Global investment into renewables and other low-carbon energy went down by 8% last year to $332 billion.
Global investment into renewables and other low-carbon energy went down by 8% last year to $332 billion, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. The sudden drop in solar financing by 24% is considered the major cause of the change.
But this doesn’t mean things are getting worse. The change has more to do with the decrease in capital costs for applying solar as well as federal support to renewables in China, where the latter helped to lower investment costs by a stunning $40 billion.
BNEF analyst Jenny Chase notes that while overall investments went down, the supply actually went up: “we estimate that global PV installations increased from 99GW in 2017 to approximately 109GW in 2018, as other countries took advantage of the technology’s fiercely improved competitiveness”.
It was also the first time 100 GW barrier had been broken, the report authors note.
Both offshore and onshore wind investment grew in 2018 to $26 billion and $101 billion, respectively. Meanwhile, government investments in renewables R&D also rose by 4% to $15 billion and “[g]lobal venture capital and private equity investment jumped 127% to $9.2 billion, the highest since 2010,” the report explains.
Overall, investments in renewables have been peaking over the last five years, and BNEF analysts suggest that an upward trend is likely to continue in coming years due to both increasing global energy demands and changing societal preferences. They predict a “cleaner future” to be just around the corner, especially with expected increases in storage capacities and EV sales, and despite the potential storm of “economic and political troubles” for Europe, China and the US.