The Clean Revolution is underway - clean energy investment soars to record $45.5 billion in Q3 2011

Clare Saxon Ghauri
14 October 2011

LONDON: New analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reveals that asset finance of utility-scale clean energy projects has surged to a record $41.8 billion in the third quarter of 2011, with overall new investment reaching $45.5 billion, despite the European debt crisis.

BNEF’s figures show that overall financial new investment in clean energy totaled $45.5 billion in the third quarter of 2011, which is up 9% on the year’s second quarter and exceeding 2010’s third quarter by 16%. 

The largest industry investments - of $6.3 billion - were in offshore wind, with impressive investments also seen in photovoltaic, solar thermal and biofuel in the US, geothermal in Indonesia, and onshore wind in both Brazil and China.

The third quarter of 2011 was also a record for merger and acquisition activity in clean energy, which reached a total of $25.9 billion; up 31% on 2011’s second quarter and a jump of 59% on last year’s third quarter. 

These robust figures are all the more significant given the currently dipping clean energy share prices, as well as the Eurozone debt crisis.

The jump in investments is explained by further BNEF data showing rapidly falling renewable energy technology costs, which is ramping-up clean technologies' competitiveness in the markets.

Michael Liebreich, Chief Executive, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in the BNEF press release: “Over the past three years we have seen extraordinary falls in the prices of clean energy equipment – wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels. As these figures show, this has driven up installation rates and asset investment levels. However, there is still not enough demand to soak up significant over-supply, so prices and margins have remained under pressure and manufacturers’ share prices are being crushed. The industry has swung between being a buyer’s market and a seller’s market a few times in recent years: right now, you would love to be a developer with access to funding, but not a supplier. Eventually things will come back into balance. Of course the furor in the US over the failure of Solyndra hasn’t helped clean energy share prices.”

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “BNEF’s analysis highlights the great opportunity that investing in the low carbon future continues to offer. This jump in investment is all the more striking in the face of the development of new fossil resources, the fall in clean energy share prices and the European financial crisis, and so is a remarkable indicator of the long term growth potential of clean technologies and a clear case for investing in the Clean Revolution.”


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