New analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), published yesterday, show that, last year clean energy investments reached $333.5 billion. That is 3% more than 2016 global investment.
Solar power share was $160.8 billion, China invested $133 billion across all clean energy technologies, with $86.5 billion poured just into solar, U.S. invested $57 billion, Australia $9 billion, and Mexico $6.2 billion, India $11 billion, Brazil $6.2 billion, France $5 billion, Canada $3.3 billion, Egypt $2.6 billion, Norway $2 billion.
“Justin Wu, head of Asia-Pacific for BNEF, said: “China installed about 20GW more solar capacity in 2017 than we forecast. 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. Developers of these projects are assuming they will be allocated subsidy in future years.” “Second, 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. Large energy consumers in China are now installing solar panels to meet their own demand, with a minimal premium subsidy.”
The 2017 totals for other countries investing $1 billion-plus in clean energy:
India $11 billion, down 20% compared to 2016
Brazil $6.2 billion, up 10%
France $5 billion, up 15%
Sweden $4 billion, up 109%
Netherlands $3.5 billion, up 30%
Canada $3.3 billion, up 45%
South Korea $2.9 billion, up 14%
Egypt $2.6 billion, up 495%
Italy $2.5 billion, up 15%
Turkey $2.3 billion, down 8%
United Arab Emirates $2.2 billion, up 23-fold
Norway $2 billion, down 12%
Argentina $1.8 billion, up 777%
Switzerland $1.7 billion, down 10%
Chile $1.5 billion, up 55%
Austria $1.2 billion, up 4%
Spain $1.1 billion, up 36%
Taiwan $1 billion, down 6%
Indonesia $1 billion, up 71%
The two biggest solar projects of all to get the go-ahead last year were both in the United Arab Emirates: the 1.2GW Marubeni JinkoSolar and Adwea Sweihan plant, at $899 million, and the 800MW Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum III installation, at an estimated $968 million.
The biggest wind projects both onshore and offshore. Onshore, American Electric Power said it would back the 2GW Oklahoma Wind Catcher project in the U.S., at $2.9 billion excluding transmission. Offshore, Ørsted said it had reached ‘final investment decision’ on the 1.4GW Hornsea 2 project in the U.K. North Sea, at an estimated $4.8 billion. There were also 13 Chinese offshore wind projects financed last year, with total capacity of 3.7GW, and estimated investment of $10.8 billion.
The third-biggest sector was energy-smart technologies, where asset finance of smart meters and battery storage, and equity-raising by specialist companies in smart grid, efficiency, storage and electric vehicles, reached $48.8 billion in 2017.