Renewable energy: Investments decline globally

China takes over from Europe as the largest investing region

By Ankur Paliwal
Last Updated: Thursday 17 September 2015


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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  • Interesting story. But they

    Interesting story. But they will pick up soon.China leads in Wind and Solar.
    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Although the investment in

    Although the investment in solar saw a decrease there was an increase of 26% in capacity installation from 31 GW in 2012 to 39 GW in 2013. Further, since you have presented the excerpt from the report it would also be pertinent to note:
    1)In 2013 public market equity-raising by renewable
    energy companies, which jumped 201 per cent to US$11 billion
    2)What Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of
    UNEP had said in the same report ÔÇ£While some may point to the fact that overall investment in renewables fell in 2013, the drop masks
    the many positive signals of a dynamic market that is fast evolving and maturingÔÇØ
    3) The report points to the end of a four-and-a-half year 78 per cent decline in clean energy stocks, which
    bottomed out in July 2012 and then gained 54 per cent in 2013
    4) The year marked a deepening involvement of long-term investors such as pension funds, insurance
    companies, wealth managers and private individuals in the equity and debt of wind and solar projects.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
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