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Fall in world clean energy investment

Global investment in clean energy was US$45.9billion in the third quarter of 2013, down 14% on the second quarter of this year and 20% below the number for Q3 2012, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

This suggests that investment in technologies such as smart grid, efficiency, storage and electric vehicles will end this year below 2012's US$281 billion. This total was in turn11% down from the record established in 2011.

The third quarter data showed weakness almost across the board, with investment in China, the US and Europe all down on the equivalent period of 2012. The only region to show a rise in activity on both the quarter and the year was the Americas outside the US and Brazil, due to firm figures from Canada, Chile and Uruguay.

However, the installation of solar photovoltaic power capacity worldwide is set to hit a new record in 2013 at 36.7GW. 

"After the slightly more promising second quarter, we now have a very disappointing third quarter figure for investment,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “US$45.9 billion is still a substantial amount of money, greater than that invested in the whole of 2004, but the loss of momentum since 2011 is worrying.

"The latest setback reflects policy uncertainty in Europe, the lure of cheap gas in the US, a levelling-off in wind and solar investment in China, and a general weakening of political will in major economies. Governments accept that the world has a major problem with climate change but, for the moment, appear too engrossed in short-term domestic issues to take the decisive action needed."

Among the major countries, the US saw its total fall to US$5.5 billion in Q3 from US$9.4 billion in Q2, China was down at US$13 billion from US$13.8 billion, India was at US$1.2 billion from US$1.5 billion, and Japan US$7.3 billion from US$7.4 billion. Brazil showed a modest rise, from US$950 million to US$1.1 billion.

In Europe, German investment was US$1.6 billion, down from US$1.7 billion in Q2 and far below the quarterly figures seen in recent years. France saw a fall from US$1.2 billion in Q2 to US$727 million in Q3, Italy a rebound to US$1.3 billion from US$1.2 billion, and the UK a somewhat rally from US$1.6 billion to US$2.6 billion.

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Bioenergy  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity  •  Wind power

 

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