The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released the seventh edition of its Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report based on data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The report details the “latest developments, signs and signals in the financing of renewable power and fuels.”
One of the main conclusions from the report partly pinned the $35.1 billion drop in renewable investments on the falling cost of solar photovoltaic systems — in other words, investment dropped as needed, rather than leaving the industry stranded.
There was an aspect of policy uncertainty affecting investment dollars, but that same policy uncertainty also affected fossil fuel generation investment.
Several highlights from the report are worth noting;
- Total investments fell in 2013 by 14% to $214 billion worldwide, reflecting significant cost reductions and the impact of policy uncertainty.
- Solar PV, in particular, improved its cost-competitiveness: some 39GW were installed, up from 31GW in 2012, for fewer dollars invested.
- The number of markets that can compete without subsidies is increasing.
- Renewables excluding large hydro account for 43.6% of 2013’s newly-installed generating capacity.
- Wind investments remained roughly the same, while solar PV outlays dropped 20% despite a record amount installed.
- In 2013, China for the first time invested more in renewable energy than Europe.
- Renewable energy investment in Japan increased by 80 % during the last year.
The full report can be accessed here, while a supplementary key findings document is available for download here (PDF).
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