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The first half of 2019 saw a 39% slowdown in renewable energy investment in the world’s biggest market, China, to US$ 28.8 billion, the lowest figure for any half-year period since 2013, according to the latest figures from BloombergNEF (BNEF).
The plunge in activity in China, as the country shifts this year away from government-set tariffs to auctions for new wind and solar capacity, also depressed the 1H 2019 global investment figure – to US$ 117.6 billion, down 14% compared to the first half of 2018.
The other highlight of global clean energy investment in 1H 2019 was the financing of multibillion-dollar projects in two relatively new markets – a solar thermal and photovoltaic complex in Dubai, at 950MW and US$ 4.2 billion, and two offshore wind arrays in the sea off Taiwan, at 640MW and 900MW and an estimated combined cost of US$ 5.7 billion.
The two Taiwanese offshore wind projects, Wpd Yunlin Yunneng and Ørsted Greater Changhua, involve European developers, investors and banks, as well as local players. Offshore wind activity is broadening its geographical focus, from Europe’s North Sea and China’s coastline, toward new markets such as Taiwan, the U.S. East Coast, India and Vietnam.
BNEF’s figures for clean energy investment in the first half of 2019 show mixed fortunes for the world’s major markets. The “big three” of China, the U.S. and Europe all showed falls, but with the U.S. down a modest 6% at US$ 23.6 billion and Europe down 4% at US$ 22.2 billion compared to 1H 2018, far less than China’s 39% setback.
Japan attracted US$ 8.7 billion of investment, up 3% on 1H 2018, and India US$ 5.9 billion, up 10%, as it continued its drive toward its ambitious target for 175GW of renewable energy by 2022. Brazil saw investment of US$ 1.4 billion, up 19%.
In Europe, Spain was the star performer at US$ 3.7 billion, up 235% on the same period a year earlier, while the Netherlands was 41% lower at US$ 2.2 billion, Germany down 42% at US$ 2.1 billion, the U.K. up 35% at US$ 2.5 billion and France down 75% at US$ 567 million. Sweden saw investment jump 212% to US$ 2.5 billion, and the Ukraine 60% to US$ 1.7 billion.
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