Wind investments rise in first half of 2018

WORLDWIDE: Large project financings caused total investments in wind power to surge in the first half of 2018, while those in solar PV slowed, according to new figures.

United States H1 financing for wind projects grew 121% year-on-year

A total of $57.2 billion was invested in wind projects in the first six months of the year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) — up 33% year-on-year.

This compared with a 19% drop for solar PV as capital costs fell — meaning fewer dollars were spent per megawatt installed — and the Chinese solar boom cooled. BNEF expects these trends to continue in the second half of the year.

Overall, $138.2 billion was invested in clean energy in H1 2018, down 1% from the same period in 2017. However, the $76.7 billion invested in the second quarter of the year marked an 8% increase on the same period 12 months prior.

Headline wind deals in the first half of the year included:

  • A $1.5 billion investment in the 731.5MW Borssele III and IV wind farm off the Dutch coast, which reached financial close in June;
  • $1 billion in NextEra Energy’s 478MW Hale project in Texas. Construction of the site was approved in May; and
  • Macquarie Capital, Swancor Renewable and Ørsted investing $627 in the 120MW Formosa 1 project — the first Taiwanese offshore project to reach financial close.

In the United States H1 financing for wind projects reached $17.5 billion — up 121% on the same period one year earlier, while Chinese investments rose 4% to $17.6 billion.

US wind investments made up 60% of total clean energy investments ($28.8 billion) in the country, while in China funding in wind accounted for 30% of the total ($58.1 billion).

Amy Grace, BNEF’s head of North American research, added: "We see US wind investment increasing in 2018-19 as developers rush to finance projects in time to qualify for federal tax credits."

The production tax credit is being phased out over five years to 2021.