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Developing countries have made unprecedented pledges to consume more clean energy in future even as they are leading the way currently with record new wind and solar project completions, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said citing the latest edition of Climatescope, a clean energy country competitiveness index.
The Climatescope -- an online tool supported by the UK and US governments – offers a portrait of clean energy activity in 58 emerging markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. The group includes major developing nations China, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, as well as dozens of others.
“This marks the third year Climatescope has been conducted globally and reflects activity in 2015, a year that culminated with the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement at UN-sponsored talks in December. In the run-up to those negotiations, three quarters of the Climatescope nations submitted or reiterated pledges to cut their future CO2 emissions. An even higher number are now on record with promises to achieve certain clean energy consumption goals in coming years,”BNEF said in a statement.
It said these countries added 69.8 gigawatts of new wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable power generating capacity in 2015 – the same as total installed capacity in Australia today. China accounted for the majority of activity in Climatescope countries, but smaller nations also played important roles. By comparison, wealthier Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries built 59.2 gigawatts last year.
BNEF also said investment in utility-scale solar in Climatescope nations spiked 43 per cent to $71.8 billion in 2015. Tenders held for power-delivery contracts have highlighted that photovoltaics (PV) can now compete against fossil-fuelled projects on price in some nations. Also, the tool finds that cheap solar, innovative business models, and a new breed of entrepreneurs are revolutionizing how energy access issues are addressed in least developed nations.
Finally, it also states that developed economies are accelerating funding for clean energy in emerging markets. Private investors, lenders, and development finance institutions in OECD countries accounted for nearly half of all capital to Climatescope countries excluding China, where virtually all capital was provided locally. This is up from the roughly one third of capital provided in 2012.
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