(BN) Low-Carbon Energy Investment Hit Record $243 Billion



Low-Carbon Energy Investment Hit Record $243 Billion in 2010
2011-01-11 12:23:03.272 GMT

By Alex Morales
Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Global investment in low-carbon
energy surged to a record $243 billion last year, boosted by a
30 percent spending increase in China and a burst in small-scale
solar-power installations.
The figure eclipses the $186.5 billion spent in 2009 and is
more than double the level in 2005, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
said today in a statement. The investment came even as clean
energy shares had a "lackluster performance" last year, the
London-based research company said.
The investment "flies in the face of skepticism about the
clean-energy sector among public market investors," New Energy
Finance Chief Executive Officer Michael Liebreich said. "We
have been saying for some time that the world needs to reach a
figure of $500 billion per annum investment in clean energy if
we are to see carbon emissions peak by 2020. What we are seeing
in these figures for the first time is that we are halfway
Asset financing for utility-scale projects such as wind
farms, solar parks and biofuel plants expanded 19 percent last
year to $127.8 billion, more than half of expenditure, New
Energy Finance said. Enel Green Power SpA's initial share sale
led $17.4 billion of investments from the public markets, while
small-scale projects including rooftop solar panels surged 91
percent to $59.6 billion.
Investment in China expanded 30 percent to $51.1 billion,
according to the study.
The figures cover technologies including wind and solar
power, energy efficiency, smart-grid equipment, biofuels and
carbon capture and storage. Mergers and acquisitions data aren't
included in the study, because they're not considered new
While the expansion of investment is "very good news," it
has been "in fairly direct response" to government incentives,
ranging from cheap debt in China to feed-in tariffs --
guaranteed above-market rate prices -- for solar power in
Europe, Liebreich said.
"The industry needs to continue to drive down its costs
and reduce its reliance on this sort of support," he said.

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--Editors: Randall Hackley, Todd White

To contact the reporter on this story:
Alex Morales in London at +44-20-7330-7718 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at +44-20-7330-7862 or landberg@bloomberg.net.