Investors pour $1.5bn into Australian solar and wind energy in Q2
Australia has recorded a significant “bounce-back” in renewable energy investment in the second quarter of 2017, with $1.5 billion poured into big solar and wind projects from April to June, a 77 per cent year-on-year increase.
The Australian up-tick in investment is one of a number highlighted in Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s round-up of Q2, 2017 data; part of a general recovery in global clean energy investment to $64.8 billion in the second quarter of this year, the highest for any quarter since 2Q 2016.
And BNEF says these the dollar-per-megawatt data would be even more impressive if not for the sharp reductions in capital costs for solar and wind – 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively in the last 12 months – in response to “fierce competition” in manufacturing, and technology improvements.
“The $64.8 billion investment total in 2Q was quite firm given that backdrop of falling costs,” said BNEF analyst Abraham Louw.
“There was also a good spread of big projects financed in different countries, and less reliance on European offshore wind than in some recent quarters.”
Of the two major renewable energy technologies, big solar was the star of the quarter, BNEF says, underpinned by two huge PV projects in the United Arab Emirates: the 800MW Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum III plant in Dubai; and the 1.2GW Marubeni JinkoSolar and Adwea Sweihan project in Abu Dhabi.
Those two projects alone – the largest in the UAE to date – contributed $1.9 billion between them to the global solar investment total of $35.6 billion, up 19 per cent year-on-year and 20 per cent quarter-on-quarter.
BNEF’s head of policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Victoria Cuming, said the UAE deals showed that the Emirates auction programs were attracting the commitment of hard cash by banks and equity providers.