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Global clean energy investment crosses $300 billon

, February 4, 2015, 0 Comments

global clean energy solar energy-MarketExpress-inGlobal clean energy investment surged in 2014 crossing $300 billon for the first time ever, with solar energy drawing nearly $150 billion in investments. The investment was up 16% this year, as lower solar prices and increase in offshore wind energy investments helped increase investments overall. Solar energy investments included investments in both solar companies and solar power projects. The advent of yieldcos also helped in increasing fund flows into the solar market.

China again led the quantum of clean investment with more than $80 billion, followed byUSA and Japan. For Japan, most of the investments were mostly solar energy related, with more than 8 GW installed in 2014.  For USA, it was a mix of solar energy, wind energy, electric vehicle and battery investments across different channels such as Private Equity, Debt, VC etc.

Solar energy investments increased in 2014, as solar panel prices have stabilized. In the last couple of years the overall demand capacity for solar energy had increased by leaps and bounds. In 2014, solar panel prices remained more or less at around 60c/watt, which meant that as overall capacity demand in GW increased so did the overall investment value in dollars. Wind energy investments also increased to $100 billion, as funding poured in for large offshore wind energy projects in Europe.

Europe was the laggard in clean energy investments with only 1% growth, reflecting the high level of renewable energy already existing in European economies as well as the general economic slowdown.  The oil price falls will create pressure on clean energy investments.

The sentiment will sour for clean energy as fossil fuel energy becomes more attractive. Though solar and wind energy prices have become competitive with fossil fuel in a number of places, the falling gas prices will create issues for large scale solar energy plants which were competing with gas based plants. Coal is also making a comeback with falling coal prices making coal even cheaper than other fuels.