London-based Clean Energy Pipeline says new investment in the global clean energy sector throughout 2013 decreased 20% year-on-year to $212 billion. Total investment in the global clean energy sector has now fallen for two consecutive years, the cleantech news and financial analysis firm says.
Project finance throughout 2013 declined 25% year-on-year to $119 billion, the lowest annual investment volume since 2009.
‘We expected investment levels in 2013 to be disappointing’ says Douglas Lloyd, CEO of Clean Energy Pipeline. ‘With low gas prices in the U.S. and ongoing policy uncertainty globally, it is no surprise that investment declined in 2013.’
New investment in the global clean energy sector totaled $58.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 (Q4'13) – a 15% increase on the $50.7 billion invested in the third quarter (Q3'13 ) but a 21% decrease on the $74.1 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2012 (Q4'12).
Project finance totaled $34.3 billion in Q4'13 – a 22% increase on the $28.2 billion recorded in Q3'13 but a 27% decrease on the $47.3 billion invested in Q4'12. The quarterly increase was underpinned by a 26% surge in European wind project finance to $5.2 billion, the report says.
Public market activity was a bright spot in the cleantech sector, reaching 10-quarter high. Clean energy companies secured $4.5 billion on the public markets in Q4'13 through a mixture of initial public offerings, secondaries and convertible notes. Clean Energy Pipeline notes that this is the largest quarterly volume raised since the third quarter of 2011, and it contributed to public market activity tripling year-on-year to $13.0 billion in 2013.
However, venture capital and private equity are still struggling, the report says. Investments from these sources in clean energy – excluding buyouts – decreased 24% year-on-year to $6.1 billion in 2013. Annual investment has now fallen for two consecutive years from a peak of $15.6 billion in 2011, Clean Energy Pipeline says.
According to the report, the dramatic fall in activity is principally due to the absence of capital intensive investments in solar manufacturing companies. Only $106 million was invested in solar companies in Q4'13 – substantially below the $633 million average quarterly investment volume Clean Energy Pipeline tracked between 2009 and 2011.
The analytics and graphics of the quarterly report can be found here.