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Key Findings

Among developing nations, China, India and Brazil have drawn the most renewable energy investment, a trend that has been supported by strong, clear policy ambitions.

The economic viability of renewable energy depends considerably on resource quality, especially in solar.

Relatively high GDP growth rates in developing economies and high energy-demand forecasts in these countries suggest that these markets are relatively attractive for new energy investments.

Executive Summary

Last year saw a global record US$286 billion1 in new renewable-energy investment, with total transactions (including refinancing) in excess of $US380 billion.

More than half of that activity occurred in developing countries.

Broad interest in renewables auctions is spreading—and taking root in more and more countries—a sure sign that global renewables investment is gaining momentum.

Electricity tariffs in recent auctions have achieved historic lows, and most of the auctions have been oversubscribed.

  • Recent auctions in Mexico and Argentina have yielded prices far better than initial expectations. Mexico's recent auction yielded $33-35 per megawatt hour (MWh) for wind and solar compared with $39-45/MWh less than six months ago.
  • A recent Argentina tender was for $48-65/MWh for wind-powered electricity and $60- 75/MWh for solar, significantly below government expectations and six times oversubscribed.
  • Chilean auction prices this past August averaged $50/MWh2, less than half the auction prices seen in 2014 ($108/MWh) and below the cost of new imported-thermal-power generation.
  • In May, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority received a record low bid at $29.90/MWh to develop 800 megawatts of solar-power projects3 , followed by an even lower bid at $24.20/MWh for a 350-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) project for Abu Dhabi in September 2016.

Please view full report PDF for references and sources.

Tim Buckley

Tim Buckley, Director, Climate Energy Finance (CEF) has 30 years of financial market experience covering the Australian, Asian and global equity markets from both a buy and sell side perspective.

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