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Developing Nations Move To Cheap Coal, Cool On Renewables


LONDON (Reuters) – New clean energy investment slid by more than a fifth in developing countries last year due to a slowdown in China, while the amount of coal-fired power generation jumped to a new high, an annual survey showed on Monday.

Bloomberg NEF

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) surveyed 104 emerging markets and found that developing nations were moving towards cleaner power sources, but not fast enough to limit carbon dioxide emissions or the effects of climate change.

New investment in wind, solar and other clean energy projects dropped to $133 billion last year from $169 billion a year earlier, mainly due to a slump in Chinese investment, the research showed.

China’s clean energy investment fell to $86 billion from $122 billion a year earlier. Investment by India and Brazil also declined, mainly due to lower costs for solar and wind.

However, the volume of coal-fired power generation produced and consumed in developing countries increased to a new high of 6,900 terrawatt hours (TWh) last year, from 6,400 TWh in 2017.

The increase of 500 TWh is equivalent to the power consumed in the U.S. state of Texas in one year. Coal accounted for 47% of all power generation across the 104 countries.

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