Global investment in renewable power and fuels (excluding large hydro-electric
projects) was $270.2 billion in 2014, nearly 17% higher than the previous year
said the in the Key Findings the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment
2015, Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre/BNEF. 2015. This was the first increase for
three years, and reflected several influences, including a boom in solar
installations in China and Japan, totalling $74.9 billion between those two
countries, and a record $18.6 billion of final investment decisions on offshore
wind projects in Europe.

The trend last year was, arguably, even more impressive than it would
seem from the investment numbers, because a record number capacity of wind and
solar photovoltaic power was installed, at about 95GW. This compared to 74GW in
2013, 79GW in 2012 and 70GW in 2011, the only year in which dollar investment
was higher than 2014, at $278.8 billion. The main reason why investment last
year was below that three years earlier was that technology costs, particularly
in solar, have fallen sharply during the intervening period.

A key feature of 2014 was the continuing spread of renewable energy to
new markets. Investment in developing countries, at $131.3 billion, was up 36% on
the previous year and came the closest ever to overhauling the total for
developed economies, at $138.9 billion, up just 3% on the year. Indonesia, Chile,
Mexico, Kenya, South Africa and Turkey were all in the billion-dollar-plus club
in 2014 in terms of investment in renewables, and others such as Jordan, Uruguay,
Panama, the Philippines and Myanmar were in the $500 million to $1 billion

Renewables faced challenges as 2015 began – notably from policy
uncertainty in markets such as the US and the UK, retroactive policy changes in
countries such as Italy and Romania, and concerns about grid access for small-scale
solar in Japan and some US states. The most daunting challenge was, at first
sight, the impact of the 50%-plus collapse in the oil price in the second half of
last year. However, although the oil price is likely to dampen investor confidence
in parts of the sector, such as solar in oil-exporting countries, and biofuels,
in most parts of the world, oil and renewables do not compete for power
investment dollars. Wind and solar sectors should be able to carry on
flourishing, particularly if they continue to cut costs per MWh.

The cost cutting achieved to date helped to ensure strong momentum for
both those technologies in 2014. Overall investment in solar was up 29% to $149.6
billion, while that in wind advanced 11% to a record $99.5 billion. Other
renewable energy sources mostly did less well, biofuels seeing an 8% fall in
investment to $5.1 billion, a 10-year low; biomass and waste-to-energy dropping
10% to $8.4 billion; small hydro slipping 17% to $4.5 billion; and geothermal
managing to rise 23% to $2.7 billion.

The biggest locations for renewable energy investment last year were,
predictably, the established markets in major economies – with China far out in
front at $83.3 billion, a record number and 39% ahead of 2013. In second place
came the US, at $38.3 billion, up 7% on the year but still well below its all-time
high, reached in 2011. Third came Japan, at $35.7 billion, a tenth higher than
in 2013 and its biggest total ever. India was up 14% at $7.4 billion, and
Brazil 93% higher, at $7.6 billion.

Investment in Europe advanced less than 1% to $57.5 billion. There were
seven billion-dollar-plus financings of offshore wind projects, boosting the investment
totals for the Netherlands, the UK and Germany. These included, at the euro
equivalent of $3.8 billion, the largest single renewable energy asset finance
deal ever, outside large hydro – that of the 600MW Gemini project in Dutch

Renewable energy technologies excluding large hydro made up 48% of the
net power capacity added worldwide in 2014, the third successive year in which this
figure has been above 40%. New investment in renewable power capacity last
year, at $242.5 billion excluding large hydro, was below the gross investment
in fossil fuel capacity, at some $289 billion, but far above the figure for net
investment in additional fossil fuel capacity, at $132 billion.

Altogether, wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-power, geothermal, small
hydro and marine power are estimated to have contributed 9.1% of world
electricity generation in 2014, compared to 8.5% in 2013. This would be
equivalent to a saving of 1.3 gigatonnes of CO2 taking place as a result of the
installed capacity of those renewable sources.

Equity raising by renewable energy companies on public markets, said in
the key findigs of the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015, jumped
54% in 2014 to $15.1 billion, helped by the recovery in sector share prices between
mid-2012 and March 2014, and by the popularity with investors of US “yieldcos”
and their European equivalents, quoted project funds. These vehicles, owning
operating-stage wind, solar and other projects, raised a total of $5 billion
from stock market investors on both sides of the Atlantic in 2014.

For more find about here above find the here publication of the Global
Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2015, Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre/BNEF.