Clean energy investment softens in developing world

New investment in renewable energy projects in developing nations has declined over 2018, in main because of a slowdown in China.

Clean power-generating plants completed plateaued, but even with the previous increased capacity the incoming energy was not enough to prevent a surge in coal burning power, according to a Climatescope survey conducted for BloombergNEF (BNEF).

Developing nations are moving toward cleaner power, the survey finds, but not fast enough to limit global CO2 emissions or the consequences of climate change.

Although the majority of new power-generating capacity in developing nations is renewable, it is still outweighed by fossil sources as the mainly wind and solar projects generate only when natural resources are available.

In China, investment fell to $86bn in 2018 from $122bn in 2017. The decline was not only in China. Projects in India and Brazil fell $2.4bn and $2.7bn respectively and across all emerging markets surveyed investment fell to $133bn.

It should be noted that as the technology costs fall, the need for investment will also fall, but the survey believes that in ‘real terms’ investment still decreasing.

Despite the trends in China, India and Brazil, clean energy investment increased to $34bn in 2018 from $30bn in 2017 in other countries including Vietnam, South Africa, Mexico and Morocco. In fact, excluding China, new clean energy installations in emerging markets grew 21 per cent.

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