World annual investments in renewable energy will top $114 billion for the first time in 2007, led by wind power, according to a report issued at United Nations climate talks.
"Policies to promote renewable energy have mushroomed over the past few years," the Renewable Energy Policy Network, which links governments, industries and other groups, said in its study.
"In 2007, global annual investment in renewable energy will exceed $US100 billion ($114 billion)," it said of growth for wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy sources.
"Wind power now receives the largest share of investment annually of any renewable technology, even more than large hydro power," it said.
Renewable power capacity totalled about 240 gigawatts (GW) in 2007, excluding large hydro power projects, and represented about six per cent of total global power capacity.
"The share is increasing," according to the preliminary 2007 report by the Network, presented on the sidelines of the UN climate conference in Bali.
The report did not give an overall comparison for 2006 but said that investment in new renewable electricity generating capacity rose to $75 billion in 2007 from $62 billion in 2006 and $44 billion in 2005.
And for 2007, it also said that there was $17 billion to $22 billion of investment in large hydro power, $11 billion to $13.7 billion in new manufacturing plants for solar photovoltaics and biofuels, and $18 billion in public and private research and development.
For wind power, growth has been about 25-30 per cent a year since 2000, with 93 GW in place in 2007 against just 7.5 GW in 1997.
"We keep saying it can't keep growing at this rate but it continues," Steve Sawyer, head of the Global Wind Energy Council, told a news conference.