Renewable energy investments now amount to USD100bn according to a report by the United Nations.
There is no question about this area being a part of the mainstream investment world. Some types of renewable energy investemts (large scale hydropower projects in particular) have represented an important part in the portfolio of energy companies since decades or even longer. Other kinds, such as wind power and solar power play an important role since more recently.
And a higher demand for energy, increasing oil prices, an increasing world population and the fear of climate change is going to keep the importance of this area growing. Cleantech is one of the fastest growing investment sectors in the US, increasing by 18% during the first quarter of this year - despite the current financial unrest. And as I predicted, energy efficiency plays an increasingly important part. It is the fastest growing segment in cleantech, with capital invested in Power and Efficiency Management Services increasing 454% from last year.
According to the National Academy of Engineering, of the 14 greatest engineering challenges for humanity, almost half are related to renewable energy and cleantech. If that tells us something about the future, the cleantech and renewable energy share of investments will keep growing.