Second quarter of 2017 saw $64.8 billion invested
in clean energy around the world, up 21 percent from 1Q this
year, but down 12 percent compared to 2Q 2016.
The financing of two huge photovoltaic projects in the United
Arab Emirates helped to drive a recovery in global clean energy
investment to $64.8 billion in the second quarter of this year,
the highest for any quarter since 2Q 2016.
The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum III plant in Dubai and
the Marubeni JinkoSolar and Adwea Sweihan project in Abu Dhabi,
at 800MW and 1.2GW respectively, contributed $1.9 billion
between them to the global investment total in 2Q 2017,
according to the latest authoritative figures from Bloomberg New
Other highlights of the data include bounce-backs in investment
in the April-to-June quarter in China and the U.S., and sharply
increased funding for projects in Mexico, Australia and Sweden.
In addition, Egypt and Argentina, two new markets for renewables,
saw record quarterly figures. The weakest feature was the U.K.,
where investment slumped more than 90 percent compared to 2Q
Victoria Cuming, head of policy for Europe, Middle East and
Africa at BNEF, said: The U.A.E. deals are the largest in that
country to date by far, and show that its auction programs are
leading to the commitment of hard cash by banks and equity
providers. They also signal that oil-producing countries are
warming to renewables as part of moves to diversify their
Overall, solar was the star sector in 2Q, notching up investment
of $35.6 billion, up 19 percent year-on-year and 20 percent
quarter-on-quarter. Wind had a weaker three months, seeing
investment slip 29 percent year-on-year to $26.2 billion,
although it was 43 percent higher than in the first quarter of
The commitments made to both solar and wind were less in dollar
terms per MW in 2Q 2017 than they would have been in previous
years because of sharp reductions in costs. BNEF estimates that
global capital costs for PV and onshore wind have dropped by 15
percent and 14 percent respectively in the last 12 months, in
response to fierce competition in manufacturing, and technology
Abraham Louw, analyst, clean energy economics at BNEF, said:
The $64.8 billion investment total in 2Q was quite firm given
that backdrop of falling costs. There was also a good spread of
big projects financed in different countries, and less reliance
on European offshore wind than in some recent quarters.
There were only two large offshore wind arrays financed in
Europe in 2Q the 200MW Borkum West II and 112MW Albatros
projects in German waters, at $918 million and $532 million.
Other top project deals of the quarter were two Chinese 300MW
offshore wind arrays, Three Gorges Dafeng and Three Gorges
Zhuanghe, costing an estimated $1.8 billion in total, the 396MW
Juchitan de Zaragoza onshore wind farm in Mexico, at $721
million, and the Avangrid La Joya onshore wind park in the U.S.,
at 400MW and an estimated $620 million.
Outside solar and wind, other clean energy sectors saw modest
flows in 2Q. Biomass and waste-to-energy had investment of $387
million, down 76 percent year-on-year; small hydro $595 million,
down 20 percent; geothermal $423 million, down 24 percent; and
investment in energy smart technology companies (in areas such
as smart grid, energy storage and electric vehicles) was $1.5
billion, down 50 percent year-on-year.
Overall asset finance of utility-scale renewable energy projects
was $51.7 billion in 2Q, down 13 percent on a year earlier but
up 32 percent on 1Q 2017. Small-scale solar projects of less
than 1MW attracted $10.8 billion, up 8 percent year-on-year.
Public markets investment in specialist clean energy companies
totaled $1.2 billion in the 2Q, down 65 percent year-on-year and
47 percent quarter-on-quarter. The largest equity raisings on
stock markets were for two Chinese companies, project developer
Huaneng Renewables ($281 million) and solar glass maker Xinyi
Solar ($194 million).
Venture capital and private equity investment in clean energy
continued its recent upswing, with $1.9 billion raised in 2Q, up
50 percent on the same period in 2016 and 15 percent on 1Q this
year. The top VC/PE deals were $400 million for Microvast Power
System, a Chinese maker of batteries for electric and
hybrid-electric vehicles, $113 million for French solar
developer EREN Renewable Energy and $100 million for U.S.
energy-efficient window company View Inc.
Taking all those categories of investment together,
country-level results for the second quarter included:
China $23.3 billion, down 16 percent compared to 2Q 2016, up
32 percent from 1Q 2017.
The U.S. $14.7 billion, up 6 percent year-on-year, up 51
Europe $8.8 billion, down 49 percent year-on-year, up 10
Germany $3.2 billion, down 34 percent year-on-year, down 7
Japan $2.9 billion, up 12 percent year-on-year, down 11
India $2.6 billion, up 11 percent year-on-year, down 4 percent
U.A.E. $2.1 billion, up from almost nothing in 2Q 2016 and 1Q
Brazil $1.9 billion, down 1 percent year-on-year, up 10
Mexico $1.8 billion, up 261 percent year-on-year, down 10
Australia $1.5 billion, up 77 percent year-on-year, down 29
Sweden $887 million, up 213 percent year-on-year, and up from
almost nothing in 1Q.
France $845 million, up 43 percent year-on-year, down 1
Egypt $805 million, up from almost nothing in 2Q 2016 and 1Q
Argentina $464 million, up from almost nothing in 2Q 2016 and
The U.K. $407 million, down 93 percent year-on-year, down 60
The chart on the next page shows the quarterly trend in clean
energy investment by region.
Global new investment in clean energy by
region, by quarter, $billion
Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Note: In this chart, asset
finance is adjusted for re-invested equity. Clean energy covers
renewable energy excluding large hydro, plus energy smart
technologies such as energy efficiency, demand response, energy
storage and electric vehicles.
BNEFs annual figures, published every January, include certain
categories of investment that are not in the quarterly data
namely corporate and government R&D in clean energy and asset
finance of smart meters and energy storage projects.