A recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows global investment in low-carbon energy reached a record $243 billion last year. The analysis shows a huge drive of that growth was a 30% spending increase in China and an upsurge in small-scale solar-power installations. The figures cover technologies including wind and solar power, energy efficiency, smart-grid equipment, biofuels and carbon capture and storage.
The 2010 total is a 30% hike over the $186.5 billion spent in 2009 and is more than double the level recorded by Bloomberg analysts in 2005. New Energy Finance Chief Executive Officer Michael Liebreich, says the investment flies in the face of skepticism about the clean-energy sector among public market investors. Nonetheless, the firm says, clean energy shares showed lackluster performance in 2010.
Asset financing for utility-scale projects such as wind farms, solar parks and biofuel plants grew 19% last year. Bloomberg says the expansion of investment is in fairly direct response to government incentives, ranging from feed-in tariffs to guaranteed above-market rate prices for solar power in Europe to cheap debt in China. Investment in China grew by 30% to $51.1 billion.