According to BNEF, this shift is being driven by the rapidly improving economics of clean energy technologies – most notably, wind and solar. Thanks to exceptional natural resources in many developing countries and dramatically lower equipment costs, new renewables projects now regularly outcompete new fossil plants on price – without the benefit of subsidies, the report says. This has been most apparent in the more than 28 GW contracted through tenders in emerging markets in 2017, involving promises from developers to deliver wind for as low as $17.7/MWh and solar for as little as $18.9/MWh.
Climatescope also revealed that clean energy dollars are flowing to more nations than ever. As of year-end 2017, some 54 developing countries had recorded investment in at least one utility-scale wind farm, and 76 countries had received financing for solar projects of 1.5 MW or larger. That’s up from 20 and three, respectively, a decade ago, BNEF reports.