Renewable energy: Investments decline globally

China takes over from Europe as the largest investing region

By Ankur Paliwal
Published: Wednesday 09 April 2014


Investment in renewable energy sector is on the decline globally, according to a report. Total investment in renewable power, excluding large hydro-electric projects, fell to $214 billion globally in 2013. This was 14 per cent lower than 2012 and 23 per cent lower than in 2011, says a recently released report titled Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment in 2014.
The report gives two main reasons for the decline: policy uncertainty in many countries and sharp fall in solar equipment prices. In India, lack of financing was one of the major hurdles behind drop in investments, say analysts of the report, prepared by Frankfurt School-United National Environment Programme and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

China took over from Europe as the largest investing region, and polled  a maximum of US $56.3 billion in renewable energy in 2013, even though this investment was lower than what was invested the previous year. In India, investment declined to US $ 6 billion, which was 15 per cent lower than in 2012. Similarly, investments also fell in most other countries. Japan, however, bucked the trend; renewable energy development there soared 80 per cent to $29 billion last year.


Worldwide, a total of 8.5 per cent of electricity was generated by renewable sources in 2013. This averted carbon dioxide emissions of around 1.2 gigatonnes. The share of renewable energy in 2012 was 7.8 per cent.
In different sectors of renewable energy, the investments were more or less constant in wind energy at US $80 billion, while they tumbled 20 per cent to $ 114 billion in solar energy. The lowest drop was in biofuels sector.


The investment fell to $5 billion, registering a drop of 26 per cent, the lowest for nine years. Biomass and waste-to-energy fell 28 per cent to $8 billion, and small hydro-electric (projects of less than 50mw) declined 16 per cent to $5 billion. Geothermal was the only sector that registered increase—investment gained 38 per cent at $2.5 billion.


Report: Global trends in renewable energy investment 2014

Report: Global trends in renewable energy investment 2013

Report: Renewables 2013: global status report

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