Global investment in clean energy fell by 18% last year

16 Jan 17

New investment in clean energy fell by 18% across the world last year in dollar terms, according to research published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance last week.

 

The $287.5bn invested in 2016 was 18% lower than the record figure of $348.5bn in 2015, and 9% lower than the $315bn invested in 2014.

The figures include investment in renewable and non-renewable clean energy technologies, as well as low carbon service companies and information providers. Investment in large hydro-electric plants (with a capacity of more than 50MW) is not included.

BNEF said that the drop was driven by reduced investment in the key markets of China and Japan, as well as falling equipment costs.

Clean energy investment in China in 2016 was $87.8bn, down 26% from 2015. In Japan the figure was $22.8bn, down 43%.

Justin Wu, the head of Asia for BNEF, said: “After years of record-breaking investment driven by some of the world’s most generous feed-in tariffs, China and Japan are cutting back on building new large-scale projects and shifting towards digesting the capacity they have already put in place”.

Investment in the whole Asia-Pacific region fell 26% to $135bn.

There was also decreased investment in the US, where clean energy investment dropped by 7% to $58.6bn, and Canada, where it was down 46% at $2.4bn.

In Europe, however, investment rose by 3% to $70.9bn.

The largest category of investment was the asset finance of utility-scale renewable energy projects, which totalled $187.1bn, falling 21% from its 2015 level.

BNEF pinpointed offshore wind as the “brightest spot in the global clean energy picture” last year. There were $29.9bn worth of capital spending commitments to the technology in 2016, 40% higher than in 2015.

The company said that this was down to “improved economics”, resulting from larger turbines and improved construction knowhow.

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