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Global energy industry down, renewable energy up

The potential investment value of new power projects globally fell 53% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2010 compared to Q3, according to the EIC Monitor, whereas renewable energy projects have seen growth in number of projects and potential investment value.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

In the global power industry, the number of new projects (425) compared to 351 new projects in Q4 2009. The estimated total value in Q4 2010 amounted to US$281 billion, up 3% on the same period in 2009.

In the power sector, the investment value of new projects fell 53% to US$131bn in Q4, compared to the previous quarter (Q3 2010), as the number of projects fell from 136 to 96. In Q4 2009, the projects (106) totalled US$95bn.

In the renewable energy sector, the number of new projects (135) increased “slightly” and the value increased 29% from Q3. Compared to Q4 2009, the number of renewable energy projects was up almost 30%, and the value went up a third to US$96.7bn.

There are 37 new solar-based projects, including the Northern Cape Solar Project in South Africa valued alone at US$20bn.

The US has 23 new renewable energy projects with a combined value of US$20.5bn, and Germany has announced three new offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 2155 MW and a combined value of US$9.9bn.

Mike Major, CEO at EIC, says: “Overall, this quarter, the EIC Monitor has highlighted a slight downturn in the global energy industry caused primarily by a significant drop in new projects in the conventional power sector.

“In particular, there has been a notable decline in activity in Western Europe. This is partly down to uncertainty surrounding low-carbon policies and market reform in the electricity sector which has increased the risk for investors. We would like to see Western European governments move more quickly in establishing policy in the power sector.

“There are, however, a number of positive signs of growth in the global energy industry. In the upstream sector particularly, the EIC Monitor has highlighted significant growth and the downstream and renewables sectors have also fared well this quarter.”

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