The global clean energy sector is growing at a healthy pace with new investment totaling $66.2 billion in the second quarter this year, an eight percent increase from the same period in 2013. According to an analysis by Clean Energy Pipeline, project finance reached a five-quarter high and has rebounded from a slump during 2012 and 2013.
“It is perhaps a little early to make predictions, but based on investment levels during the first six months of 2014 last year’s total looks like it will be eclipsed,” Douglas Lloyd, CEO of Clean Energy Pipeline, said in a statement. “This is very positive news given that total clean energy investment posted annual year-on-year declines in both 2012 and 2013.”
Investment last quarter was bolstered by growth in the onshore wind industry, according to the report, which totaled $18 billion. Projects included the 300-megawatt, $1.3 billion Aysha wind farm in Ethiopia and the 252-megawatt, $650 million Ventika wind farm in Mexico. There were also some major offshore wind projects, including the $3.8 billion Gemini offshore wind farm in the Netherlands.
Rapid growth in the U.S. residential solar sector helped the value of solar leasing companies rise. SunRun, Sunnova and Sungevity raised $150 million, $145 million and $70 million respectively during the second quarter. Renewable energy investment in U.S. wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal power has increased nearly 250 percent since 2004, reaching 36.7 billion in 2013.
In a promising sign for the future of the industry, this week the World Bank announced plans to invest $775 million in clean energy projects across India, a capital outlay it expects the government to use to help galvanize more investment in renewable energy.
“The support shown by the new government towards clean energy is quite encouraging and is expected to give the much-needed push to the sector and unlock pending investments,” said Ashish Khanna, lead energy specialist at the Bank.
According to a recent Bloomberg News Energy Finance report, $5.1 trillion will be invested in renewable energy sources by 2030. Out of 5,000 gigawatts of power generation capacity to be added worldwide by 2030, renewable power will account for 4,000 gigawatts.