The global value of deals made among power and utilities firms fell by 4% last year.
That’s according to a new report from EY, which shows the year-on-year total dropped to $192.3 billion (£155.15bn) in 2016 from around $200 billion (£161.4bn) in 2015.
Regulated assets accounted for the greatest share (46%) of the deal value in 2016, totalling $89.3 billion (£72.05bn). EY suggests this figure remains high due to investors continuing to seek stable returns.
Interest in renewable energy assets also remained high, with value totalling $28.4 billion (£22.9bn), including 10 multibillion-dollar transactions. Nearly a third of the total came from the US alone.
The report also highlights a noticeable trend of some of the world’s biggest utilities investing in new energy technologies, in particular the storage sector. These companies included Enel, Innogy and National Grid.
Deals involving this new energy technology, which includes storage, smart metering and electric vehicle charging, totaled $898 million (£724.47m).
Tony Ward, EY UK & Ireland Head of Power & Utilities, said: “The result in 2016 was a surge in valuations of network assets and power purchase agreement-backed renewables deals as investors sought methods of putting their money into safe, stable assets with guaranteed returns at scale.
“A noticeable shift in the appetite for new energy technology is underway as investors embrace the need to diversify.”