Wind investment falls to four-year low

WORLDWIDE: The total value of investments in the wind-power sector in 2017 amounted to $107 billion, the lowest annual figure since 2013, according to the latest figures.

Offshore wind projects in the UK, Germany and China were among the biggest asset finance deals in 2017 (pic: Ørsted)
Offshore wind projects in the UK, Germany and China were among the biggest asset finance deals in 2017 (pic: Ørsted)

Data from analyst firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance found total clean energy investments worldwide totalled $333.5 billion in 2017 up 3% year on year.

There was a 17% increase in solar deals, totalling $160.8 billion, BNEF said, with over half of this taking place in China.

Wind's share of the total equated to $107 billion, a 12% fall from 2016 and the lowest since the $86 billion invested in 2013.

BNEF said 2017's total clean energy figure was the second highest total ever, and has taken cumulative clean energy investment since 2010 over $2.5 trillion.

Jon Moore, chief executive of BNEF, said: "The 2017 total is all the more remarkable when you consider that capital costs for the leading technology — solar — continue to fall sharply. Typical utility-scale PV systems were about 25% cheaper per megawatt last year than they were two years earlier."

Once again, however, as in 2016, the largest deals of the year were made in the offshore wind sector.

Ørsted (formerly Dong Energy) completed the finance for its $4.8 billion Hornsea Project Two site in the UK, while around 13 Chinese offshore wind projects, totalling 3.7GW, contributed $10.8 billion of investment.

Among other asset finance deals last year, there was also a $1.55 billion investment in Northland Power's 252MW Deutsche Bucht offshore site, and the $1.91 billion spent on EnBW's 497MW Hohe See project, both off Germany's coast in the North Sea.

Meanwhile in the US, the 2GW Wind Catcher site in Oklahoma contributed over $2.9 billion to the investment total, BNEF said.

Country by country

China saw 40% share of the investment total, with $132.6 billion of deals made last year. It was its highest ever total, up from $107.2bn last year and just $16.8 billion a decade ago.

BNEF said a majority of the Chinese market was down to the booming solar sector. This was despite "regulators curb[ing] investment in utility-scale solar, they did not however set caps on distributions-grid connected systems... which developers invested heavily in," BNEF mentioned in its annual report.

New investment in the US remained relatively flat growing from $56.4 billion last year to $56.9 billion in 2017 "despite a less friendly tone towards renewables adopted by the Trump administration".

Investments in Mexico increased 516% to $6.2 billion and Australia increased $9 billion, up 150%. There was also a 23-fold increase in the United Arab Emirates, where $2.2 billion was invested, BNEF said.

Elsewhere, however, investment in the UK more than halved to $10.3 billion, while Germany totalled just $14.6 billion, down 26% and Japan fell 16% to $23.4 billion. The UK total was the lowest amount since 2008.


Clean Energy Investment 
in 2017

 vs 2016
China $132.6bn +24%
US $56.9bn +1%
Japan $23.4bn -16%
Germany $14.6bn -26%
India $11bn -20%
UK $10.3bn -56%
Australia $9bn +150%
Mexico $6.2bn +516%
Brazil $6.2bn +10%
France $5bn +15%
Sweden $4bn +109%
Netherlands $3.5bn +30%
Canada $3.3bn +45%
South Korea $2.9bn +14%
Egypt $2.6bn +495%

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance

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