Renewables attract record investment
UK sees 24% increase in renewables investment, making the UK market the strongest in the world for growth...
2015 was a record year for investment in renewable energy, with a total of £15.2bn invested in UK green projects according to figures released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Based on 2014, this represents a 24% increase in renewables investment, making the UK market the fastest-growing in the world for investment in green projects. Globally, £227bn was invested in clean energy projects over the same period.
Notably, investment in renewable energy has surpassed that of North Sea oil and gas, which is currently estimated to have been around £11bn for 2015. This is particularly interesting given the consistently low oil prices, which many experts initially thought would harm investment in renewables. Coupled with the cuts to renewable energy made last year, strong investment in green energy has been even more impressive.
BNEF puts the record growth partly down to considerable investment in offshore wind last year – if you’ll recall, offshore wind was the only renewable source exempt from the CCL cuts, making it a comparatively attractive prospect for investors in clean energy. Overall investment in renewables aside from offshore wind has also been strong. Solar energy projects saw an investment of £3.3bn, for example. Investment in renewable energy is still an attractive prospect, perhaps due to the time it will take for cuts to take full effect, as well as the length of time between inception of a project through to its completion.
Put in context, this is the first time since 2010 that clean energy has seen a higher level of investment than North Sea oil and gas. Investment in both was on a steady rise between 2010 and 2014, though plummeting oil prices from the end of 2014 likely caused investment in the North Sea to take a nosedive last year. While investment in oil and gas is predicted to continue falling, it is harder to say what the future holds for clean energy. Investment in offshore wind is expected to remain strong throughout 2016, but only time will tell whether cuts to the sector will have as negative an impact as previously anticipated.