Hyper low costs ensure clean energy investment fell in India last year

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From pv magazine international.

The amount of money invested in clean energy in India last year fell 21% on the 2017 figure but that was in part because the country offers one of the cheapest rates for solar power installations in the world.

New figures from BloombergNEF put India as the world’s fifth most attractive market for clean energy investment in 2018, with the $11.1 billion (Rs 78,800 crore) raised trailing only China, the U.S., Europe and Japan.

And the $500 million funding secured for the 709 MW solar project developed by NLC and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company ranked among the biggest slices of funding seen for individual projects worldwide last year.

While clean energy funding topped $300 billion for the fifth year running last year, tumbling solar module costs and China’s decision to put the brakes on PV subsidies saw the amount ploughed into solar tumble 24% on 2017’s figure.

The world invested $130.8 billion in PV in 2018, according to BloombergNEF, although that dramatically reduced number is still higher than the amount invested in chief green energy rival wind ($128.6 billion) as well as smaller technologies biomass ($6.3 billion), geothermal ($1.8 billion) and marine ($180 million). Small hydro was the only other clean energy segment to suffer a fall in investment, as funding fell by half to $1.7 billion.

Chinese EV industry attracts investors

BlombergNEF cited a 12% fall in the cost of installing a megawatt of PV capacity as an example of falling solar prices driven by a global supply glut after Beijing’s 5/31 New Policy announcement. That policy about turn dragged Chinese solar investment down a thumping 53% last year, to $40.4 billion.

The flipside is that the analysts said the capacity of global solar installations rose from 99 GW in 2017 to 109 GW last year, as markets outside China took advantage of falling prices. The Spanish PV market secured a sevenfold rise in renewable energy investment and, together with wind, helped Europe’s overall clean energy figure rise 27% to $74.5 billion.

The largest clean energy investments seen last year included an estimated $2.4 billion for Morocco’s NOORm Midelt PV and solar thermal project.

The figures also illustrate how much funding is being pumped into Chinese electric vehicle (EV) companies, with manufacturer NIO completing a $1.2 billion IPO and domestic peer and EV battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology securing an $852 million listing. French solar developer Neoen also had a successful IPO, raising $808 million.

Eight venture capital and private equity capital injections raised a further total of $3.3 billion for Chinese EV companies, including a $795 million boost for Youxia Motors, although it was U.S. smart window maker View that topped the pile in that segment, with backing of $1.1 billion.