The UN has congratulated India and China for making huge investments in renewable energy in 2015.

In its recently published ‘Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016’ report, the world body mentioned that the two Asian powerhouses led developing countries in investments made in renewable energy sector last year. In a rare first, the capacity of emerging economies’ commitments in solar, wind and other renewables surpassed those by wealthy nations, stated the UN.

As per the report prepared by the UN, developing nations, including China, India and Brazil, committed USD 156 billion in new renewables capacity in 2015 and it was a 19% increase from 2014. However, the volume of investments made by developed countries went down 8% to USD 130 billion in 2015. A senior UN official expressed concerns over the scenario, saying that it was the first time when investment in renewables in developing countries outweighed that in developed economies.

While China increased its investment by 17% to USD 102.9 billion (more than one-third of global commitments) last year, neighbouring India increased investments by 22% to USD 10.2 billion. The US, Japan, the UK, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Chile, too, secured their places in the list of top 10 investing countries in 2015.

The report stated: “The investment (in India) took place against a backdrop of pro-renewable policies introduced by the Narendra Modi government. These include a target to almost-triple wind capacity to 60GW by 2022.” The South Asian nation witnessed an increase in investment for the second consecutive year in 2015, breaching the USD 10 billion for the first time since 2011. The UN stressed that the highlight of India’s performance in 2015 was a 75% increase in utility-scale solar financings to USD 4.6 billion from the previous year.

As far as the developing-economy category is concerned, the ‘Big Three’ (China, India and Brazil) increased their investments by 16% to USD 120.2 billion. Other developing countries enjoyed a 30% jump to USD 36.1 billion.

Among developed countries, the volume of investment decreased in Europe by 21% from USD 62 billion in 2014 to USD 48.8 billion in 2015, despite record investments in offshore wind projects. However, the US’ investment increased by 19% to USD 44.1 billion. Japan’s investment remained same as the previous year at USD 36.2 billion.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog - Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]