It’s a new milestone: Europe got more of its power from solar, wind and biomass than coal last year. But when it comes to investment, the European industry is in decline as China steals the title of renewables pioneer.

For 2017, Europe passed a new landmark in its transition to a renewable energy supply: For the first time, more of its electricity came from the sun, wind and biomass than from coal.

The news, published this week by climate think tanks Sandbag and Agora Energiewende, is part of a worldwide trend for renewables. Globally, wind and solar power in particular are experiencing a sustained boom, and can increasingly compete with fossil fuels on cost.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the cost of photovoltaic power is set to drop by an average of 50 percent worldwide over the next three years.

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