Global Investments in Renewable Energy Hit $288 Billion: BNEF Report

The dip in investment in 2018 can be partly attributed to falling technology costs in solar photovoltaics, which meant that the required capacity could be secured at a lower cost and slowdown in PV installations in China.

Renewable energy

Global investment in renewable energy has hit $288.9 billion in 2018, with the amount spent on new capacity far exceeding the financial backing for new fossil fuel power, according to new figures published yesterday.

These numbers were released by BloombergNEF (BNEF) and were published as part of REN21’s Renewables 2019 Global Status Report.

The figure does not include hydropower above 50MW, which saw an additional USD 16 billion invested – also down on 2017, when USD 40 billion was invested. The $288.9 Billion mark was an 11% decrease from the previous year (largely as a result of a significant fall in China) but the fifth year in a row that investment exceeded the $ 230 billion mark. With more or less stable growth in renewable power capacity, the decline in investment reflects to some extent the falling costs of renewables – essentially, more capacity can be installed for less money.

Globally, solar was still the largest focus of investment, with USD 139.7 billion in 2018, down 22%. Wind power investment increased by 2 % in 2018, to USD 134.1 billion.

“Global trends continue to indicate that investing in renewable energy is investing in a profitable future. Investments in renewable energy in 2018 were three times higher than the amount invested in new coal and gas-fired generators,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme. “While this is encouraging, we need to significantly step up the pace, if we are to meet international climate & development goals.”

China leads, Europe and developing countries rally

A geographical breakdown of the USD 288.9 billion figure for total renewable energy investment in 2018 shows that China led investment worldwide for the seventh successive year, at USD 91.2 billion. However, this was down 37% from 2017’s record number, due to a number of factors including a mid-year change in the government’s feed-in tariff policy, which hit investment in solar power.

China also accounted for 32% of the global total investment, followed by Europe at 21 %, the United States at 17 %, and Asia-Oceania (excluding China and India) at 15 %. Smaller shares were seen in India at 5 %, the Middle East and Africa at 5 %, the Americas (excluding Brazil and the United States) at 3 % and Brazil at 1 %.

Investment in the Asia-Pacific region (excluding China and India) increased 6 % to USD 44.2 billion, the highest level in three years, while the Middle East and Africa saw investment leap 57% to a record USD 15.4 billion.

Published with permission from Iamrenew

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