The success of Europe’s investment in renewable energy

The success of Europe’s investment in renewable energy

Europe has spearheaded the drive to change from a system of power stations burning fossil fuels to one in which a significant proportion of electricy comes from non-polluting sources. Chart the spending on renewables in Europe and the bloc’s emissions, and a pattern is clear.

Investment in renewables soared between 2005 and 2011, and emissions mostly fell.

 

Europe-renewables-investment-vs-emissions

 

Renewable energy investment has played a big role in reducing emissions,” Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, a network organization for investment firms, tells Quartz. She also noted that while investment did fall after the global financial crisis, improvements in technology and the falling cost of renewables mean that “we are getting more renewable energy per pound or euro invested.”

It hasn’t been easy. Europe as a whole, and the individual countries within it, have come in for massive, ongoing criticism. Many believe renewables are too expensive and can never deliver return on investment, either through money returned or energy produced. Critics point to the fact that wind power is intermittent, and that countries with as little sun as Finland, the UK, and Germany are spending like crazy on solar.

The EU is no longer the world’s foremost market for renewable investment. China overtook it last year.

 

Source: Quartz

Date: August 2015

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