By 2020 the country has committed to install 150 gigawatts of wind power and 20 gigawatts of solar capacity. China already took the U.S. world leadership in renewable energy capacity installed amount.

But not only the progress of China's move Asia to top global position. India is also among the 10 countries with the largest renewable energy investments in 2010 She is also in tenth place in world growth in installed renewable capacity in the last 5 years. Objectives it has set for 20 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2020 could lead to a rapid increase in renewable energy investments in the country.

The events of the past 15 months as oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, violence in North Africa and the tragedy in Japan put the world with a difficult choice. On the one hand, risks and costs of traditional energy sources, on the other - the prospects for progress offered by green energy.

In recent decades Europe has been the driving force for modernization in the energy sector. Over the next few years, this leadership will be needed to help capture the benefits of renewable energy for economic, environmental and security.

If confirmed its commitment to rapid transition to low carbon energy and continue to develop creative policies to achieve them, Europe can continue to collect the fruits of one of the most significant market opportunities that humanity remembered.

Countries with the largest renewable energy investments in 2010

2010 2009
- China 54.4 39.1
- Germany 41.2 20.6
- U.S. 34 22.5
- Italy 13.9 6.2
-Other EU countries 13.4 13.3
- Brazil 7.6 7.7
- Canada 5.6 3.5
- Spain 4.9 10.5
- France 4 3.2
- India 4 3.2

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