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Global biomass investment stays flat

Mar. 3, 2011, London, UK – Global investment in renewable energy rose by 30% to a record $243 billion last year, but spending on biomass remained flat.


March 3, 2011
By Argus Media

Mar. 3, 2011, London, UK – Global
investment in renewable energy rose by 30% to a record $243 billion last year,
but spending on biomass remained flat, according to figures released by
financial services company Ernst and Young. The legacy of the financial crisis
continues to hamper development of renewable energy markets and subsequent
financing of new projects, despite overall rising investment.

The picture across Europe is mixed. Levels
of new renewable development remain strong in some markets, particularly
offshore wind and solar, but tightening government budgets are putting
increasing pressure on support mechanisms.

The report, which ranks 30 countries
according to their attractiveness for renewable investment, says that China and
the United States still lead the way, but it could be slow progress for
European countries looking to hit 2020 renewable targets.

Biomass and waste-to-energy was relatively
flat last year, at $11.6 billion, compared with $12 billion in 2009, the report
says. Part of the problem is that governments are failing to adopt policy and
focus development on combined heat and power plants.

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Biomass proposals are scrutinised in terms
of capital required, returns and output generated, and carbon tonnes produced
or saved.

“At present, many jurisdictions, whether by
way of feed-in tariffs, as in Germany, or market-based mechanisms such as
renewables obligation certificates in the UK, tend to direct biomass investment
toward electricity generation, whereas a holistic approach would rationally
encourage combined heat and power with its more efficient energy conversion,”
Ernst and Young's global clean technology director Gil Forer says.

The report lists China, Germany, and the
United States as the highest ranking countries based on their renewable energy
policy, technology, and infrastructure.

Please visit ArgusMedia.com for more information.

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