Top Five Countries

1 Countries considered include only those covered by BNEF; GDP is for 2012 and from the World Bank. The following renewable energy projects are included: all biomass, geothermal, and wind generation projects of more than 1 MW; all hydropower projects of between 1 and 50 MW; all solar power projects, with those less than 1 MW estimated separately and referred to as small-scale projects or small distributed capacity; all ocean energy projects; and all biofuel projects with an annual production capacity of 1 million litres or more.

2 Solar water collector (heating) rankings are for 2012, and are based on capacity of water (glazed and unglazed) collectors only; however, including air collectors would not affect order. Note that past editions of this table have not considered unglazed water collectors.

3 Per capita renewable power capacity ranking considers only those countries that place among the top 20 worldwide for total installed renewable power capacity, not including hydropower.

4 Country rankings for hydropower capacity and generation differ because some countries rely on hydropower for baseload supply whereas others use it more to follow the electric load and match peaks in demand.

5 Not including heat pumps. Rankings are based on a mix of 2010 data and more recent statistics for some countries.

6 Capacity, otherwise noted.

Note: Most rankings are based on absolute amounts of investment, power generation capacity or output, or biofuels production; if done on a per capita, national GDP, or other basis, the rankings would be quite different for many categories (as seen with per capita rankings for renewable power, solar PV, wind, and solar water collector capacity).


Global new investment in renewable power and fuels—not including hydropower projects >50 megawatts (MW)i—was an estimated USD 214.4 billion in 2013, down 14% relative to 2012 and 23% lower than the record level in 2011. Including the unreported investments in hydropower projects larger than 50 MW, total new investment in renewable power and fuels was at least USD 249.4 billion in 2013.

The second consecutive year of decline in investment—after several years of growth—was due in part to uncertainty over incentive policies in Europe and the United States, and to retroactive reductions in support in some countries. Europe's renewable energy investment was down 44% from 2012. The year 2013 also saw an end to eight consecutive years of rising renewable energy investment in developing countries.

Yet the global decline also resulted from sharp reductions in technology costs. This was particularly true for solar PV, which saw record levels of new installations in 2013, despite a 22% decline in dollars invested. Lower costs and efficiency improvements made it possible to build onshore wind and solar PV installations in a number of locations around the world in 2013 without subsidy support, particularly in Latin America. Considering only net investment in new power capacity, renewables outpaced fossil fuels for the fourth year running.

Further, despite the overall downward trend in global investment, there were significant exceptions at the country level. The most notable was Japan, where investment in renewable energy (excluding research and development) increased by 80% relative to 2012 levels. Other countries that increased their investment in 2013 included Canada, Chile, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Despite the overall decline in China's investment, for the first time ever, China invested more in renewable energy than did all of Europe combined, and it invested more in renewable power capacity than in fossil fuels.

Solar power was again the leading sector by far in terms of money committed during 2013, receiving 53% (USD 113.7 billion) of total new investment in renewable power and fuels (with 90% going to solar PV). Wind power followed with USD 80.1 billion. Asset finance of utility-scale projects declined for the second consecutive year, but it again made up the vast majority of total investment in renewable energy, totalling USD 133.4 billion.

Clean energy funds (equities) had a strong year, and clean energy project bonds set a new record in 2013. North America saw the emergence of innovative yield-oriented financing vehicles, and crowd funding moved further into the mainstream in a number of countries. Institutional investors continued to play an increasing role, particularly in Europe, with a record volume of renewable energy investment during the year. Development banks were again an important source of clean energy investment, with some banks pledging to curtail funding for fossil fuels, especially coal power.


In many parts of the world, the lack of access to modern energy services continues to impede sustainable development. Recent assessments suggest that as many as 1.3 billion people still do not have access to electricity, and more than 2.6 billion people rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating. However, during 2013, people in remote and rural areas of the world continued to gain access to electricity, modern cooking, heating and cooling as the installation and use of distributed renewable energy technologies increased. This expansion was a direct result of improvements in affordability, inclusion of distributed energy in national energy policies, greater access to financing, increased knowledge about local resources, and more-advanced technologies that can be tailored to meet customers' specific needs.

Furthermore, increased use of mini-grids supported the spread of renewable energy-powered electrification in un-electrified peri-urban and rural areas. Recenttechnical advances that enable the integration of renewables in mini-grid systems, combined with information and communication technology (ICT) applications for power management and end-user services, have allowed for a rapid growth in the use of renewables-powered mini-grids.

There is a growing awareness that stand-alone cooking and electricity systems based on renewables are often the most cost-effective options available for providing energy services to households and businesses in remote areas. As a result, an increasing number of countries is supporting the development of decentralised renewable energy-based systems to expand energy access.

With the rising awareness that off-grid, low-income customers can provide fast-growing markets for goods and services, and with the emergence of new business and financing models for serving them, rural energy markets are increasingly being recognised as offering potential business opportunities. Many companies have become active across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, selling household-level renewable energy systems and devices. Commercial lenders, social venture capitalists, local and international development entities, governments, and others are actively engaged in the financing of distributed renewable energy. In 2013, levels of participation and progress varied from country to country depending on support policies, broader legal frameworks, and political stability.

i - Except where noted explicitly, investment data in this section do not include hydropower projects >50 MW because these are not tracked by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the source for these statistics.


BIOMASS FOR HEAT, POWER, AND TRANSPORT. Biomass demand continued to grow steadily in the heat, power, and transport sectors. Total primary energy consumption of biomass reached approximately 57 exajoules (EJ) in 2013, of which almost 60% was traditional biomass, and the remainder was modern bioenergy (solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels). Heating accounted for the majority of biomass use, with modern biomass heat capacity rising about 1% to an estimated 296 gigawatts-thermal (GWth). Global bio-power capacity was up by an estimated 5GW to 88 GW. Bio-power generation exceeded 400 Terawatt-hours (TWh) during the year, including power generated in combined heat and power (CHP) plants. Demand for modern biomass is driving increased international trade in solid biofuels, includingwood pellets.

Liquid biofuels met about 2.3% of global transport fuel demand. In 2013, global production rose by 7.7 billion litres to reach 116.6 billion litres. Ethanol production was up 6% after two years of decline, biodiesel rose 11%, and hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) rose by 16% to 3 million litres. New plants for making advanced biofuels, produced from non-food biomass feedstocks, were commissioned in Europe and North America. However, overall investment in new biofuel plant capacity continued to decline from its 2007 peak.

GEOTHERMAL POWER AND HEAT. About 530 MW of new geothermal generating capacity came on line in 2013. Accounting for replacements, the net increase was about 455 MW, bringing total global capacityto 12 GW. This net capacity growth of 4% compares to an average annual growth rate of 3% for the two previous years (2010-12). Direct use of geothermal energy—for thermal baths and swimming pools, space heating, and agricultural and industrial processes— is estimated to exceed 300 petajoules (PJ) annually, but growth is not robust. Governments and industry continued to pursue technological innovation to increase efficient use of conventional geothermal resources. In parallel, the use of low-temperature fields for both power and heat continued to expand, increasing the application of geothermal energy beyond high-temperature locations.

HYDROPOWER. Global hydropower generation during the year was an estimated 3,750 TWh. About 40 GW of new hydropower capacitywas commissioned in2013, increasing total global capacity by around 4% to approximately 1,000 GW. By far the most capacity was installed in China (29 GW), with significant capacity also added in Turkey, Brazil, Vietnam, India, and Russia. Growth in the industry has been relatively steady in recent years, fuelled primarily by China's expansion. Modernisation of ageing hydropower facilities is a growing global market. Some countries are seeing a trend towards smaller reservoirs and multi-turbine run-of-river projects. There also is increasing recognition of the potential for hydropower to complement other renewable technologies, such as variable wind and solar power.

OCEAN ENERGY. Ocean energy capacity, mostly tidal power generation, was about 530 MW by the end of 2013. In preparation for anticipated commercial projects, a handful of pilot installations were deployed during the year for ongoing tests. Particularly in the United Kingdom and France, there are indications that significant capacity growth will occur in the near future, due to concerted industry focus and government support. Major corporations continued to consolidate their positions in the ocean energy sector through strategic partnerships and acquisitions of technology developers.

SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS (PV). The solar PV market had a record year, adding more than 39 GW in 2013 for a total exceeding 139 GW. China saw spectacular growth, accountingfor nearly one-third of global capacity added, followed by Japan and the United States. Solar PV is starting to play a substantial role in electricity generation in some countries, particularly in Europe, while lower prices are opening new markets from Africa and the Middle East to Asiaand Latin America. Interest continuedtogrow in corporate- and community-owned systems, while the number and size of utility-scale systems continued to increase. Although it was a challenging year for many companies, predominantly in Europe, the industry began to recover during 2013. Module prices stabilised, while production costs continued to fall and solar cell efficiencies increased steadily. Many manufacturers began expanding production capacity to meet expected further growth in demand.

CONCENTRATING SOLAR THERMAL POWER (CSP). Global CSP capacity was up nearly 0.9 GW (36%) in 2013 to reach 3.4 GW. While the United States and Spain remained the market leaders, markets continued to shift to developing countries with high levels of insolation. Beyond the leading markets, capacity nearly tripled with projects coming on line in the United Arab Emirates, India, and China. An increasing range of hybrid CSP applications emerged, and thermal energy storage continued to gain in importance. Industry operations expanded further into new markets, and global growth in the sector remained strong, but revised growth projections and competition from solar PV in some countries led a number of companies to close their CSP operations. The trend towards larger plants to take advantage of economies of scale was maintained, while improved design and manufacturing techniques reduced costs.

SOLAR THERMAL HEATING AND COOLING. Solar water and air collector capacity exceeded 283 GWth in 2012 and reached an estimated 330 GWth by the end of 2013. As in pastyears, China was the main demand driver, accounting for more than 80% of the global market. Demand in key European markets continued to slow, but markets expanded in countries such as Brazil, where solar thermal water heating is cost competitive. The trend towards deploying large domestic systems continued, as did growing interest in the use of solar thermal technologies for district heating, cooling, and industrial applications. China maintained its lead in the manufacture of solar thermal collectors. International attention to quality standards and certification continued, largely in response to high failure rates associated with cheap tubes from China. Europe saw accelerated consolidation during the year, with several large suppliers announcing their exit from the industry. Industry expectations for market development are the brightest in India and Greece.

WIND POWER. More than 35 GW of wind power capacity was added in 2013, for a total above 318 GW. However, following several record years, the market was down nearly 10 GW compared to 2012, reflecting primarily a steep drop in the U.S. market. While the European Union remained the top region for cumulative wind capacity, Asia was nipping at its heels and is set to take the lead in 2014. New markets continued to emerge in all regions, and, for the first time, Latin America represented a significant share of new installations. Offshore wind had a record year, with 1.6 GW added, almost all of it in the EU. However, the record level hides delays due to policy uncertainty and project cancellations or downsizing.

The wind industry continued to be challenged by downward pressure on prices, increased competition among turbine manufacturers, competition with low-cost gas in some markets, reductions in policy support driven by economic austerity, and declines in key markets. At the same time, falling capital costs and technological advances increased capacity factors, improving the cost-competitiveness of wind-generated electricity relative to fossil fuels. The offshore industry continued to move farther from shore and into deeper waters, driving new foundation designs and requiring more-sophisticated vessels.