BNEF has been tracking clean energy investment globally for more than 10 years. Explore the latest investment trends and our energy predictions for the year to come.
What is this report?
The clean energy investment figures are built up from a proprietary database of more than 100,000 deal and project records collected and maintained by over 100 analysts and researchers based in 15 locations worldwide.
Our research stands out for its comprehensiveness, geographical reach and the level of detail with which investment transactions are tracked. This enables our team to spot and analyze energy industry trends as soon as they emerge.
World clean energy investment totaled $333.5 billion last year, up 3% from 2016 and the second highest annual figure ever, taking cumulative investment since 2010 to $2.5 trillion.
10 Energy Predictions for 2018
BNEF’s Chief Editor and sector leads predict another strong year for clean energy and transport, but it won’t all be smooth sailing.
2017 League Tables
We reveal 2017’s leading players in the clean energy and energy smart technologies sectors.
What the data shows
The latest BNEF figures show dollar clean energy investment rising in 2017, with an extraordinary boom in photovoltaic installations in China driving the surge. These are the key highlights:
1. Overall investment is up by 3%.
New investment in clean energy reached $333.5 billion last year, up 3% from a revised $324.6 billion in 2016, and only 7% short of the record figure of $360.3 billion, reached in 2015.
2. Solar costs continue to fall sharply.
Typical utility-scale PV systems were about 25% cheaper per megawatt last year than they were two years earlier. Solar investment globally amounted to $160.8 billion in 2017, up 18% on the previous year despite these cost reductions.
3. China sets new record for clean energy investment.
Overall, Chinese investment in 2017 across all the clean energy technologies was $132.6 billion, up 24%, setting a new all-time record. The next biggest investing country was the U.S., at $56.9 billion, up 1% on 2016. In third place, Japan saw investment decline by 16% in 2017, to $23.4 billion.
4. More clean energy commissioned than ever before.
Preliminary estimates show that a record 160GW of clean energy generating capacity (excluding large hydro) were commissioned globally in 2017, with solar providing 98GW of that capacity, and wind 56GW.
5. VC and PE investments cool down.
Venture capital and private equity investment in clean energy amounted to $4.1 billion in 2017, down 38% on the previous year and the lowest figure since 2005.
6. Clean energy acquisition activity at highest level ever.
This totaled $127.9 billion in 2017, up 4% on the previous year and the highest ever. Behind this surge were a rise in renewable energy project acquisitions and refinancing to $87.2bn, and a sixfold leap in private equity buy-outs to $15.8bn.
Get the public trends report
BNEF clients can slice or dig deeper into the results with an interactive dashboard, access the charts in Powerpoint and download all the underlying data in Excel. Go to the client page.
High-level findings of this year’s State of Clean Energy Investment are publicly available in the trends report. Complete this form to receive it today: