Global investment in renewable power and fuels increased 17% to a new record of $257 billion in 2011. Developing economies made up 35% of this total investment, compared to 65% for developed economies.
The US closed in on China in the race to be the lead investor in Renewable Energy, with a 57% leap in its outlays to $51 billion. India however, displayed the fastest expansion rate for investment of any large renewables market in the world in 2011, with a 62% increase to $12 billion.
One of the dominant features of the Renewable Energy landscape in 2011 was falling technology costs. Photovoltaic module prices fell by close to 50%, and onshore wind turbine prices by around 10%. These changes brought these two leading renewable power technologies closer to competitiveness with fossil-fuel alternatives such as coal and gas. The other key feature was a weakening in policy support for Renewable Energy in many developed countries. This reflected austerity pressures, particularly in Europe, and legislative deadlock in the US Congress.