Investors continued to support new renewable energy projects in the first half of 2020 despite the unprecedented economic shock caused by the coronavirus, according to new figures.
The overall tally was heavily influenced by the busiest half year ever for final investment decisions in the offshore wind sector, more than offsetting declines in investment in solar, onshore wind and biomass.
Offshore wind financings totalled $35 billion, up 319% year-on-year and well above 2019’s record full-year figure of $31.9bn, according to the figures compiled by research company BloombergNEF.
Major decisions during the period included the green light for the UK’s 1.1GW Seagreen project.
Overall investment in new renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro-electric dams of more than 50MW) was $132.4bn in the first half of 2020, up 5% from a revised $125.8bn in the same period of 2019. Onshore wind investment slipped 21% to $37.5bn, while that for solar fell 12% to $54.7 billion.
Angus McCrone, chief editor at BNEF, said that a clearer picture of the impact of Covid-19 on green energy investment will come with the full-year 2020 figures. “Renewables have been helped by vastly improved competitiveness and by investor appetite for assets offering secure cash flows."
“However, project developers face the challenge that key people, whether at the permitting, financing or construction stages, can’t meet face-to-face. And buyers of small-scale solar systems are sensitive to changes in consumer confidence.”