As Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports, global clean energy investments set a new record in 2011 despite the economic turbulences. Investments increased by 5% to in total $260bn. Solar was particularly impressive, surging by 36% to $136.6bn. Prices for PV modules fell by no less than 50% and are now 75% lower than in 2008. Investments in wind fell by 17%, however.
Here in Germany solar also set a new record despite strong cuts to the feed-in tariff. According to figures from the federal grid agency, 7.5 GW of solar PV were installed in 2011, slightly exceeding the previous record of 7.4 GW in 2010.
On the emission trading front, PointCarbon reports that China has told the seven cities and provinces that are to launch pilot emissions trading schemes to impose absolute caps on emissions and develop allocation plans as soon as possible in order to start the markets in 2013 as planned. This will provide for greater harmonisation among the pilot schemes who had previously discussed rather divergent design approaches. And hence makes it more likely that China will indeed be able to launch a national system by 2015 as announced.
PointCarbon also reports that California and Québec are negotiating to link their emerging emission trading schemes this year.
As the Wuppertal institute notes in its report on the Durban climate conference, with these developments we might see a very substantial share of global emissions being covered by domestic emission trading systems by 2015. Incidentally, 2015 has just been set to be the end date of the new negotiation process launched in Durban. The endgame of the Durban Platform might hence play out in the context of a very substantial share of global emissions being covered by domestic emission trading systems, which should constitute a rather favourable environment for agreeing to a global framework.