We could call it "green" energy but I don't like the phrase for the simple reason that it smacks of environmental "glowball warming" nonsense. C02 is not a pollutant anymore than water vapor is a pollutant. If the earth is warming it will probably result in a net benefit to humanity rather than a negative. However, renewable energy has become a business proposition that stands on its own merits. I perceive renewable energy as the next big thing in capitalism. My suspicions have been bolstered by the fact that investment in renewable energy surged some 60 per cent to $148 billion in 2007. From the Times.
Global investment in renewable energy surged 60 per cent to $148 billion (74.3 billion) last year and is still accelerating despite the slowdown in the wider economy, according to the United Nations.
Wind energy attracted the biggest amount of around $50.2 billion and solar, the fastest growing area, attracted investment of $28.6 billion. Since 2004, the global market for solar energy has grown by annual rate of 254 per cent.
The report from the UN’s Environmental Programme (UNEP) likened the flood of investment to the renewable energy sector to a “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,” said Achim Steiner, head of UNEP.
Public investment in renewable energy via the markets more than doubled to $23.4 billion, up from $10.6 billion in 2006, the report said.
While there was strong growth in wind and solar energy, the biofuel sector was weaker with funds dropping by nearly one third to $2.1 billion.
The report indicated that the renewable energy sector is set to expand to $450 billion by 2012, and $600 billion by 2020.
“We have a significant economic signal here, that goes well beyond what, 10 years ago, energy thinktanks or international financial institutions thought would happen,” Mr Steiner said.