Led by a $4.5 billion, 2-gigawatt (GW) wind project in Oklahoma, global investment in clean energy totaled $66.9 billion in the third quarter, up 3% sequentially and 40% year over year for the same period. Investment in new wind power totaled $34.3 billion, while solar investment garnered $30.5 billion.
The data were reported on Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which estimated that full-year 2017 investment in clean energy may slightly exceed 2016’s total investment of $287.5 billion. The estimated total remains well short of 2015’s record investment level of $348.5 billion.
Most of the third-quarter activity came in BNEF’s asset finance category covering new build financing of renewable energy generating projects. In the third quarter, asset financing accounted for $54.3 billion of total spending, up 72% year over year. Venture capital funding and private equity financing raised just $662 million in the third quarter and capital raises on public markets added just $1.4 billion, the lowest total since the first quarter of 2016. It all three combined showed “subdued activity” in the quarter.
American Electric Power Inc. (NYSE: AEP) invested $4.5 billion in the 2 GW Wind Catcher project in Oklahoma’s panhandle to lead all global investments in clean energy in the third quarter. The project, due to be completed in 2020, includes 800 turbines and a 350-mile high-voltage power line. The project takes advantage of federal tax credits and is expected to generate electricity at less than the cost of AEP’s existing coal and natural gas generation plants.
The United Kingdom’s Hornsea offshore wind farm was the next largest, according to BNEF, with an investment of $3.67 billion from Denmark’s Dong Energy in the 1.4 GW North Sea project.
The third quarters’ top 10 investments by country were:
- China: $23.8 billion, up 35% sequentially and down 2% year over year
- United States: $14.8 billion, up 8% sequentially and up 45% year over year
- United Kingdom: $4.6 billion, up 10x sequentially and up 57% year over year
- Mexico: $2.8 billion, up 84% sequentially and from near zero year over year
- Germany: $2.4 billion, down 26% sequentially and down 5% year over year
- Japan: $2.2 billion, down 17% sequentially and down 32% year over year
- Australia: $1.8 billion, down 10% sequentially and up 388% year over year
- Brazil: $1.7 billion, down 4% sequentially and up 32% year over year
- Argentina: $1.2 billion, up 151% sequentially and from near zero year over year
- India: $1.1 billion, down 60% sequentially and down 49% year over year
Europe, as a single entity, invested $11.6 billion, up 45% sequentially and year over year. These totals include asset financing, venture and private equity investment, and capital raises in the public markets.
Visit the BNEF website for the full report.