Investment in renewable energy power plants has overtaken fossil fuel deals, claims research published today.

According to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, $187bn was invested in wind, solar and marine power schemes last year, compared with $157bn for coal, gas and oil fired projects.  

And the boom is set to continue, says the study. It suggests wind operators will have installed 43 GW of generating capacity by the end of this year and 48 GW next year, compared to 36 GW in 2010.

Solar is also predicted to rise from 18.2 GW last year to 26.4 GW by next month and 27.8 GW in 2012.

Achim Steiner, executive secretary of the United Nations Environment Program, told Bloomberg: “The progress of renewables has been nothing short of remarkable. You have record investment in the midst of an economic and financial crisis.”