Clean Energy Investment Drops 5% In Q1’15 To $61 Billion

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Clean Energy Pipeline has released figures showing that global clean energy investment dropped 5% in the first quarter of 2015, down to $61 billion.

Clean Energy Pipeline, self-professed “online financial news and data service dedicated to the clean energy sector,” released its analysis of venture capital, private equity, project finance, mergers and acquisitions, and public markets activity during the first quarter of 2015 Tuesday. According to the analysis, new investment in the global clean energy sector had fallen by 5% from a year earlier in Q1’14, and dropped 14% on Q4’14’s total of $71.3 billion.

“The first quarter of 2015 provided mixed messages,” commented Douglas Lloyd, CEO of Clean Energy Pipeline. “Project finance performed well, registering a 10% increase over the same period last year. However, public market activity and venture capital and private equity investment underperformed significantly.”


Clean Energy Pipeline’s figure clash somewhat, however, with Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s analysis, which suggested clean energy investment had dropped to $50.5 billion in Q1’15, down 15% on Q1’14.

According to Clean Energy Pipeline, the “brightest news” from Q1’15 was a 12% increase in clean energy project financing, up to $44 billion thanks to a surge of activity in Asia, and a minor boost from Round 3 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) also highlighted South Africa’s involvement earlier this month in its own report, noting that, “since 2012, South Africa has emerged as one of the most important centres for clean energy investment, as it seeks to expand power capacity and take advantage of its sunshine and wind resources.”

Luke Mills, a clean energy economics analyst at BNEF, continued; “The first quarter saw the financing of a series of large projects in solar thermal, wind and PV that won through in the latest round of the country’s auction programme.”

Clean energy financing was also boosted by large offshore wind project deals in the first quarter: the 322 MW Nordsee 1 offshore wind farm in Germany acquired $889 million in debt financing, while the 30 MW Block Island offshore wind farm in the US also reached financial close.

Yieldcos continued to flourish, despite a weak quarter for public markets as a whole, while merger & acquisition activity and venture capital and private equity all dropped. For the full run-down on Clean Energy Pipeline’s analysis, including an in-depth look at each of the markets, head on over to the website where more information is available, in conjunction with a series of charts and graphs.

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Joshua S Hill

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