Figure 3.15 gives an overview of the total plant entry capacities (measured in megawatts electric) for major
renewable energy sources – wind, solar, biomass and geothermal – built between 1978 and...
2008. The increasing
trend for investment in renewable energy power facilities in all regions since 1997 coincides with the agreement and
implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. In this period, developed-country governments have provided targeted support
for renewable energy investment, which can be justified by the relative immaturity of these technologies. This
immaturity makes it more difficult for lenders to accurately price relative risk of investments in “clean” energy, and thus
for investors in the sector to obtain financing at reasonable cost. Moreover, in some cases there can be important
learning and demonstration effects, which will not be realised without initial support (Kalamova et al., 2011). At the
same time, the rate of entry of coal and oil-based plants plummeted in these countries.
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