BNEF: Investment in marine energy down 7% in 2016

New investment in clean energy worldwide fell 18% last year to $287.5 billion, with marine energy also being affected by 7% decrease compared to 2015 levels.

Investment in clean energy fell 18% in 2016 compared to the record investment of $348.5 billion in 2015, according to the latest figures from the research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The 2016 setback in global investment partly reflected sharp falls in equipment prices, particularly in solar photovoltaics, BNEF said.

Offshore wind was the brightest spot in 2016 with capital spending commitments hitting $29.9 billion in 2016, up 40% on the previous year, as developers in Europe and China took advantage of bigger turbines and improved economics, according to BNEF.

The investment in marine energy in 2016 were at $194 million, down 7% on 2015 levels.

Even though overall investment in clean energy was down in 2016, the total capacity installed was not. Estimates from BNEF’s analysis teams are that a record 70GW of solar were added last year, up from 56GW in 2015, plus 56.5GW of wind, down from 63GW but the second-highest figure ever.

The biggest category of investment in clean energy in 2016 was, as usual, asset finance of utility-scale renewable energy projects.

Also measured by BNEF, but not included in the figures for new investment, is acquisition activity in clean energy. This totaled $117.5 billion in 2016, up from $97 billion in 2015 and the first time this has broken the $100 billion level.