Clean energy investment declined 11 per cent in 2012, weighed down by regulatory uncertainty and policy changes in big markets such as the US, India, Spain and Italy. Sharply lower prices of solar and wind technology also provided downward pressure on investment volumes, though they allow higher installation levels per dollar of funding.
Today’s figures from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance, based on the world’s leading database of transactions and projects in clean energy, show that overall global investment in 2012 was $268.7 billion, down from a revised figure of $302.3 billion in 2011. The 2012 investment total was the second highest ever, and five times that of 2004.
The highlight of the 2012 total for clean energy investment was a record $67.7 billion outlay by China, up 20 per cent on the previous year thanks to a surge in its solar sector. Its total was more than 50 per cent above that of the second-placed country, the US, with $44.2 billion. In 2011, the US pipped China for first position as investors rushed to take advantage of stimulus-related programmes before they expired.
Other strong performers were South Africa, which saw investment leap to $5.5 billion, from just a few tens of millions in 2011, as its tender process for wind and solar led to a string of large project financings; and Japan, where the fresh emphasis on renewable power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 and the start of a new subsidy programme, helped investment soar 75 per cent in 2012 to $16.3 billion.
Click here to read the full report of the Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).