New clean energy investment increased for the first time since 2011 last year, surging by 12% to reach $274.2 billion (£181bn), according to a preliminary analysis from Clean Energy Pipeline.
The figures show that new investment in the global clean energy sector totalled $69.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, a 4% increase on the same period in 2013. This aided in the 12% year-on-year increase, which saw 2014 reach $274.2 billion (£181bn), the highest volume seen since 2011, the falls in previous years have been linked to plummeting technology costs.
“Last year the clean energy industry really demonstrated its resilience,” said Douglas Lloyd, CEO of Clean Energy Pipeline.
“Despite a reduction in subsidies in Europe’s major renewable energy markets and very competitive natural gas prices in the US, investment in the global clean energy sector registered its first annual increase since 2011.”
Clean energy project finance also saw a three-year high reaching $175 billion (£115bn), an increase of 10%, as a direct result of a 15% increase in investment in both Europe and Asia and large offshore wind deals.
The organisation notes that investments in quarter 4 of 2014 was bolstered by a “number of billion dollar unity balance sheet investments in European offshore wind farms”, including Iberdrola commencing construction of a 350 megawatt (MW) wind farm representing investment $1.7 billion (£1.12bn) and Vattenfall and Stadtwerke Munchen beginning on work on the 288 MW Sandbank offshore wind farm representing a $1.5 billion (£1bn) investment.
Over 2014, clean energy companies raised $16 billion ($10.5bn) on the global public markets through a mixture of initial public offerings, secondaries and convertible note issuances, a 13% increase on 2013 and the highest volume recorded since 2010. The four-year high occurred despite a 73% decrease in the last quarter of the year.
Photo: axelivarsson via Flickr