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.
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
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
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
Full article: Clean Energy Investments