The world added record levels of renewable energy capacity in 2016, even as investment in clean energy fell, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported. The report, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017, found that wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro and marine sources added 138.5GW to global power capacity in 2016, up from 127.5GW added the year before.

Another key finding is the decreasing cost of clean energy, as compared with traditional fuels. For example, the average dollar capital expenditure per megawatt for solar photovoltaics and wind dropped by over 10 per cent. While the capacity from renewables was equivalent to 55 per cent of all new power, the highest to date, total investment was US$ 241.6 billion, the lowest since 2013. The authors noted drops in investment among developing countries, including in China where investment had been rising the past 11 years. Investment in offshore windmills in China, however, peaked at US$ 4.1 billion. Meanwhile, in Europe, investment rose, led by the United Kingdom and Germany. The continent's investment in renewables overall rose three per cent to US$ 59.8 billion.