BNEF’s analysis shows solar hogging all clean energy investment since 2011, taking the lion’s share year after year. (Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
- Global investment in clean energy and energy smart technologies in 2017 amounted to $333.5 billion, increasing 3% from 2016, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)
- The solar boom experienced in China, with 20 GW of extra installations in 2017, helped the solar industry secure $160.8 billion of the total
- The report states that 24 nations globally invested more than $1 billion in clean energy, with China leading the way
- Two PV deals - the 1.2 GW Sweihan plant and 800 MW Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum III - brought in $899 million and $968 million investment in 2017, respectively
- BNEF estimates that 98 GW of new PV capacity was installed in 2017; in the current year, it will be at least 107 GW
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Global investment in clean energy and energy-smart technologies in 2017 increased year on year (YoY) by 3% to a total of $333.5 billion thanks to “extraordinary boom in photovoltaic installations” in 2017, led by none other than China. Thanks to its focus on solar power, the Asian nation alone apparently accounted for 40% of the total. These are findings outlined in Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) Clean Energy Investment Trends 2017 report.
Investment in solar reportedly amounted to $160.8 billion in 2017, with $86.5 billion spent in China. BNEF expects the country to have installed 53 GW of PV capacity last year, down by 1 MW compared to its earlier estimations (see BNEF Expects China To Close 2017 With 54 GW), but still much higher than its original forecast for 2017.
“China installed about 20 GW more solar capacity in 2017 than we forecast,” stated BNEF’s head for Asia-Pacific, Justin Wu. He continued, “This happened for two main reasons: first, despite a growing subsidy burden and worsening power curtailment, China’s regulators, under pressure from the industry, were slow to curb build of utility-scale projects outside allocated government quotas.” Secondly, “the cost of solar continues to fall in China, and more projects are being deployed on rooftops, in industrial parks or at other distributed locales. These systems are not limited by the government quota.”
The veritable boom in solar pushed Chinese investment in clean energy to a record $132.6 billion, according to BNEF. The US is reportedly next on the list with $56.9 billion, increasing its spending in clean energy by 1% over 2016. In all, 24 nations are outlined in the report as having invested more than $1 billion in clean energy.
Despite the solar boom in China, the two PV deals that helped push up the figure were not located there. The top deals were apparently the 1.2 GW Sweihan plant, which came in at $899 million, and the 800 MW Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum III installations, estimated at $968 million (see DEWA Selects Masdar Consortium).
Recently, Mercom Capital Group shared its report on global corporate solar funding in 2017, amounting to $12.8 billion (see Solar Raised $12.8bn Global Corp Funding In 2017).
107 GW new PV capacity in 2018
BNEF has also shared its preliminary estimates for clean energy generating capacity commissioned in 2017. Out of the expected 160 GW, at least 98 GW are likely to have been installed in the solar power category, followed by wind with 56 GW (large hydro is excluded).
In 2018, global solar installations will be at least 107 GW, and new markets will become more significant, according to Jenny Chase, head of solar at BNEF. China will reportedly install between 47 and 65 GW of new PV capacity in 2018, while Mexico will be a 3 GW-plus PV market. BNEF states that Egypt, the UAE and Jordan put together will install between 1.7 and 2.1 GW of PV this year.
A publicly available version with high-level findings of the BNEF report is for download here.