India among top 5 in green energy spending in 2015

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India was among the top five countries in 2015 in terms of investment in renewable energy, solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating capacity, wind and hydropower capacity, according to a global renewables report released on Wednesday.

India was fifth in terms of investment in renewable power and fuels last year after China, US, Japan and Britain, said the Renewables Global Status Report prepared by REN21, a group of energy experts, government representatives and NGOs.

New solar, wind and hydropower sources were added last year at the fastest rate the world has ever seen, the study said.

India also became fifth in solar PV capacity addition along with the same group of countries, which added the largest share of green energy during 2015, the REN21 report said.

In wind power capacity addition too, India was fifth in 2015, behind China, US, Germany and Brazil, it added.

It said global spending on renewables peaked in 2015 following a trend ongoing over a number of years.

Investments on renewable sources like wind has overtaken coal and natural gas according to the study, while spending on renewables during the year were more than double the amount spent on new coal and gas-fired power plants.

Last year was also the first time when emerging economies spent more than the rich on renewable power and fuels, it added.

REN21 in a statement said: “2015 was a record year for renewable energy installations. Renewable power generating capacity saw its largest increase ever, with an estimated 147 GW added.

“These results were driven by several factors. First and foremost, renewables are now cost competitive with fossil fuels in many markets.”

“What is truly remarkable about these results is that they were achieved at a time when fossil fuel prices were at historic lows, and renewables remained at a significant disadvantage in terms of government subsidies,” Christine Lins, executive secretary REN21 said in the statement.

While investment in renewables last year reached $286 billion worldwide, 173 nations had renewable energy targets in place as of early 2016, the statement added. IANS

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