Global investment in renewable energy during the first quarter (Q1) of 2015 fell by 15% year-on-year to USD 50.5 billion (EUR 47.8bn) due to lower spending in large markets including China, Europe and Brazil.

These statistics were part of a report released by the research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which noted that January-March is usually the weakest period of the year for renewables spending. Still, the last three-month period to end with less clean energy investments than Q1 2015–was Q1 of 2013, with USD 43.1 billion.

BNEF’s head, Michael Liebreich, pointed out that during the past year the US dollar had strengthened 15% against certain other currencies and 29% against the euro. “Without those factors, investment in Q1 this year would have been pretty much level-pegging with last year,” Liebreich said.

Looking at investments by country, South Africa made the biggest jump with a USD 3.1 billion renewable energy investment in Q1 2015. This, compared to almost nothing a year before. Spending in the US went up 2% to USD 9.6 billion, but that was not enough to compensate for the poor performance in Europe, China and Brazil.

The following table shows clean energy investment by country.

Country/Region Q1 2015
investment in USD
Y/Y change
Europe 9.7 billion -30%
China 11 billion -24%
USA 9.6 billion 2%
Brazil 1.1 billion -62%
Rest of the Americas 2 billion -17%
South Africa 3.1 billion
India 1.6 billion 59%
(excluding India and China)
11.2 billion -15%

As for the different types of investment, asset finance of utility-scale renewables decreased by 19% to USD 27.9 billion. Equity dropped 66% to USD 2.2 billion and private equity investments, including venture capital, declined by 21% to USD 1 billion.

Published with permission from the original article By Ivan Shumkov of SeeNews Renewables.

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