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Green Following Green
By Michael Schweibinz

Michael Liebreich, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, stepped on stage at the 25th annual SRI conference and presented optimistic findings and forecasts for clean energy development in 2014. At the time of his presentation, there were only two months left in the calendar year. With 2014 now behind us, updated numbers are in—and they have shattered all expectations.

The global clean technology market experienced its strongest investment performance in years. After a 16% jump, total clean energy investment reached $310 billion last year. Bloomberg claimed, “the total investment of $310 billion represented a more than fivefold increase on the $60.2 billion achieved a decade earlier. The strong performance left investment levels just 2% short of the record annual investment of $317.5 billion achieved in 2011, as government stimulus programs mobilized a wave of new projects in the U.S. and Asia.”

As emphasized in his plenary session at The SRI Conference, Liebreich focused on how solar installations and offshore wind projects have and will fuel clean energy investment. Initially, Liebreich was anticipating a bounce back in global investment of at least 10%, but these expectations were far surpassed. Liebreich noted, "solar was the biggest single contributor, thanks to the huge improvements in its cost-competitiveness over the last five years."

Liebreich also dismissed the notion that cheap crude would negatively influence clean energy investments. He did so by explaining that “healthy investment in clean energy may surprise some commentators, who have been predicting trouble for renewables as a result of the oil price collapse… the impact of cheaper crude will be felt much more in road transport than in electricity generation."

A recent GreenBiz article highlights other impressive global trends in clean energy investment:

  • China led the charge with a record investment of $89.5 billion; a 32% increase.
  • Japan saw investment climb 12% to $41.3 billion.
  • Canadian investment soared 26% to $9 billion.
  • Solar rose 25% to $149.6 billion in 2014, its highest share of the total ever.
  • Wind energy investment rose 11% to nearly $100 billion.
  • Energy smart technologies climbed10 percent to just over $37 billion.
  • Green bond issuance soared from $15 billion in 2013 to $38 billion last year.
  • Clean-tech firms raised $18.7 billion through 2014, achieving a seven-year high.
  • Venture capital and private equity investment rose 16% to $4.8 billion.

Catch up on all of the developing trends at www.bloomberg.com.

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Posted: February 4, 2015