Investments in renewable energy see drop so far this year

No doubt investments in sustainable energy have been strong in recent years, even with the financial crises we have faced. In June REN21 published its Global Status Report showing how great a year 2015 was for total investments. A Bloomberg article on the Fuelfix website, however, shows that global investment in renewable energy tumbled in the first half of 2016. Surely that will be reversed soon.


Renewable energy investment falls by almost quarter in first half

Global investment in renewable energy fell 23 percent in the first half of this year as the cost of installing solar panels declined and China paused the pace of its spending.

Wind, solar and other clean energy industries attracted $116.4 billion in the first two quarters of the year including $61.5 billion in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a London-based researcher that tracks investment. It also revised up 2015’s total by almost $20 billion to a record $348.5 billion.

“It is now looking almost certain that the global investment total for this year will fail to match 2015’s runaway record,” said Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Cheaper photovoltaic panels and lower financing costs have reduced capital spending needs of developers even as installations of the technology have hit a record. BNEF also said there’s been a shift toward more utility-scale projects and away from smaller-scale installations, which was the reason for the revisions for 2015 data.

Last year’s surge in investment came as almost 200 countries agreed on a landmark deal in Paris to rein in fossil-fuel emissions blamed for global warming.

Europe and Brazil were the only regions to see an increase in investment in the first half of this year, with Europe’s 4 percent gain driven by a number of major offshore wind projects reaching financial close.

By contrast, China’s investments dropped 34 percent to $33.7 billion, partly because 2015 wind and solar investments were higher than previously thought. Lower power demand and government policy changes also held back investment there, Liebreich said.

In the Middle East and Africa, investment dropped 46 percent to $4.2 billion, and the U.S. fell 5 percent to $23.1 billion.

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