The global drop was 14% compared to the first half of 2018. Meanwhile, Spain had the highest growth in investment in Europe.
Global investment in clean energy fell by 14% in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. The cause is the slowdown in investment in clean energy in China (39%), the world’s largest market. Spain had the highest growth in investment in Europe, 235% more than in the first half of 2018.
Investments in China fell by 39%. That fall is the lowest since 2013, according to the latest report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
As BNEF pointed out with respect to the 2018 report, the withdrawal of economic stimuli by the Beijing government has led to a slowdown in the Chinese market.
The figure for global investment in clean energy, therefore, has also been implicated during the first half of the year. It was 117.6 billion dollars. That is 14% less than in the same period in 2018.
In spite of everything, BNEF points out that the figures “probably exaggerate their gravity”. Justin Wu, head of Asia-Pacific for BNEF, commented on the figures, referring to China:
“We now look forward to a national solar auction that will lead to an avalanche of investments in new photovoltaic projects. We will also be able to see several big bids in offshore wind power for the second half.
Global investment. Other markets
In contrast to the above, the first half saw the financing of multimillion-dollar projects in two relatively new markets. This is the 950MW, $4.2 billion solar thermal and photovoltaic complex in Dubai. And two offshore wind farms, off Taiwan, of 640 MW and 900 MW, with a combined estimated cost of 5.7 billion.
The Dubai agreement at the end of March, for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum IV project, is the largest investment ever seen in the solar sector. It involves $2.6 billion in debt. It comes from 10 banks, including Chinese, Gulf and Western. In addition, more than 1.6 billion dollars of capital are from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, the Saudi ACWA Power and the Chinese Silk Road Fund.
As for Taiwanese wind projects, Wpd Yunlin Yunneng and Ørsted Greater Changhua involve European developers, investors, banks and local actors. Offshore wind activity is broadening its geographical focus from the North Sea of Europe and the coast of China to new markets such as Taiwan, the east coast of the United States, India and Vietnam.
BNEF figures for global investment in clean energy in the first half of 2019 show mixed results for major markets. The “big three” – China, the United States and Europe – showed falls, but different from China. The United States fell a modest 6% to 23.6 billion dollars, Europe fell 4% to 22.2 billion, compared to the first half of 2018. That’s much less than the 39% decline seen in China.
Japan attracted $8.7 billion in investment, 3% more than the first half of 2018. India, 5.9 billion, 10% more, remains on track to meet its target of 175GW of renewable energy by 2022. Brazil saw an investment of 1.4 billion, 19% more.
In Europe, Spain was the star player, with 3.7 billion, 235% more than in the same period last year.
The Netherlands: 41% less, with 2.2 billion
Germany: 42% less, with 2.1 billion
United Kingdom: 35% less, with 2.5 billion
France: 75% less, with 567 million
Sweden: an investment increase of 212%, with 2.5 billion
Ukraine: also up, 60%, with 1.7 billion
By type of transaction
Breaking down global investment in clean energy by type of transaction, the financing of assets from utility-scale generation projects, such as wind farms and solar parks, declined by 24% to $85.6 billion. It was largely due to China’s factor.
Financing of small-scale solar systems, less than 1MW, increased by 32%, with 23.7 billion in the first half of 2019.
Investment in companies specializing in clean energy through public markets was 37% higher, with 5.6 billion. It was helped by two large capital raises for electric vehicle manufacturers. Thus, 863 million for Tesla and 650 million for NIO, based in China.
Venture capital and private equity financing of clean energy companies in the first half fell 2% to 4.7 billion. However, there were several exceptionally large deals. One billion for the Swedish battery company Northvolt. Another billion for US electric vehicle battery specialist Lucid Motors. And 700 million for another U.S. electric vehicle manufacturer, Rivian Automotive.