Market uncertainty leads to clean energy investment slump

Posted at October 10, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Market uncertainty leads to clean energy investment slump

Global clean investment slumped 5% to $56.6 billion in the third quarter of the year thanks to uncertainty in key US and European markets, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The fast approaching end to production tax credits (PTC) for renewable generation in the US has led to a lull in wind farm financing, which together with a slowdown in the Indian market, has led to investment levels 20% lower than the same period last year.

On current performance, the clean energy sector looks set to fall short of last year’s record $280 billion investment, taking 2012 to the first ‘down’ year for eight years.

But, says Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the decline should not be over exaggerated as the third quarter figure is still higher than the $50 billion that was invested over the whole of 2004.

“The fact that 2012 looks like being a down-year is disappointing, but not surprising,” he says.

Along with the US, the UK and Italian markets have also been hit with uncertainty over key support policies like feed-in tariffs.

While established markets like US, Europe and China are suffering, South America – particularly Brazil, Asia and Africa and picking up the pace of investment.

The top three financed projects between July and September were a 160 MW solar thermal plant and a 300 MW wind farm in Morocco and a 258 MW wind development in Brazil.

“The location of some of the biggest projects financed in quarter three this year highlight the geographical shift that is taking place in clean energy,” says Liebreich.

Meanwhile, small-scale projects like rooftop solar installations continue to prosper, reaching $21.3 billion in Q3, despite cuts to feed-in tariffs in Germany and the UK.

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Related stories:
Bad news for UK clean tech sector as businesses hit difficulties (8-Oct)
“Brutal” economic climate drives clean energy investment to three-year low (5-Oct)
US businesses urge Congress to extend tax credits for renewable (19-Sept)
Europe leads the world in solar panel installations (25-Sept)

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