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Investments in renewable sources of energy increased 17%  to a record $257 billion last year, supplying 16.7% of final global consumption, according to today's 2012 REN21's Renewables Global Status Report (GSR).

The GSR, published in conjunction with UNEP’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment (GTR), shows significant growth in renewable energy markets, investments and worldwide industrial policies.

Additionally, a 50% decrease in costs of photovoltaic modules coupled with a 10% decrease in costs of onshore wind turbines decreases the parity gap between renewables and fossil fuels.

The UNEP GTR reports that renewables have increased 94% since the 2007 global financial crisis.

Developing countries account for over half of the 118 nations implementing renewable energy targets.  The 2012 GSR places a special focus on rural renewable energy by highlighting the main trends in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The GSR, which debuted in 2005, is currently the expert source for information on renewable energy trends and markets.

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