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Global investment in renewable energy grows

Date: 5 March 2021


Forbes reported that international investment bank Goldman Sachs expects spending on renewable power projects to rise. So much so, it will be the largest industry sector of 2021. Over the next decade, Goldman Sachs predicted a USD 16 trillion investment, outshining fossil fuels for the first time. The International Energy Agency (IEA) also announced that the global economy installed a record amount of new renewable capacity in 2020, primarily led by rising demand in the USA and China.




The USA federal government currently offers a 30% investment tax credit (ITC) to companies that leave fossil fuels behind and depend on solar energy. This makes the switch to renewable energy an attractive business prospect for company-consumers. Further planned tax credits will also encourage consumers to switch to green energy forms. Companies can leverage these credits to make the sustainable switch, build consumer trust and maintain a greener future for their business operations.






In a similar move, China committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2060 in an announcement last September. Already the world’s biggest market for solar and wind power, the country’s main solar industry group expects a record surge in business over the next five years in order to meet this target.


In November China’s Ministry of Finance also declared that subsidies for renewable energy in the country would increase by nearly 5% in 2021. 5.95 billion Yuan (USD 905.7 million) will be allocated to wind farms, biomass power generators and distributed solar power operators, as well as solar power projects for poverty alleviation purposes in 14 regions.






This upward trend in green energy uptake and deployment is also reflected across Europe where renewable power's share of the grid surged. According to environmental group Ember, approximately 40% of the electricity in the first half of 2020 in the European Union came from renewable sources, compared with 34% from industrial plants burning fossil fuels.


Europe is a world leader in green energy research and development. As of 2021, the EU’s 27 member states have registered 50% more patents in green technologies than the United States.


In December, EU policymakers agreed on Horizon Europe, the research and innovation framework programme running from 2021-2027. At EUR 95.5 billion it is the world’s largest research and innovation programme. More than a third of this – EUR 33.4 billion – is earmarked for climate-related research and innovation as indicated by two of its five key ‘mission areas’, ‘Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation’ and ‘Climate-neutral and smart cities.’


Read more on Horizon Europe here: Horizon Europe 


The Starting Grant call for Horizon Europe opened on 25 February 2021. While the initial plan was to close the call on 24 March, it should be noted that the deadline for submission of applications will be extended until 8 April.


More information on the work programme here: Horizon Europe work programme




Following 67 days without coal (the longest since the industrial revolution), 2020 has been the greenest year on record for the UK power grid. The UK government have also announced ‘The ten point plan for a green industrial revolution’. This plan intends to mobilise GBP 12 billion of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs.


Energy start ups and entrepreneurs also now have the chance to benefit from a share of an GBP 11 million government funding scheme which seeks to drive forward new clean technologies across all sectors of UK industry, supporting the UK to eliminate its contribution to climate change by 2050.


The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund (EEF) backs innovations that boost energy efficiency in people’s homes, reduce carbon emissions and develop green transport as well as sourcing cleaner and greener ways to generate power and heat.


UK Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“…The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is backing the UK’s next generation of inventors and innovators to turn their ideas into reality, with previous successful projects already helping drive down emissions across the country and creating green jobs as we work to build back greener.”


The EEF has awarded GBP 72 million worth of grants since 2012, supporting 156 projects and leveraging more than GBP 500 million in private investment.


Further information on how to apply for the EEF here: Apply for the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund


We field a team of experts across the green and renewable energy sectors. Find out more about their experience and backgrounds here: Green Energy IP Attorneys