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Global clean energy investment drops to lowest level since 2009

Photo: Janie.hernandez55 via Flickr

Global clean energy investment in the first three months of 2013 dropped to a four-year low, according to research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

BNEF’s latest figures show that $40.6 billion (£26.6 billion) was invested globally during the first quarter of the year. However, this sum is 22% lower than the same period in 2012, and is down by 38% over the final quarter of last year.

Its report found that the effects of “policy uncertainty in key clean energy markets in Germany and the US”, as well as the recent declines in technology costs, particularly those of solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines, were the main reasons behind the drop in overall investment.

The last 18 months have seen a number of significant support programmes launched in the aftermath of the financial crisis come to an end”, said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The plummeting cost of clean energy technology has kept activity high in terms of [megawatts] of capacity, but not so much in dollar terms.”

Clean energy investment decreased in the US by 54% to $4.5 billion (£2.9 billion) from the first quarter of 2012, while Europe witnessed a reduction in investment by a quarter, to $13.4 billion (£8.7 billion).

The report also shows that China experienced an investment drop, falling by 15% to $8.8 billion (£5.7 billion) from the same quarter in 2012.

On the other hand, the rest of Asia, outside India and China, experienced a 47% boost in investment, reaching $10.1 billion (£6.6 billion), which was led by Japan’s $8.2 billion (£5.3 billion) surge in investment.

Further reading:

TUC accuses government of dithering on green investment

Reductions in solar costs has boosted clean energy deployment

£10m investment needed to kickstart Swansea Bay tidal lagoon

New York City could be renewables-driven by 2030

The Guide to Limitless Clean Energy 2012

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