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China has slashed clean energy funding by 39%, leading a global decline

China has slashed clean energy funding by 39%, leading a global decline (MIT Technology review)

  • According to a report by Bloomberg NEF, the global investment in clean-energy projects has dropped to its lowest level in six years, at $117.6bn for H1 2019, representing a 14% decline yoy.
  • China has reduced its investment by 39%, following reductions in solar subsidiaries. The US and Europe also reduced their investments by 6% and 4%, respectively. Spending in Japan, India, Spain, and Sweden rose.
  • The drop follows a slowdown in renewable-energy construction last year, and coincides with a reduction of private investments into clean energy companies (down by 2% to $4.7bn).
  • Despite the drop in China’s investments, the country remains the world’s biggest clean-energy spender. Spending may pick up again in H2 as some big offshore wind deals come through and China holds an auction for solar power.

Analytics and Comments

  • Renewables were becoming unsustainable as the grid was already starting to fail to cope with them. In 2016, solar curtailment rates in China rose to 16% as a result.   
  • This is the reason why solar plus energy storage is the only option, with massive growth already happening in places such as the US and Australia.
  • With growth in high power DC charging infrastructure, utilities and transmission companies will be forced in to invest in stationary storage, microgrids, virtual power plants, and electricity trading between households and commercial clients.
  • This is already happening and, in my view, represents a growth opportunity for the likes of big industrials such as Siemens, Schneider, ABB, and also smaller players such as Alfen, PSI and EPS.   
  • The news comes at a time when a new study by PLoS One, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, reports that more than 75% of the world’s major cities will experience drastic changes in climate by 2050.
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