Global Green Energy Investments Hit $3 Trillion

A geothermal power plant in Kenya's Olkaria steam fields.

The world has shelled out $3 trillion towards developing renewable energy projects over the past 10 years.

In return, the green energy sector has spun 11 million jobs across the world.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which compiled the data, now says that the investment figure must double by 2030 for humankind to have a sustainable future as the dangers of climate change loom large.

“The world has invested $3 trillion in renewables over the last 10 years, but annual investments must double by 2030 for a sustainable future,” IRENA says in its update.

At $3trillion, the value of global green energy investments matches Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), comprising 54 countries and 1.3 billion people.

Even then, Africa accounts for a paltry 1.9 percent of the global share of developed renewable energy capacity. China alone accounts for 30 percent of the global share, putting its stock of green energy well ahead of other nations, followed distantly by the US while Germany is third.

Growing populations and economic growth have seen a pick-up in global energy demand, with green sources increasingly being preferred in the age of climate change and global warming.

“Renewable energy has advanced from the margins to the centre ground of global energy and development policy. This mainstreaming has made renewables the world’s primary source of new power capacity, outpacing all other forms of new generation put together for the last seven years,” IRENA says.

“Yet the deployment of renewables must accelerate considerably to meet development goals in the new decade. Universal energy access, sustainable economic growth and gender equality should all be a reality by 2030.”

The agency says that the ongoing global energy shift would result in net gains in job creation. The number of jobs minted in the renewables space is expected to more than double in the next 10 years and employ 30 million people by 2030.

The Abu Dhabi-based IRENA is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future and serves as the principal platform for international co-operation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy, in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

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