Investment in new renewable energy capacity around the world increased by 5% year-on-year in the first half of 2020, saved by the offshore wind segment as most other sources saw declines, according to research by BloombergNEF (BNEF).

Overall investment in new renewables, excluding large hydro dams exceeding 50 MW in capacity, increased to USD 132.4 billion (EUR 116.8bn) from a revised USD 125.8 billion a year earlier. Investments in onshore wind fell by 21% to USD 37.5 billion, while that in solar went down 12% to USD 54.7 billion.

Biomass and waste-to-energy investment also decreased, by 34% to USD 3.7 billion, as did small hydro and biofuel investments by 14% to USD 576 million and 82% to USD 250 million, respectively.

In contrast, geothermal power investments surged by 594% to USD 676 million, and offshore wind recorded its busiest half-year ever for final investment decisions. Total financings there jumped by 319% to USD 35 billion.

In January-June 2020, investment decisions were made on 28 offshore wind projects, including the 1.5-GW Vattenfall Hollandse Zuid, which is the largest ever.

Tom Harries, head of wind analysis at BloombergNEF, explains the record first-half figure with reduced levelised costs, the use of larger turbines and especially with a financing rush in China where the current feed-in tariff (FiT) expires at end-2021.

“I expect a slowdown in offshore wind investment globally in the second half, with potentially a new spike early next year,” he stated.

The table below shows the H1 investment figures by location.

Figure in USD y/y difference
China 41.6bn 42%
USA 17.8bn -30%
Japan 10.8bn 14%
The Netherlands 6.9bn 231%
France 6.2bn 306%
UK 5.7bn 265%
Spain 3.7bn -11%
Germany 3.6bn 20%
India 2.7bn -49%
Brazil 2.5bn -26%

Europe as a whole saw its investments in new renewables jump by 50% to USD 36.5 billion.

When it comes to corporate-level investment in renewables and energy-smart technologies, sector players have raised USD 2.4 billion in equity during the six-month period for a 43% decline. Venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) funds, on the other hand, have invested 10% more than a year back, with a combined USD 2.5 billion.

The initial public offerings (IPO) by Chinese solar module makers Jinko Power Technology (SHA:601778) and Trina Solar (SHA:688599) were the largest deals on public markets at respective valuations of USD 366 million and USD 359 million.

Overall clean energy investment, including renewables capacity financing and corporate-level equity deals, climbed 4% to USD 137 billion.


Source: Renewables Now