(Montel) A slump in utilities’ renewable energy projects weighed on global clean energy investment in the third quarter of 2018, analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance said on Tuesday.
Such projects continue to make up the bulk of clean energy investment, with the USD 8.7bn year-on-year decline effectively spelling the difference between growth and contraction across total clean energy investment last quarter.
Total global investment came in at USD 67.8bn, down 6% or 4.3bn compared to the same period last year.
In cumulative year-to-date terms, investment is tracking 2% below last year’s figures, leaving open the possibility of a similar overall level of investment if several multibillion-dollar offshore wind deals are signed this quarter, BNEF said.
The company identified “bright spots” in growing investment in specialist electric vehicle companies as well as greater venture capital and private equity investment. The latter grew nearly fivefold to USD 2.4bn last quarter.
China led the world as the largest investor in clean energy at USD 26.7bn, spending marginally more than in Q3 2017. European clean energy investment was up 1% at USD 13.4bn while German investment was down 49% at USD 1.3bn.
The three biggest assets financed in the quarter were the UK’s 860 MW Triton Knoll offshore wind project (USD 2.6bn), the Enel Green Power South Africa portfolio (USD 1.4bn) for 706 MW and the fourth phase of China’s Guohua Dongtai offshore wind farm (USD 1.2bn) for 300MW.
China is expected to surpass the EU as the world’s biggest consumer of renewable energy by 2023, while renewables will cover 40% of global energy consumption growth by then, the International Energy Agency said in a report published on Monday.
The BNEF report also comes after the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report this week highlighted a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5C compared to 2C, or more, including the deployment of more renewables.