China continues to outpace all other nations with its investments in and installation of Renewable Energy, according to Business Facilities‘ 14th Annual Rankings Report, released this month.
More than 157 gigawatts were commissioned worldwide in 2017 from renewable sources—a new record—up from 143 GW in 2016 and far out-stripping the 70 GW of net fossil-fuel generating capacity added last year. Solar alone accounted for 98 GW, or 38 percent of the net new power capacity coming on stream during 2017.
The global leader by far for renewable energy investment in 2017 was China, which accounted for $126.6 billion, its highest figure ever and nearly 45 percent of the global total. The PRC installed an impressive 53 GW of new solar power in 2017, an investment of $86.5 billion, up 58 percent. Renewable energy investment in the United States was $40.5 billion, barely a third of China’s total.
“China, which became the world’s largest carbon polluter near the end of the 20st century, clearly intends to have the world’s cleanest electricity by the middle of the 21st,” said BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers.
The proportion of global electricity generated by wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, marine and small hydro rose from 11 percent in 2016 to 12.1 percent in 2017. Denmark topped the leaderboard of countries deriving the largest percentage of total electricity from renewables.
Europe and Scandinavia continue to lead the way in the installation of offshore wind farms. However, for a form of energy that has the potential to supply a significant percentage of the world’s energy needs, the amount of electricity currently being produced by offshore turbines still is comparatively microscopic, measured in megawatts rather than gigawatts; only four of the top 10 countries in BF’s global ranking for offshore wind power have an installed capacity that exceeds 1,000 MW.
The United Kingdom tops the leaderboard in offshore energy, with 31 offshore wind farms (containing 1,753 turbines) that have a combined capacity of 6.835 MW.
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.