The global investment in new renewable energy capacity, excluding large hydropower dams, stood at $132.4 billion in the first half (H1) of 2020, up 5 per cent from a revised $125.8 billion in the same period last year despite COVID-19, according to recent research by BloombergNEF (BNEF).

It, however, added that onshore wind investment slipped 21 per cent to $37.5 billion, while that for solar fell 12 per cent to $54.7 billion.

“We expected to see Covid-19 affecting renewable energy investment in the first half, via delays in the financing process and to some auction programs. There are signs of that in both solar and onshore wind, but the overall global figure has proved amazingly resilient – thanks to offshore wind,” said Albert Cheung, head of analysis at BNEF.

The overall clean energy investment, including renewables capacity financing and corporate-level equity deals, came to $137 billion in the first half of 2020, up 4 per cent on H1 2019’s $131.9 billion.

According to BNEF, offshore wind financings in H12020 totalled $35 billion, up 319 per cent year-on-year. The first half of this year saw investment decisions made on 28 sea-based wind farms, including the largest ever 1.5 GW Vattenfall Hollandse Zuid array off the coast of the Netherlands, costing an estimated $3.9 billion.

“I expect a slowdown in offshore wind investment globally in the second half, with potentially a new spike early next year,” said Tom Harries, head of wind analysis.

China was the largest market yet again, investing $41.6 billion in 1H 2020, up 42 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 thanks to its offshore wind boom. India saw its financing fall 49 per cent to $2.7 billion.

“Renewables have been helped by vastly improved competitiveness and by investor appetite for assets offering secure cash flows. However, project developers face the challenge that key people, whether at the permitting, financing or construction stages, can’t meet face-to-face. And buyers of small-scale solar systems are sensitive to changes in consumer confidence,” said Angus McCrone, chief editor at BNEF.

BNEF added that investment in new biomass and waste-to-energy plants fell 34 per cent to $3.7 billion, while that in geothermal jumped 594 per cent to $676 million. Small hydro projects of less than 50 MW attracted an estimated $576 million, down 14 per cent, and biofuel production plants $250 million, down 82 per cent.


Source: Economic Times