Clean energy investment down 20 percent in third-quarter: report

LONDON Tue Oct 9, 2012 2:15pm BST

An old style windmill is pictured with newer and larger wind turbines in the background, at a wind farm near Milford, Utah May 21, 2012. REUTERS/George Frey

An old style windmill is pictured with newer and larger wind turbines in the background, at a wind farm near Milford, Utah May 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/George Frey

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LONDON (Reuters) - Global investment in clean energy fell to $56.6 billion in the third quarter of this year, down 20 percent year-on-year and signalling 2012 will see the first annual decline in eight years, a report by analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance said on Tuesday.

"Today's figures... suggest that the full-year 2012 figure for investment in clean energy is likely to fall short of last year's record $280 billion. If so, 2012 would be the first down-year for world investment in the sector for at least eight years," a statement accompanying the report said.

Many world leaders have said the green economy could help drag their countries out of recession but these figures suggest businesses are beginning to slow their investments in clean technology.

Policy uncertainty about the support for new renewable power generation hit investment in key markets in the United States, the UK and Italy, the report said.

Investment in the U.S. plummeted 62 percent year-on-year and at $7.3 billion was down 28 percent on the second quarter of 2012, while investment in Europe dropped 29 percent year-on-year to $18.2 billion.

China saw a 6 percent increase in investment year-on-year, at $14.8 billion, but the figure for July to September was down 17 percent on the previous quarter, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Brazil, however, bucked the trend and saw a 24 percent year-on-year increase and a 94 percent quarterly increase to $1.9 billion, the report said.

"The location of some of the biggest projects financed in Q3 this year highlight the geographical shift that is taking place in clean energy, with established markets such as the U.S., Europe and China losing momentum while newer markets in South America, Asia and Africa pick up steam," said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Two of the three largest renewable projects given the go-ahead during the July to September period were located in Morocco while the third was located in Brazil, the report said.

(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; editing by James Jukwey)

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