‘Green gold rush’ for renewable energy: UNEP report

July 2nd, 2008 - 12:10 am ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, July 1 (Xinhua) Global investment in the sector of renewable energy has surged 60 percent to over $148 billion last year notwithstanding the credit crunch that roiled financial markets, a UN agency said here Tuesday, calling the trend as “green gold rush”. “Just as thousands were drawn to California and the Klondike in the late 1800s, the green energy gold rush is attracting legions of modern day prospectors in all parts of the globe,” Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), said while releasing an report.

The “green energy gold rush” came amid climate change worries, soaring oil prices and food prices all over the world, which experts say may trigger a potential long-term global economic recession.

According to the UNEP’s Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2008 report, the total capital flow into the sector last year was $204.9 billion, of which $98.2 billion went into new renewable energy generation, especially in wind sector in the US, China and Spain.

About $50.1 billion entered the technology development and manufacturing scale-up, with another $56.6 billion changed hands through mergers and acquisitions, according to the report.

Most of the new money flowed into Europe, followed by the US. China, India and Brazil, however, draw growing investor interests, with new investments in the three countries climbed 14 times from $1.8 billion to $26 billion.

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