London, UK [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The global credit crunch has hit investments in clean energy, but with rising energy prices, concern about climate change and supportive policies, sizable funds have still found their way into the sector during the first quarter of 2008, according to New Energy Finance.
In the first quarter of 2007, investments totaled US $3.7 billion, whereas just US $2.4 billion has been recorded for the first quarter of 2008. There was a sharp divide between private equity, which was sharply down, and venture capital, where investment was up on a year ago. Private equity saw a 64% fall from US $2.5 billion in the first quarter 2007 to US $878 million in the first quarter 2008. But VC investors put US $1 billion into clean energy in the first quarter, against $668 million at the same stage last year, an increase of 57%.
Investment in wind assets, at US $6.6 billion in the first quarter 2008, compared with US $7.2 billion in the same quarter last year, seems to be holding up despite the looming expiration of the US Production Tax Credit (PTC), suggesting that developers are confident a solution will be reached before the PTC runs out at the end of the year. Solar assets also attracted investors, with US $3.2 billion going into solar projects, compared with US $1.9 billion a year earlier.