Clean energy investment down 15% in 2015, according to figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. However, the figures suggest that falling oil and gas prices have had a limited impact on clean energy investment.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance previously revealed that renewable energy investments increased by 16% in 2014, reaching $310 billion (£205bn), the first registered growth since 2011. The 2014 figure is more than five times the figure recorded just a decade ago, demonstrating how fast the industry has grown.
Despite the strong growth seen last year, the first quarter of 2014 saw the lowest clean energy investment for two years. Globally investment in clean energy was $50.5 billion (£34.4bn) in the first three months of 2015, down 15% on a year earlier. The slowdown has been linked to deals slowing in big markets, such as China, Europe and Brazil, and fewer large ticket transactions.
Traditionally, the market slows down at the beginning of each year as bankers and investors rebuild their deal pipelines and developers consider changes to policies.
“The big question, of course, is whether and how hard clean energy investment would be hit by the slump in oil and gas prices. These figures indicate the answer is not so much,” commented Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“We said in January that we thought 2015 would struggle to match last year’s dollar investment total, because of exchange rate moves.”
Liebreich added that the first quarter of 2015 would have been “pretty much level-pegging” with the same period last year if it weren’t for US currency strengthening and a “few more lumpy offshore wind investments” in 2014.
Many of the large markets saw investment fall significantly, with Europe slipping 30%, when compared to the first quarter of 2014, to $9.7 billion (£6.6bn), while China fell 24% to $11 billion (£7.5bn). While investment in the US increase slightly, Brazil’s investment fell by over 60%.
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the organisation notes that there is “good momentum” towards a global climate treaty, set to be agreed in December this year, and plenty of groundbreaking development in the low carbon sector. However, oil prices could have an impact if they continue to fall.
Photo: cariliv via Flickr