Since the peak of clean energy investment in 2011, overall money spent on clean energy has declined nearly 22% and now stands at around $314 billion, (Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.) Despite the high percentage rate of decline in spending, the overall clean energy outlook is quite clearly shining brightly, with efficiency standards rising and renewable energies growing ever more popular.
In fact, as explained by Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the main reasoning behind the decline in global investment spending relates more to the declining prices of energy projects than any sort of dissolution of interest. Quite the opposite is true, as both the commercial and residential divisions in addition to the government continue to pursue, with enthusiasm and vigor, a means of clean renewable energy.
Division of Global Clean Energy Investment in 2013 (most money invested to least)
1. Solar Power: Better financing options are driving solar projects in addition to better battery storage, particularly in vehicles.
2. Wind Energy: Besides the fact that costs are down for turbine producers, CO2 credit pricing increases demand.
3. Energy-Smart Tech: Smart meters and home energy management systems saw a fast rise in popularity with Google’s purchase of Nest, home thermostat producers, aiding in rapid spike in stock performance.
4. Biomass and Waste: Global investment in 2013 totaled $9.4 billion, after a finding that when biomass is burned, it emits 50% more carbon dioxide than its coal counterpart.
5. Small-Scale Hydropower: Consisting of water power projects that produce less than 50 megawatts, small hydro had $7.6 billion invested.
6. Biofuels: In high demand in the aviation industry as well as among shipping corporations and even perhaps the U.S. Navy if their green fleet initiative develops, biofuels brought in nearly $6.5 billion.
7. Professional Help: $4.3 billion was spent in 2013 on professional assistance in working toward clean energy.
8. Geothermal Energy: Geothermal investments saw a 2% increase in spending, popular in countries like Iceland where it is easy to tap into the earth’s energy, as well as in Japan where new power sources are needed quickly.
9. Catching Carbon: Carbon Catching and Storage, (CCS,) saw one of the largest declines in investment spending, dropping 64% since 2010, due to a lack of climate policy developments.
10. Marine Power: According to the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, the energy from tidal waves could potentially meet up to 19% of all U.S. electricity demand, however only $333 million was spent on this technology.
Source: Bloomberg, Eric Roston