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Record year for investments in renewable energy in 2005

2005 was a record year for global investments in renewable energy, with total investment in the sector up from US$ 30 billion in 2004 to US$ 38 billion, according to a report from REN21, the Renewable Energy Policy Network.

The REN21 report estimates that at least 85 renewable energy companies (or divisions within companies) have market valuations greater than US$ 40 million, an increase from 60 such companies in 2004. The estimated total market valuation of companies in the sector is US$ 50 billion, double the 2004 estimate, with several high-profile initial public offerings taking place. Both the solar PV industry and the biofuels industry invested record amounts in new plant and equipment in 2005, to an estimated US$ 6 billion and US$ 1 billion respectively.

Chairman of the REN21 Steering Committee, Mohamed El-Ashry said “Renewables are capturing increased attention of businesses and policy-makers around the world.”

According to REN21 global wind power capacity increased by 24% in 2005 to reach 59 GW, and ten countries added over 300 MW of wind power, double the number of countries who achieved this milestone for 2004.

The US produced record volumes of bioethanol in 2005, and three new EU countries became bioethanol producers. Alongside bioethanol, global biodiesel production increased by 85% and nine new EU countries became producers.

Solar power also increased significantly across the globe. Grid-connected solar PV grew by 55% globally. Solar thermal capacity increased by 23% in China alone and reached record levels across the EU.

Further information: Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century