Pew report tracks bioenergy investments in emerging markets

By Erin Voegele | May 27, 2015

The Pew Charitable Trusts has released a report, titled “Power Shifts: Emerging Clean Energy Markets,” that shows clean energy investment in developing countries has grown in real and relative terms.

The report addresses a wide variety of technology types including solar, wind, geothermal, small hydro, biomass, biofuels, and energy smart technologies. According to the report, the top ten emerging markets for clean energy include Thailand, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Kenya, Peru, Taiwan, China, Morocco, Vietnam, Pakistan and the Philippines. Each of these markets added wind, solar, biomass, geothermal or small hydropower capacity from 2009 to 2013. In addition, seven added large hydro, while only five added fossil fuel technologies and only one built more nuclear power.

Thailand led biomass investments, with a $513 million investment from 2009-2013. The Philippines invested $317 million in biomass, followed by Peru with $147 million, Ukraine with $92 million, Vietnam with $73 million and Pakistan with $60 million. On a combined basis, the six countries achieved $1.2 billion in biomass investment. Together, the top 10 emerging markets added 481.3 MW of biomass capacity from 2009-2013. Thailand led with 301 MW, followed by Peru with 59 MW, the Philippines with 58 MW, Pakistan with 35 MW, Ukraine with 16 MW and Kenya with 12 MW.

Peru led biofuels investment, with $749 million, followed by Thailand with $639 million, Vietnam with $287 million, Kenya with $247 million and Ukraine with $81 million. On a combined basis, those six countries achieved $2.25 billion in biofuel investment.

Through 2030, the report predicts biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and small hydropower will claim more than 60 percent of the total energy investment in these emerging markets, and account for a similar share of new power installations. Pew predicts the majority of this additional investment and capacity will occurring in emerging economies in Asia, Latin America, and Africa as nations in these regions seek to reduce energy poverty and fuel development. The report also indicates that developing countries across the globe are exploring clean energy options to help support economic, environmental and energy security objectives. 

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the Pew Charitable Trusts website.