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Finance

China leads second quarter clean energy investments

EChina leads second quarter clean energy investments
Small-scale projects of less than 1 MW – such as rooftop PV’s – saw investments rise 13 percent higher this quarter.

China took the lead in investments in renewable energy this quarter, according to a recently published report by Bloomberg Energy Finance.

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The country saw $18.3 billion in investments in the April-to-June quarter, which is 92 percent higher than the previous quarter, with several large solar photovoltaic and wind projects delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in financing.

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“China has recently quadrupled its domestic goals for solar installations. And it has been by far the biggest market for wind turbines for several years. These figures underline the pivotal role China is playing in the clean energy sector,” said Bloomberg Energy Finance chief Michael Liebreich.

All in all, this has not been a bad quarter for the clean energy sector which saw new investment totaling $59.6 billion, a jump of 24 percent over the first quarter of 2012.   

Following China, the United States and Europe also showed gains in investments but in a relatively slower rate.

U.S. investments grew by 18 percent to reach $10.2 billion as European investments grew by 11 percent, netting $20 billion.

According to the study, investments in solar projects soared 19 percent from the first quarter to $33.6 billion in the second quarter. Wind project investments, on the other hand, increased by 47 percent with $21.6 billion.

China financed two large projects this quarter including the Shanlu & Shengyu Bayannur Wuyuan solar PV project for $316 million and the 250-megawatt Phase 2 Guodian Shanxi Qinyuan Taiyue Wind Farm for $317 million.

Other large renewable energy schemes leading the quarter were the $1.6 billion 270-MW Lincs offshore wind farm in the United Kingdom and the $800 million Phase 2 419-MW Flat Ridge Wind Farm in the U.S.

Meanwhile, small-scale projects of less than 1 MW – such as rooftop PV’s – saw investments rise 13 percent higher this quarter with an estimated cost of $21.5 billion.

“Small-scale projects are becoming an increasingly important part of the world’s energy mix, particularly following the 75 percent drop in the cost of PV modules over the past three years,” said Mr. Liebreich.

He added that Germany and Italy remain the largest markets. However, small-scale PV is now expanding its geographic base, with installations in the U.S., Japan and China all growing notably.

Venture capital finance and private equity investments were down this second quarter by 28 percent from the first quarter, with a total of $1.5 billion. However, asset financing of utility-scale renewable projects rebounded, growing by 50 percent to reach $35.9 billion.  – C. Dominguez



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