KUALA LUMPUR – Renewable energy investments have set a new record for the first half of 2022 (1H2022) by reaching a total of US$226 billion worldwide.
According to BloombergNEF (BNEF), the increase in investments for the sector shows a surge in demand for clean energy supplies in order to combat the current global energy and climate issues.
In its report titled ‘Renewable Energy Investment Tracker 2H2022,’ the research company reported that investment in new large- and small-scale solar projects reached a record-breaking US$120 billion, an increase of 33% from 1H2021.
The report revealed that financing for wind projects increased by 16% year-on-year at US$84 billion.
Additionally, BNEF stated that both the large- and small-scale solar project sectors faced challenges through increased input costs for critical components such as steel and polysilicon. Other challenges include supply chain disruptions and growing financing costs.
Despite the challenges, the report said that the figures are indicating a stronger than ever investor appetite for the renewable energy sector, in part as a result of extremely high energy costs that are currently seen in many global markets.
Decline in public equity issuances
The BNEF report also revealed that public equity issuances was the one category that saw a decline in investments.
According to the research company, the public market issuances for renewable energy companies saw a decline of 65% in 1H2022 after a robust performance in 1H2021. The dip amounted to US$10.5 billion.
Furthermore, it stated that the US$3.9 billion raised in the second quarter is the lowest quarterly amount since the second quarter of 2020.
Albert Cheung, the head of analysis at BNEF, stated that policymakers are increasingly aware that renewable energy is the key to achieving energy security goals and reducing dependency on volatile energy commodities.
“Despite the headwinds created by ongoing cost inflation and supply chain disruptions, the demand for clean energy sources has never been greater, and we anticipate that the global energy crisis will continue to act as a catalyst for the clean energy transition,” Cheung said.
Apart from that, the report also noted that China shown remarkable investment growth in the wind and solar project finance sectors. The country’s large-scale solar investments amounted to US$41 billion for 1H2022, a 173% increase compared to 1H2021.
Additionally, China also increased their investments in new wind projects, totalling US$58 billion. This is an increase of 107% year-on-year.
Nannan Kou, head of China analysis at BNEF, stated that green infrastructure is China’s most essential investment area for boosting its poor economy in 2H2022.
“The investment growth trend mirrors China’s strategy to construct new renewable energy generation capacity in order for it to replace its existing coal fleet. The country is on track to meet its 1,200 gigawatt wind and solar capacity target by 2030,” Kou explained.
Offshore wind saw rapid growth
The offshore wind sector also contributed to the renewable energy investment growth for 1H2022, growing by 52% to US$31 billion, BNEF stated.
Chelsea Jean-Michel, an offshore wind analyst at BNEF, stated that investments this year will flow into projects coming online for the coming few years, as the offshore wind installed base is projected to increase tenfold from 53GW in 2021 to 500GW in 2035.
“Offshore wind projects allow for companies and governments to make strides towards their decarbonisation objectives at scale. The UK, France, and Germany are among the countries that have boosted their offshore wind targets for 1H2022, signalling a greater commitment to investment in the technology,” she said
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