Global investment in renewable energy increased 33% in the second quarter of 2014, thanks largely to the record-breaking $3.8 billion (£2.2bn) secured by an offshore wind farm in the North Sea, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Investment totalled $63.6 billion (£37.2bn) over the quarter, also up 9% from the same period in 2013.
The biggest deal in the history of the offshore wind sector certainly helped. The 600 megawatt (MW) Gemini wind farm, which will be built in Dutch waters 85km from Groningen, reached financial close in May.
The wind farm will become one of the largest in the world. It is expected to meet the annual energy demands of one and a half million people and reduce the annual carbon emissions of the Netherlands by 1.25 million tonnes.
However, Bloomberg noted that investment appeared to be recovering across most markets.
Investment in rooftop and small-scale solar installations rose by 41% to $21.2 billion (£12.4bn) from the year before. Venture capital and private equity investment in clean energy companies rose by 36% to $1.6 billion (£940m).
“The new investment upswing is broad-based, with activity rising across wind and solar, large-scale and small-scale projects, and covering most of the big markets,” said Michael Liebreich, chairman of BNEF’s advisory board.
“We are expecting the full year figures for 2014 to show a clear rebound in global investment in clean energy.
“The debt-and-policy-fuelled bubble years of 2007-2010 were inevitably going to be followed by a period of consolidation. That period now definitely looks to be over and the industry is gathering momentum once again.”
In the UK, however, trade bodies, investors and businesses have recently warned the government that short-term thinking and political point scoring is threatening the recovery of clean energy investment.
“Long-term certainty is needed but just as policies start to click into place, the political climate heats up again. It feels like a game of snakes and ladders,” said Katja Hall, the deputy director-general of CBI, the UK’s leading business lobby group, on Thursday.
She added, “For investors, this is a real worry. And when that investment can go anywhere in the world, it should be a real worry for politicians too.”
Photo: Kim Hansen via Flickr
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