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Investment in renewable energy overtakes oil and gas, despite slump in oil prices - 15th January

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Analysis from the Carbon Brief shows that there was a 24% year-on-year increase in investment for UK clean energy. North Sea oil and gas investments were estimated to have plummeted to around £11bn last year.


On a global scale, investment in renewable energy in 2015 was a record breaking $329bn (£229.35bn). At the beginning of 2015, many industry experts expected the drop in fossil fuel prices would damage the prospects for clean energy as coal and gas became cheaper to burn.


In a statement Michael Liebreich, BNEF chair, says:

These figures are a stunning riposte to all those who expected clean energy investment to stall on falling oil and gas prices. They highlight the improving cost-competitiveness of solar and wind power.


Considering the renewable energy cuts introduced by the Conservative government since the UK general election, the growth in investment may come as a surprise to some. However, analysts claim that the cuts will take time to filter through as the completion of projects can take several years from inception.


After oil prices plunged in late 2014 and remained at low levels through much of 2015, investment is expected to have been just £11bn during 2015.


This pushes oil and gas investment below renewables, a reversal of the previous position.


Oil and gas investments are expected to fall further this year, as oil prices hit new lows. The prospects for clean energy are far more uncertain.

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