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2014 Clean Energy Investment Rebounds By 16%

Global clean energy investment rebounded strongly during 2014, up 16% from 2013 figures, to reach a total of $310 billion. It is good news for the industry, not only to see investment rebound, but to see just how far the investment dollar will now stretch. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), “while total new money invested in 2014 came close to matching the 2011 figure, the total amount of new capacity built in 2014 was nearly double what got built in 2011.”

As BNEF notes, “this shows how much further a renewable energy dollar goes now than it did just a few years ago.”

Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s figures, published Friday, highlight the importance of growth in offshore wind development in Europe, and solar development in China and the US.

“Throughout last year, we were predicting that global investment would bounce back at least 10% in 2014, but these figures have exceeded our expectations,” said Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Solar was the biggest single contributor, thanks to the huge improvements in its cost-competitiveness over the last five years.”

However, despite the ever-decreasing costs of solar helping to make it such a driver of renewable energy investment, Europe’s offshore wind industry continues to boom, seeing no fewer than seven billion-dollar projects reaching the “final investment decision” phase, including the $3.8 billion 600 MW Gemini array off the Netherlands coast, the $2.6 billion 402 MW Dudgeon project off the UK coast, and the $1.7 billion 350 MW Wikinger project off the German coast in the Baltic Sea.

“Healthy investment in clean energy may surprise some commentators, who have been predicting trouble for renewables as a result of the oil price collapse since last summer,” said Liebreich. “Our answer is that 2014 was too early to see any noticeable effect on investment, and anyway the impact of cheaper crude will be felt much more in road transport than in electricity generation.”

BNEF has published a comprehensive listing of its 2014 findings, including the number of solar projects which helped to make up the rebound in investment: This includes almost half the total of clean energy investment in 2014, with $149.6 billion committed to solar. Wind made up $99.5 billion of the total, with smart technologies placing third, with $37.1 billion of investment.

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