Canadian Manufacturing

Global clean energy projects could total $2.3 trillion

by Staff   

Sustainability Energy Canadian economy China clean energy Pew Charitable Trusts renewable energy

China remains leader, Canada not among top five

WASHINGTON, D.C.: With the right renewable energy policies, G-20 countries could compete in a $2.3-trillion clean energy sector, according to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a research and advocacy group in Washington, D.C.

The report, “Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity” used data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a provider of news, data and analysis on clean energy and carbon market finance and investment.

It examined projected private investment in wind, solar, biomass/energy from waste, small hydro, geothermal and marine energy projects. It did not include biofuels.

China will remain the global leader with the potential to attract cumulative clean energy asset investments of $620 billion over the next decade, the report says.


Other major players could include Europe, the US, and India — but not Canada.

The Canadian government’s “unaggressive” clean energy policies and the fact that energy mixes are determined by province make it difficult for the country to form a cohesive national market, the report says.

It ranked Canada in tenth place, just behind Japan.

The report modeled three policy scenarios to determine growth through to 2020.

  • Business-as-usual: no change from current policies
  • Copenhagen: policies to implement the pledges made at the 2009 international climate negotiations
  • Enhanced clean energy: maximized policies to stimulate increased investment and capacity additions

In the business-as-usual case, total attracted clean power project investment is $1.7 trillion by 2020. Under the Copenhagen scenario, investment totals $1.8 and in the enhanced clean energy situation, it hits $2.3 trillion.

China remains the global leader in every case with the potential to attract cumulative clean energy asset investments of $620 billion over the next decade.

European countries, early leaders in the market, could see investments of $705 billion over the next 20 years.

After ramping up its energy policies, India shoots up to third place. The country, which had ranked tenth in 2009, could see the largest growth of all G-20 members — a 763 per cent increase.

The UK and Germany, traditional clean energy powers in Europe, rank in the top five globally of attracted clean power project investments under all three scenarios.

The US could attract $342 billion in clean power project investments over the next 10 years. Only India and the United Kingdom have the potential to increase investments at a higher rate.


Canada trails five spots behind the US, with a cumulative investment potential of $63 billion by 2020.

But the report notes the estimates aren’t etched in stone.

“The country is becoming a growing force in the North American wind market, and the industry is largely supported through feed-in tariffs and generous power-purchasing agreements offered by regulated provincial utilities,” the report says.

It also says Canada has the natural resources to add “extraordinary” amounts of small-hydro, wind and marine.


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