Clean Energy Investment

By the Numbers - End of Year 2016

BloombergNEF has been tracking clean energy investment globally for more than 10 years, and is established as the authoritative source of data for clients, industry players and the media. Get the public Fact Pack.

Angus McCroneAngus McCrone
Abraham LouwAbraham Louw

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In 2016, investment in clean energy fell to $287.5bn, an 18% drop from a record $348.5bn in 2015.

New investment in clean energy, 2004-16 ($bn)
Source: BloombergNEF

Despite this drop in investment, new build of clean energy projects increased.

Annual investment vs estimated new build,
normalised to 2012=100.
Source: BloombergNEF

This was partly due to cost-competitiveness improvements in solar and wind equipment, meaning that more can be installed for the same price.

Total solar system capex vs wind turbine prices per megawatt, normalised to 2012=100
Source: BloombergNEF

After years of record-breaking investment, China and Japan cooled down: both countries cut back on new large-scale projects, instead shifting to digesting the renewable capacity they already put in place.

New investment in clean energy, 2004-16 ($bn)
Source: BloombergNEF

The APAC region still attracted the most investment for the fifth year in a row.

New investment in clean energy by region, 2004-16 ($bn)
Source: BloombergNEF

As in previous years, wind and solar made up the majority of investment.

New investment in clean energy by sector, 2004-16 ($bn)
Source: BloombergNEF

Offshore wind was the brightest spot in 2016. Capital spending commitments hit $29.9bn in 2016, up 40% on the previous year, as developers in Europe and China took advantage of bigger turbines and improved economics.

New investment in offshore wind, 2004-16 ($bn)
Source: BloombergNEF

Another bright spot: acquisition activity broke the $100bn level for the first time, totalling $117.5bn. Behind this surge were a rise in renewable energy project acquisitions to $72.7bn and, in particular, a 63% leap in corporate M&A to $33bn.

Total acquisition activity by segment, 2004-16 ($bn)
Source: BloombergNEF

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