Global investment in renewable energy projects dipped to $332.1 billion in 2018,down 8 percent from 2017, as a result of China’s decision to curb subsidies dragged down installations in the world’s biggest solar market, according to a report Wednesday from BloombergNEF.
A 53 percent drop in Chinese solar investment was a key driver in the worldwide decline, but the second largest economy was again the biggest clean-energy spender at $100.1 billion, but that was down 32 percent from 2017’s record.
Despite global solar spending falling by 24 percent, installations increased as developers took advantage of lower costs to boost installations to about 109 gigawatts in 2018 from 99 gigawatts the prior year.The cost of installing 1 megawatt of photovoltaic capacity fell 12 percent in 2018 as manufacturers slashed prices, which was “aggravated” by China’s decision to cut solar subsidies, according to the report.
Offshore wind attracted $25.7 billion in 2018, up 14 percent from the prior year. Offshore wind projects financed in Europe included the $3.3 billion, 950-megawatt Moray Firth East array in the North Sea, along with 13 Chinese offshore farms for a total of about $11.4 billion. Money committed to wind energy, smart meters and electric vehicles all increased.The U.S. was the second-biggest market for clean-energy investing with $64.2 billion, up 12 percent. Developers there have rushed to finance wind and solar projects to take advantage of U.S. tax credits before they expire early next decade.