Early Investment Trends in 2014

Hopes for the beginnings of a recovery in renewable energy investment in 2014 rose with the release of first quarter (Q1) numbers, which showed a 4% gain compared to the same period of 2013. Renewable energy investment worldwide in Q1 2014 was USD 44.4 billion. This was lower than the USD 57.3 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2013, but the first quarter usually sees the lowest activity level of the year, so the more meaningful comparison was with Q1 2013's USD 42.6 billion.

Among the highlights of Q1 2014 were small-scale solar power in Japan and the United States, and renewable power financings in emerging markets such as Kenya and Indonesia. Globally, small-scale project investment rose by 42% compared to Q1 2013, reaching USD 21.2 billion, while asset finance of utility-scale projects fell 13% to USD 22.8 billion.

Total U.S. investment was up 32% compared to a very subdued figure in Q1 2013, at USD 4.8 billion, while China was up 18% at USD 9.9 billion, and Europe was down 29% at USD 10.9 billion. The leading region was Asia-Oceania excluding China and India, with a 27% rise to USD 12.1 billion.

i - A yield company is a corporate entity created specifically to hold high-yielding investments in operating-stage projects.

ii - Note that investment data were not available for most development banks when the UNEP/BNEF Global Trends report was published.

iii -The USD number provided here differs from that in the Global Trends Report (USD 6.2 billion); it was converted to be comparable with other values throughout the GSR, using the date 31 December 2013 and the OANDA Currency Converter (http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/). The same is true for the EIB number.

iv - European countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.