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Clean energy investment hits new high

Written by Sara Giordano

Clean energy investments across the globe reached more than $335 billion in 2017, a 3% increase from 2016, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) says (The Guardian, 16 Jan) (ABC, 18 Jan) (Forbes, 29 Jan): This is the second highest investment figure recorded for clean energy, only 7% short of the record figure of $360.3 billion, reached in 2015. “The 2017 total is all the more remarkable when you consider that capital costs for the leading technology – solar – continue to fall sharply. Typical utility-scale PV systems were about 25% cheaper per megawatt last year than they were two years earlier”, said Jon Moore, chief executive of BNEF. Since 2010, $2.5 trillion has been spent on these types of projects. According to BNEF, solar investment globally amounted to $160.8 billion in 2017, up 18% on the previous year despite these cost reductions. Just over half of that world total, or $86.5 billion, was spent in China (press release here).

Meanwhile, McKinsey Energy Insights has released its ‘Global Energy Perspective’ (summary here) on 28 sectors across 145 countries (Business Green, 17 Jan), (Edie, 18 Jan). According to the report, it will be more economic to build renewable capacity than operate existing oil or gas power plants in the next decade, global decarbonisation efforts will remain more than double the level required to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Sustainable institutional investment in Japan also more than doubled in 2017 and is close to pass the €1 trillion mark, according to the third annual market survey by the Japan Sustainable Investment Forum (JSIF) (RI, 8 Jan). The rise was due to increased sustainable investment as a percentage of total investment (from 16.8% to 35.0%) at each of the 32 institutional investors that disclosed their investment.

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