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Clean Energy Investments Charge Forward Despite Financial Market Turmoil
Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2008 @ 22:26:40 GMT by vlad

Investors United Nations Environment Programme - press release: With end of cheap oil, renewables and energy efficiency attracts fast-growing interest;
New investment surpasses $148 billion in 2007, a 60% rise from 2006, Growth continues in 2008, UNEP study says

Climate change worries, growing support from world governments, rising oil prices and ongoing energy security concerns combined to fuel another record-setting year of investment in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries in 2007, according to an analysis issued Tuesday July 1 by the UN Environment Programme(UNEP).


"What is unfolding is nothing less than a fundamental transformation of the world's energy infrastructure."

Most of the new money flowed into Europe, followed by the USA. However, China, India and Brazil draw growing investor interest, their share of new investment growing from 12% in 2004 to 22% in 2007, an increase in absolute terms of 14 times, from $1.8 billion to $26 billion.

Market broadens, diversifies into emerging technologies

Investments not only grew in 2007, but broadened and diversified. Mainstream capital markets are now fully receptive to sustainable energy companies, according to the report.

2007 also saw greater activity in so-called "next generation technologies," such as cellulosic ethanol, thin-film solar technologies and energy efficiency.

Early venture capital investment surged 112% to $2 billion in 2007, boosted by interest in emerging renewable technologies, rather than just those on the brink of commercialisation.

"The willingness to look beyond mature technologies suggests that investors are taking renewable energy and energy efficiency increasingly seriously," the report says.

Public investment

General public investments, through stock and other markets, more than doubled in 2007 to $23.4 billion, up from $10.5 billion in 2006.

The Wilderhill New Energy Global Innovation Index(NEX) rose 57.9% in 2007. It then fell 17.9% in first quarter of 2008 but recovered half this loss in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, assets under management in clean energy funds rose to $35 billion in 2007.

A record 17 new clean energy public equity fund launches occurred in 2007, up from just five in 2006. Several of these were 'climate change' funds launched by mainstream investment firms including HSBC, F&C, Schroders, Deutsche Asset Management and Virgin Money.

The arrival of such heavyweights in the market is "likely to encourage the larger publicly listed companies they normally invest in to expand into sustainable energy and other low carbon sectors,"says the report.

Research & Development

Research & Development spending on clean energy and energy efficiency was $16.9 billion in 2007, including corporate R&D of $9.8 billion, and government R&D of $7.1 billion.

Europe and the Middle East saw the most corporate R&D activity, followed by the Americas and then Asia. Patterns of government R&D are the reverse, with Asian governments(notably Japan, China and India)investing relatively heavily in R&D.


Full article: Clean Energy Investments



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