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China retains clean energy top spot

Lan Lan
Updated: Jan 16,2015 10:59 AM     China Daily

A wind farm in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province. China’s investment in clean energy in 2014 hit a record $89.5 billion, accounting for 29 percent of the world’s total.[Photo by YAO FENG/CHINA DAILY]

China retained its global top spot for clean energy investment in 2014, with surging demand especially in both solar and wind.

According to The Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, the country’s investment in clean energy last year hit a record $89.5 billion, a 32 percent rise on 2013, accounting for about 29 percent of the world’s total.

Investment worldwide totaled $310 billion, up 16 percent on the previous year, driven by surges in investment in solar energy in China and the United States, and offshore wind energy in Europe, said the report.

Some industry experts have expressed concern that a five-year low in crude oil prices and an oil oversupply could have dragged down renewable investment.

But Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said the report showed it was “too early to see any noticeable effect on investment, and anyway the impact of cheaper crude will be felt much more in road transport than in electricity generation”, adding the 2014 figures had exceeded his expectations.

Global solar energy investment-$149.6 billion committed, a 25 percent rise on 2013-was the biggest single contributor to the overall figures thanks to the huge improvements in its cost-competitiveness over the last five years, noted the study. It made up almost half of world’s total clean energy investment during the year, its highest share ever.

Investment in wind energy rose 11 percent to are cord $99.5 billion, followed by smart-energy technologies, including smart grid, power storage, efficiency and electrified transport, with $37.1 billion of investment, a 10 percent increase.

China’s $89.5 billion total included $73 billion of as set finance investment, $38.3 billion in wind and $30.4 billion in solar. Chinas aw $7.6 billion of spending on small distributed capacity, or projects of less than 1 megawatt.

Analysts said they were confident that new beneficial government policies will continue to boost China’s clean energy development this year.

Guo Jingpu, a Beijing-based analyst of Cinda Securities, said the renewable portfolio standard, a regulation that requires increasing use of renewable energy, will continue to boost the deployment of solar, particularly, in2015.

The regulation is now believed to be awaiting State Council approval and is expected to be published in the first quarter. A recent HSBC Global Research report said the standard will help wind developers improve their project returns.

Offshore wind projects attracted significant global investment in 2014, said there port.

There were at least seven European, billion-dollar offshore wind projects reaching what it called the “final investment decision” stage including the $3.8 billion, 600-mW Gemini wind farm off the Netherlands coast-the largest non-hydro renewable energy project on record in terms of dollars committed.

Small distributed capacity investment also soared last year, predominantly in rooftop solar, to $73.5 billion, a 34 percent rise on 2013.

There port showed that research and development by governments and corporations totaled $29 billion, while asset finance of energy smart technologies such as smart meters came in at $16.8 billion.