BNEF: New investment in clean energy worldwide fell 18% last year

1/16/20170 comentarii

New investment in clean energy worldwide fell 18% last year to $287.5bn, despite a record year for offshore wind financings, according to the latest authoritative figures from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The 2016 setback in global investment, signaled in advance by weak quarterly figures during the course of last year, partly reflected further sharp falls in equipment prices, particularly in solar photovoltaics. However, there was also a marked cooling in two key markets, China and Japan. Clean energy investment in China in 2016 was $87.8bn, down 26% on the all-time high of $119.1bn reached in 2015, while the equivalent figure for Japan was $22.8bn, down 43%.

Justin Wu, head of Asia for BNEF, said: “After years of record-breaking investment driven by some of the world’s most generous feed-in tariffs, China and Japan are cutting back on building new large-scale projects and shifting towards digesting the capacity they have already put in place.

“China is facing slowing power demand and growing wind and solar curtailment. The government is now focused on investing in grids and reforming the power market so that the renewables in place can generate to their full potential. In Japan, future growth will come not from utility-scale projects but from rooftop solar systems installed by consumers attracted by the increasingly favorable economics of self-consumption.”

Offshore wind was the brightest spot in the global clean energy investment picture in 2016. Capital spending commitments to this technology hit $29.9bn in 2016, up 40% on the previous year, as developers took advantage of improved economics, resulting from bigger turbines and better construction knowhow.

Last year’s record offshore wind tally included the go-ahead for the largest ever project, Dong Energy’s 1.2GW Hornsea array off the UK coast, at a cost of $5.7bn – plus 14 other parks of more than 100MW, worth anywhere between $391m and $3.9bn, in British, German, Belgian, Danish and Chinese waters.

Jon Moore, chief executive of BNEF, commented: “The offshore wind record last year shows that this technology has made huge strides in terms of cost-effectiveness, and in proving its reliability and performance. Europe saw $25.8bn of offshore wind investment, but there was also $4.1bn in China, and new markets are set to open up in North America and Taiwan.”

Even though overall investment in clean energy was down in 2016, the total capacity installed was not. Estimates from BNEF’s analysis teams are that a record 70GW of solar were added last year, up from 56GW in 2015, plus 56.5GW of wind, down from 63GW but the second-highest figure ever.

Geographical split

Clean energy investment in the US slipped 7% to $58.6bn, as developers took time to progress wind and solar projects eligible for the tax credits that were extended by Congress in December 2015. Canada was down 46% at $2.4bn.

Investment in the whole Asia-Pacific region including India and China fell 26% to $135bn, some 47% of the world total. India was almost level with 2015, at $9.6bn, with several giant solar photovoltaic plants going ahead.

Europe was up 3% at $70.9bn, helped by offshore wind and also by the biggest onshore wind project ever financed – the 1GW, $1.3bn Fosen complex in Norway. The UK led the European field for the third successive year, with investment of $25.9bn, up 2%, while Germany was second at $15.2bn, down 16%. France got $3.6bn, down 5%, and Belgium $3bn, up 179%, while Denmark was 102% higher at $2.7bn, Sweden up 85% at $2bn and Italy up 11% at $2.3bn.

Among developing nations, many saw investment slip as projects that won capacity in renewable energy auctions during 2016 did not secure finance before the year-end. Investment in South Africa fell 76% to $914m, while that in Chile dropped 80% to $821m, Mexico fell 59% to $1bn and Uruguay 74% to $429m. Brazil edged down 5% to $6.8bn.

One of the emerging markets to go the other way was Jordan, which broke the $1bn barrier for the first time, its clean energy investment increasing 147% to $1.2bn in 2016.

source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance
https://about.bnef.com/blog/record-30bn-year-offshore-wind-overall-investment/
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