Wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy could be the fastest growing power sources over the next few decades
By Benjamin Hulac and ClimateWire

In its forward-looking report for the year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts renewable energy will be the fastest-growing power source through 2040.

New investments in renewable energy rose from $9 billion in the first quarter of 2004 to $50 billion for 2015’s first quarter, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and the volume of installed photovoltaic systems in the United States has grown every year since 2000.

The story that renewable energy advocates often share of how their favorite power sources have grown so rapidly over recent years belies the reality that those industries have expanded from small market shares to start.

Yet with increasing interest, investors are targeting renewables as strong assets, not dodgy options, David Milner, chief executive of NuGen Capital, a private equity firm, said Friday at the Atlantic Council.

In 2011, construction began on the Desert Sunlight solar plant—a 550-megawatt farm in Southern California. But that project was only possible with loan guarantees from the Department of Energy, Milner said. Now, he added, investors can often plunge ahead on renewable energy projects without government help.

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