A floating solar farm on a coal mining subsidence area in Panji district of Huainan, Anhui province, on June 7, 2017. [Photo/VCG]
UNITED NATIONS — China has become the driving force behind the global surge in investment in solar energy, which surpassed that in fossil fuel in 2017, a UN spokesman said Friday.
A new report released by the UN Environment Program on Thursday found that solar energy dominated global investment like never before in 2017, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the daily news briefing.
Solar power in 2017 attracted far more investment than any other technology, at $160.8 billion, up 18 percent on 2016, the spokesman cited the report as saying.
"A driving force behind this surge is China, which leads with more than half of the world's new solar power capacity," the spokesman added.
Last year, the world installed a record 98 gigawatts of new solar capacity, far more than the net additions of other renewables, fossil fuel and nuclear, the spokesman said, citing the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018 report.
China saw some 53 gigawatts of solar capacity added last year, more than half the global total, and 86.5 billion dollars invested, up 58 percent.
Overall, China was by far the world's largest investing country in renewables, at a record 126.6 billion dollars, up 31 percent on 2016. There were also sharp increases in investment in Australia, Mexico and Sweden.
Last year was the eighth in a row in which global investment in renewables exceeded $200 billion, and since 2004, the world has invested $2.9 trillion in these green energy sources.