The Chinese were the first to create a solar highway, and this is not by accident. The Chinese government and private businesses have been actively investing and working to develop solar because they truly believe it’s the future and according to a new study, they proved it last year by putting the money where their mouth is with their investments.
A new study that was released January 16th shows that solar investment from the Chinese is the reason for an international boom in solar. This might have to do with the pollution problems with China, and also because of policy changes from the Chinese government which is favoring solar above other sources of energy.
Every year a study is done by the BNEF as it goes through each nation and tracks how much investors invest in different industries.
Global investment fell in 2016, and last year it rose 3 percent totaling around $333.5 billion, which was the second-best annual showing since 2015, which went up to $360.3 billion that year.
Even though Solar investment has been falling in recent years BNEF Chief Executive Jon Moore believes that still makes 2017’s investment a better achievement, “The 2017 total is all the more remarkable when you consider that capital costs for the leading technology-solar-continue to fall sharply.”
To add on to Jon Moore’s comment, solar investment rose 18 percent has the cost of megawatt capital costs fall, which means investments are relatively bigger compared to how much it costs to make the solar products.
So, investment ended up being at around 160.8 billion. China’s investment ended making up over half of all investments which is around 86.5 billion and is 24 percent higher this year, according to the study.
Justin Wu, the BNEF head of the Asia-Pacific region said, “China installed about 20 GW more solar capacity in 2017 than we forecast.”
Wind power investments fell 12 percent from the previous year from a strong rise in 2016.
The US is behind China in landing $56.9 billion into to wind and power investments in 2017 which was a 1 percent rise from the previous year. The study framed the United States as being, “less friendly tone towards renewables.” With the current state of Washington being skeptical towards climate change and leaving the Paris accord last year the private investment in Solar continues to go up.
Maybe it’s just what the market demands, because the market is not decided by governments, but instead by the people.
A handful of other countries saw their investments more than double last year. Sweden’s investments in solar went up to $4 billion. Meanwhile, Australia’s overall capital investments peaked at $9 billion. Surprisingly, Egypt actually saw a 495 percent increase in their investments which went up $2.6 billion. The United Emirates went 23-fold from their previous investments to $2.2 billion.
The study also saw a decline in renewable investments in Europe, which was at $57.4 billion. Most notable because of Germany, because it had a 26 percent decline, and the United Kingdom had a 56 percent decline due to changes in their governmental policy.
The good news is that the world has seen an increase in renewable and solar investments and business startups because that’s where the economy is heading, and that’s what consumers want.
Let’s hope the trend continues.