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Big Finance is Bullish on Green Energy

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One after another, major financial analysts are confirming an historic investment swing way from fossil fuels and into renewable energy, energy conservation and green bonds. 2015 investments in clean energy of nearly one-third of a trillion dollars, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, are likely to balloon in the decades ahead to more than $16 trillion, Standard & Poor’s asserts.

Bloomberg New Energy’s 2016 Sustainable Energy in America Fact Book, released yesterday, confirmed estimates released earlier that the world invested $329 billion in clean energy in 2015, despite plunging fossil fuel prices and economic weakness in Europe.

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The agency pinpointed hot interest in clean energy from emerging markets, with South Africa ($4.5 billion invested in 2015) and Mexico ($4.2 billion) in the lead. Wind and solar, buoyed by falling costs, continue to account for half of all new renewable capacity globally.

Meanwhile Standard & Poors predicts that reaching the Paris climate summit’s new target for a global maximum temperature increase of 1.5º C will unleash more than $16 trillion in public and private clean energy investment. “As the costs of renewable energy and other zero and low-carbon technologies continue to fall and more clean technological breakthroughs are unveiled,” the agency foresees mounting political pressure to support the energy transition, Michael Mathres reports in EcoWatch.

In November, Goldman Sachs quadrupled to US$150 billion the amount it said it expected invest in clean energy by 2025.

Rounding out the positive assessments for clean energy financing, Moody’s reports that the issuance of ‘green bonds’ for purposes such as “renewable energy, the energy efficiency sector, green transport and wastewater treatment,” reached a new record of $42.4 billion in 2015.

Green bonds issued in 2016 could exceed $50 billion, a senior Moody’s senior vice president said, “by a significant margin.”