The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

2010 Clean Energy Investment Hits a New Record

Bloomberg New Energy Finance released 2010 investment figures this week. Although certain sectors like wind and biofuels had a rough year in some countries, the overall trends in project finance, venture capital and supply-chain investments were very positive.

According to BNEF, new global investment in clean energy reached $243 billion in 2010, up from $186.5 billion in 2009. Last year's investment figures double those from 2006. The main factors in this growth were the massive Chinese market, the expansion of offshore wind, hot European solar markets and global R&D.

“This is a spectacular result, beating previous record investment levels by a clear margin of more than $50bn, said BNEF founder and CEO Michael Liebriech. “It flies in the face of skepticism about the clean energy sector among public market investors.”

Here's a breakdown of the investment figures, as reported by BNEF in its latest analysis:

  • Investment in small-scale, distributed generation projects surged by 91% last year to $59.6bn, with the dominant element rooftop and other small-scale solar projects, notably in Germany but also in the US, the Czech Republic, Italy and elsewhere.
  • Investment in China was up 30% to $51.1bn in 2010, by far the largest figure for any country. In 2009 Asia and Oceania overtook the Americas, and in 2010 it narrowed the gap further on Europe, Middle East and Africa as the leading region of the world for clean energy investment.
  • Offshore wind finance had another good year in 2010, led by a $1.7bn package to fund the next, 295MW phases of the Thornton Bank offshore wind farm off the coast of Belgium, and a $1bn deal to finance the Borkum West II project in German waters.
  • Research and development spending on clean energy technologies by companies and governments grew to a record level in 2010, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. Within this, the main constituent was government R&D, which reached $21bn, up from $15.8bn in 2009, while corporate R&D recovered from 2009's recession-hit figure of $12.8bn, to reach $14.4bn, giving a total for global clean energy R&D of $35.5bn.
  • Venture capital and private equity investment had a strong year, up 28% from the 2009 total to reach $8.8bn, though failing to match 2008's record figure of $11.8bn. Among the private equity deals of 2010 were a $400m financing for US wind project developer Pattern Energy Group, and $350m for Better Place, the US-based electric vehicle charging network specialist.
  • Public market investment bounced back from its recession-driven lows in 2008 and 2009, up 18% to $17.4bn in 2010. This was not a record figure - it fell short of the $24.6bn clean energy companies raised on stock markets in 2007. Among the biggest deals in this category in 2010 were the $3.5bn initial public offering in November by Enel Green Power of Italy, and the $1.1bn flotation by Chinese wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology in Hong Kong in October. It is notable that this transaction level took place despite the lacklustre performance of clean energy shares during 2010, with the NEX index dropping 14.6% and underperforming the S&P 500 by more than 20% over the year.
  • The largest investment asset class in 2010 was, as usual, asset finance of utility-scale projects such as wind farms, solar parks and biofuel plants. This rose 19% to $127.8bn last year.

In terms of sector, the most notable feature of 2010 was the 49% growth in investment in solar power to $89.3bn, driven largely by distributed generation projects in Europe, where investment grew 91% last year to $59.6bn as already noted. Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that 86% of investment in small-scale solar took place in markets where feed-In tariffs have been introduced.

Overall investment in wind gained 31% to reach $96bn. It is notable that 38% of this total was accounted for either by China or by large European offshore wind farms.

Energy-smart technologies such as smart grid, energy management, electric vehicles and power storage also had a strong year, with financing of companies in this sector reaching a record $23.9bn, up 27% on 2009.

In the other sectors, biofuels had almost a flat year, with overall investment down slightly to $7.9bn from $8.1bn in 2009 and far below the record of $20.9bn set in 2006 during the US’s corn-based ethanol bubble. Biomass and waste-to-energy was also flat, at $11.6bn, compared with $12bn in 2009.

BNEF estimates that investment levels will need to reach $500 billion per year by 2020 in order to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions. While there is much work to be done in getting to that target, the substantial increase in 2010 is a big step in the right direction.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Global Renewable Energy Roundup: China, Kenya, Turkey, India Seeking More Renewables

Bloomberg News Editors China is being encouraged by three industry groups to double the nation’s solar-power goal for 2020 to make up for sh...

With Vast Amounts of Geothermal, Wind and Hydropower, Why No Solar In New Zealand?

James Ellsmoor, Contributor New Zealand has built an international brand on environmentalism and the great outdoors. So it is unsurprising that t...

GE low wind turbines make debut in France

Kelvin Ross

A new wind farm in France will be the first in the country to deploy GE’s 2.75-120 wind turbines.

Unlikely Allies in North Carolina Clean-Energy Fight

Mark Drajem, Bloomberg With North Carolina’s renewable energy mandate under assault from Republican legislators, green groups seeking to sav...

PRESS RELEASES

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Early Bird Registration Deadline for GRC Annual Meeting is This Week

The deadline for early-bird rates for registration for the biggest annual geothermal ev...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

FEATURED BLOGS

Transitioning to Net-Zero Living

Judith and Jeffrey adore living in Belfast, Maine – a quaint harbor town of Belfast, Maine. They previously res...

The True Cost of Electric Vehicles in Australia

In order to avoid increased congestion, further greenhouse warming and lessen Australia’s reliance on imported ...

The Coming Multi-trillion Dollar Energy Investment Drive

In coming years, a multi-trillion dollar low-emission energy investment drive will get underway. Three catalysts wil...

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a concise statement that grabs attention and communicates value, ideally leading to a next step...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Renewable Energy World's network editors help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S. and the UK, the team is comprised of editors from Pennwell Corporation's myriad of publications that ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Intersolar North America 2016

Exhibition: July 12 - 14, 2016; Conference: July 11 - 13, 2016 Intersola...

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...

COMPANY BLOGS

Less Is More

When you’re giving a presentation, one of the easiest things to do...

Captivology

One of the biggest challenges we face as efficiency sales professionals ...

How To Optimize Your Meeting Schedule

Do you spend more time in meetings than you do actually working? While m...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS