Global clean energy investment bounced back 24% in the second quarter of the year to hit almost $60 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s latest report.
But while the rebound to $59.6 billion in investment is very welcome, it is still 18% down on the near-record figure of $72.5 billion during the same period last year.
Not unexpectedly, China continues to lead the way with investment of $18 billion in Q2, nearly double that reported in the first quarter of the year.
But investment was also up 18% in the US to $10.2 billion and 11% in Europe to $20 billion despite the continuing economic gloom.
Asset finance funding of utility-scale projects like wind farms and solar parks has been one of the biggest winners, up 50% from the previous quarter to reach $36 billion.
And small-scale renewable energy projects of less than 1 MW, particularly rooftop solar photovoltaics installations, showed a significant rise to $21.5 billion.
“China has recently quadrupled its domestic goals for solar installations,” says chief executive Michael Liebreich. “Small-scale projects are becoming an increasingly important part of the world’s energy mix, particularly following the 75% drop in the cost of PV modules over the past three years.”
While China is starting to catch up in terms of small-scale photovoltaics, along with US and Japan, Germany and Italy still remain the largest markets.
Liebreich says the technology is broadening its geographic base and he expects further expansion across the “sunbelt” as costs continue to come down.
But the Bloomberg report highlights that public market investment is still 75% down on the same period last year, although it has picked up from the first quarter of the year, while venture capital and private equity investment is also “subdued”.
For further information:
Global renewable power generation to grow 40%, says IEA (9-Jul)
Global renewables investment soars to $257 billion (11-Jun)
Clean energy investment drops to lowest levels since 2009 (29-May)
Solar power closer to competitiveness than realised, says report (23-May)
Renewables will replace the UK’s ageing generation capacity, says Bloomberg (2-Mar)
11 July 2012