Following on from news at the start of the year that 2012 was the worst year so far for clean energy investment, 2013 has got off to an equally-troubling start as it has been revealed investment has slid a further 22%.
It’s now reached its lowest level in four years, with clean energy investment for the first quarter of 2013 standing at a total of $40.6bn worldwide.
The data, compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, points to several key factors contributing to such a low figure. Governments worldwide have continued to pare back subsidies even further as a slower-than-expected recovery from recession takes its toll, whilst huge scale financing operations in China and Brazil reaching a standstill.
“The last 18-months have seen a number of significant support programs launched in the aftermath of the financial crisis come to an end,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive officer of the London-based research company.
Whilst the results of the research yielded worrying statistics for most of the world, there were some hot-spots for renewable growth – with Asia in particular investing in green business energy solutions. Japan rose it’s investment to $8.2bn, whilst Asian countries – outside of the stalling China and India – boosted their collective investment by 47% to an all-time high $10.1bn.
Worldwide the specialist subsidies for business energy brokers, investors and companies have had a shaky start to 2013, with the main subsidy for wind power stalling in Germany and the US, as well as being scrapped altogether in some parts of central Europe.
The largest decline came in asset finance, effecting large-scale commercial energy ventures such as wind farms and solar parks, falling 34% compared to last quarter. However, smaller ventures – such as homes and small businesses converting to solar – were also struck to a 29% deficit to January-March last year.
Liebreich also added, “For investment in clean energy to play its role in stemming the growth in world emissions, we would need to see investment levels at least double by 2020, rather than fall,” – an ominous choice of date, given many country’s decarbonisation plans aim to be in action by 2020.