We’re a couple weeks into the new year, and already the news is looking up. New investment in clean energy smashed through previous levels to reach $243 billion in 2010, according to the latest figures from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
This is up 30 percent from a revised figure of $186.5 billion in 2009 and makes 2010 easily the strongest year so far for investment in clean energy – double the figure recorded in 2006 and nearly five times that from 2004.
The main drivers of the rapid growth were China, European offshore wind, European rooftop solar, and research and development. Investment in small‐scale, distributed generation projects surged by 91 percent last year to $59.6 billion, with small‐scale solar projects in Germany, the United States, the Czech Republic and Italy dominating the market. Investment in China was up 30 percent to $51.1 billion in 2010, by far the largest figure for any country. In 2009 Asia and Oceania overtook the Americas in clean energy investment, and in 2010 it narrowed the gap further on Europe, Middle East and Africa as the leading region of the world for clean energy investment.
Offshore wind finance also had another good year in 2010, led by a $1.7 billion package to fund the next phases of the Thornton Bank offshore wind farm off the coast of Belgium and a $1 billion deal to finance the Borkum West II project in German waters.