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Although Africa continues to lag other regions in terms of sustainable energy investment, asset finance was up in 2007 to $1.3 billion (five times as much as in 2006), reversing a gradual decline since 2004 and bearing witness to increasing installed renewable capacity.
Over $148 billion in new funding entered the sustainable energy sector globally last year, up 60% from 2006, even as a credit crunch began to roil financial markets, according to the report, "Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2008," prepared by UK-based New Energy Finance for UNEP's Paris-based Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative.
The 2007 investments in Africa were mainly in biofuels and geothermal. Promising large-scale solar developments were also initiated in North Africa and some signs of change in South Africa, where targets for renewable energy have been set and the country's first wind farm commissioned.
Sub-Saharan Africa, "arguably the region that has the most to gain from renewable energy," remains largely unexploited, according to the report.
Additional information: UNEP press release and full report
News date: 17/07/2008