Offshore wind hit an all-time record with US$30 billion in investment, but overall clean energy investment in 2016 fell 18% due to a slowdown in China and the falling cost of solar power, Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported last week.
Global clean energy investment totalled US$287.5 billion last year, down from a record $348.5 billion in 2015.
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“After years of record-breaking investment driven by some of the world’s most generous feed-in tariffs, China and Japan are cutting back on building new large-scale projects and shifting towards digesting the capacity they have already put in place,” said BNEF’s head of Asia, Justin Wu.
“China is facing slowing power demand and growing wind and solar curtailment,” he added. “The government is now focused on investing in grids and reforming the power market so that the renewables in place can generate to their full potential. In Japan, future growth will come not from utility-scale projects but from rooftop solar systems installed by consumers attracted by the increasingly favourable economics of self-consumption.”
BNEF pointed to offshore wind as the bright spot in the year-end results. “The offshore wind record last year shows that this technology has made huge strides in terms of cost-effectiveness, and in proving its reliability and performance,” said Chief Executive Jon Moore. “Europe saw $25.8 billion of offshore wind investment, but there was also $4.1 billion in China, and new markets are set to open up in North America and Taiwan.”