Renewable energy capacity to double by 2020, report indicates

While the debate over the world's long-term energy policy is in question a week before a new round of United Nations talks are to begin in South Africa, new reports show the annual value of the world's renewable energy capacity is expected to experience a significant period of growth of the next decade.

According to a recent publication by Bloomberg New Energy Finance – called the Global Renewable Energy Market Outlook – the world's renewable energy capacity will increase to $395 billion in 2020, and to as much as $460 billion in 2030. These figures – if achieved – would double current estimates of the world's renewable energy production. In 2010, the world generated $195 billion worth of these alternative fuels.

"These results indicate that last year's record renewable energy investment was no one-off despite the recent economic gloom," said Guy Turner, a director of commodity market research at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, in a press release.

China and Europe will remain two of the biggest markets for investments in renewable energy for the first half of the next decade, the report indicates, however, developing nations may soon catch up. The researchers indicate that Africa, the Middle East and Latin America will see annual renewable energy investment growth rates of 10 to 18 percent through 2020.

Despite the fact that solar power, offshore wind and bioenergy will see increased consumption during the next decade, the United States is still struggling to implement policies that would reduce its emissions. This development follows promises made by President Barack Obama at a similar conference two years ago, where he stated that the country would take a leadership role on the issue.

However, individuals who want to join the fight for pushing this type of legislation may help change the course of the country by electing candidates with strong environmental records.

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