January 17, 2019 Read More →

Report says U.S. clean energy investment hit record $64.2 billion in 2018

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

Led by investments in wind farms and solar arrays, clean-energy investment in the United States rose 12% to $64.2 billion in 2018, even as global clean-energy funding declined 8% to $332.1 billion, BloombergNEF said in a new report.

The new record for annual U.S. clean-energy investment surpassed the previous high of $62.3 billion in 2011, and it contrasts with a 32% drop in clean-energy spending in China, to roughly $100 billion. Solar demand in China, the world’s leading renewable energy market, cooled in 2018 after the government curtailed incentives, leading to a global glut of solar panels and falling prices.

Despite the downturn in China, global solar photovoltaic installed capacity rose to 109 GW in 2018, from 99 GW in 2017, according to the report, thanks largely to gains in Europe and emerging markets. Declining capital costs, however, drove global solar investments down 24% to $131 billion, while worldwide investments in wind energy rose slightly to $129 billion.

Taking advantage of lower solar prices and demand for offshore wind farms, Europe ratcheted up its clean energy investments 27% in 2018 to $74.5 billion, as progress in Spain, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia helped to offset a 32% decline in Germany, the firm found.

Installed solar capacity will continue to rise in 2019 despite the headwinds, to between 125 GW and 141 GW, said Jenny Chase, the firm’s head of solar research. Global energy storage additions will easily surpass 10 GWh for the first time in 2019, while electric vehicle sales will rise by 40% — a robust growth rate, but down from a 70% expansion in 2018, the firm added.

More ($): Report: US clean energy investment hits record $64B in 2018 amid global decline

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