Renewable energy investment fell 18% in 2016: study
Paris (AFP) – Global investment in renewable energy dropped by 18 percent in 2016 due to sharp falls in equipment prices and a slowdown in China and Japan, a study found Thursday.
After reaching record levels in 2015, investment fell last year to $287.5 billion, according to researchers at Bloomberg New New Energy Finance (BNEF).
The fall was due in part to “further sharp falls in equipment prices, particularly in photovoltaics,” it said.
But it also was down to a marked cooling in China and Japan, two key markets, where investment in renewable energies fell significantly on the previous year.
Following a record year in 2015, Chinese investment fell 26 percent to $87.8 billion, down from $119.1 billion, while in Japan it dropped 43 percent to $22.8 billion.
After boosting spending on clean energies with some of the most generous subsidies in the world, both nations are now shifting their focus, “cutting back on building new large-scale projects and digesting the capacity they have already put in place,” said BNEF’s Asia head, Justin Wu.
“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.”
– Record year for wind –
Despite falling oil prices, which tend to reduce investment in energy efficiency, the renewables sector is growing rapidly, with 2016 a record year for offshore wind power where investment pledges rose 40 percent to $29.9 billion.