Renewable energy investment down 23% after record 2015

Global renewable energy investment in the first half of this year fell to $116.4 billion (£87.2bn). That’s 23% down from the first half of last year, with total investment in 2016 predicted […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Global renewable energy investment in the first half of this year fell to $116.4 billion (£87.2bn).

That’s 23% down from the first half of last year, with total investment in 2016 predicted to fall well short of 2015’s $348.5 billion (£261bn).

Europe’s figure was up 4% at $33.5 billion and Brazil saw a 36% increase at $3.7 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

However investment in China was down 34% to $33.7 billion, India also saw a fall to $3.8 billion and the US down 5% at $23.1 billion.

The biggest investments in the first half of 2016 were asset finance of renewable energy projects at $92 billion (£69.3bn) worldwide but the figure fell 19% from last year.

Offshore wind in Europe took the majority of this investment, led by the $3.9 billion (£2.94bn) final investment decision on the 588MW Beatrice project in UK waters.

Small-scale solar attracted $19.5 billion (£14.7bn) in the first half of 2016, down nearly a third on the same period of last year.

Although mainly due to lower costs, there was also a marked slowdown in Japan – believed to be the largest market for these systems – where deployment amounted to $4.6 billion (£3.46bn) in the first half of the year, down 66% from 2015.

Michael Liebreich, Chairman of the advisory board at BNEF said: “It is now looking almost certain that the global investment total for this year will fail to match 2015’s runaway record. China’s financing of wind and solar projects was even higher last year than previously estimated and the hangover this year caused by weak electricity demand and policy changes in that country will therefore be all the greater.”