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[LONDON] Clean energy investment worldwide reached a record US$329.3 billion in 2015 as investors shrugged off falling fossil fuel prices and currency fluctuations and installed the highest ever amount of renewable power capacity, research showed on Thursday.
China made the most clean energy investments in 2015 at US$110.5 billion, 17 per cent more than in 2014. Other emerging markets also saw huge gains, such as South Africa, Chile and Mexico.
Investment in renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar, was 4 per cent higher than 2014's revised figure of US$315.9 billion and was nearly six times the amount of 2004, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a report.
Renewable capacity installation was 30 per cent higher than in 2014, with 64 gigawatts of wind and 57 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) commissioned last year.
The climb occurred even though prices for oil and natural gas plunged, Europe's economy remined weak and the US currency strengthened, which reduced the dollar value of non-dollar investments.
"These figures are a stunning riposte to all those who expected clean energy investment to stall on falling oil and gas prices," said Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
"They highlight the improving cost-competitiveness of solar and wind power, driven in part by the move by many countries to reverse-auction new capacity rather than providing advantageous tariffs, a shift that has put producers under continuing price pressure."