Investments in clean energy rose by 3% in 2017

China sees

New clean energy investment worldwide rose by 3 percent last year to $333.5 billion from a year earlier, driven by a surge in solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, research showed on Tuesday.

China was highlighted as the leader in solar photovoltaic (PV) installations in 2017, taking over big strides made in clean in investment in Australia and Mexico, and declines in Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Jon Moore, Chief Executive of BNEF, said: "The 2017 total is all the more remarkable when you consider that capital costs for the leading technology - solar - continue to fall sharply".

Instead, China's spending on solar accounted for half the world's $160.8 billion total. 53 gigawatts (GW) of new solar PV capacity was installed in the country.

[F] irst, despite a growing subsidy burden and worsening power curtailment, China's regulators, under pressure from the industry, were slow to curb build of utility-scale projects outside allocated government quotas.

One of the main reasons for this strong growth was the continued fall in the cost of solar, as well as an increase in projects on rooftops and industrial parks. "These systems are not limited by the government quota", Wu said. Large energy consumers in China are now installing solar panels to meet their own demand, with a minimal premium subsidy.

"After China, the next biggest investing country was the USA, at $56.9 billion, up 1 per cent on 2016 despite the less-friendly tone towards renewables adopted by the Trump administration", BNEF said in a statement released along with its report on annual figures based on its database of projects and deals.

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Investment in Australia was up 150 per cent to $9bn and in Mexico 516 per cent to $6.2bn. Overall, investments in this sector in Europe are down by 26% to 57.6 billion Dollars.

Indonesia: $1 billion, up 71%.

World clean energy investment totalled $333.5bn a year ago, up 3% from 2016 and the second highest annual figure ever, taking cumulative investment since 2010 to $2.5tn. Distributed solar there grew from 4 gigawatts in 2016 to over 18 gigawatts previous year, according to GTM Research.

Acquisition spending in 2017 was up 4% to United States dollars 127.9 billion, with acquisitions and refinancing of renewable energy projects growing 14% to a record-high USD 87.2 billion. Onshore, American Electric Power said it would back the 2 GW Oklahoma Wind Catcher project in the US, at $2.9 billion excluding transmission.

Sweden $4 billion, up 109%. Newly added distributed solar capacity, which is used to meet power demand near where it's generated, was 17.23 gigawatts in the first 11 months of a year ago, almost four times more than the same period in 2016. Wind power investment fell 12% to $107.2 billion, while "energy-smart" technologies such a smart meters and battery storage saw investment increase by 7% to propel the sector to $48.8 billion investment a year ago.

Canada $3.3 billion, up 45%. Developers channeled 1 percent more capital into clean energy than the previous year even though Trump worked to gut emissions rules governing power plants. However, for comparison, the report says final investment decisions in large hydro are likely to have been worth $40 billion and $50 billion in 2017.

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