Market Overview: Clean Energy Investments Worldwide

Clean energy investments worldwide have significantly spiked over the last decade, going from $45.2 billion U.S. in 2014 to $288.3 billion in 2018. This striking gap has made clean energy a prominent sector in the market. Not to mention, it indicates how much the industry has matured greatly.

New investment in clean energy worldwide from 2004 to 2018 (in billion U.S. dollars). Source: statista.com
New investment in clean energy worldwide from 2004 to 2018 (in billion U.S. dollars). Source: statista.com

Americans investing in clean tech

The increase of global investments in the sector also steadily increased funding for clean energy worldwide. In fact, the United States alone accounts for a huge chunk of global clean investments. In 2018, funding for clean energy initiatives made a whopping total of $64 billion U.S. dollars. Around $3.4 billion of these investment funds came from venture capital and private equity funding.

China leading clean tech investments

Clean energy stimulus funds spent worldwide by country by the year-end 2010 (in million U.S. dollars). Source: statista.com

But no country beats China when it comes to investing in clean tech, in 2018 the country brought in $32 billion U.S. dollars into clean energy stimulus funds. China has remained at the top as the highest-ranked country regarding clean energy investments in recent years. As a matter of fact, in 2010 alone China spent $31,944 million U.S. dollars on clean energy projects.

Solar and wind topping the charts

This growth of global investments in the industry was mostly driven by asset financing for renewable energy sources such as wind, small distributed capacity and most notably, rooftop solar energy. Utility-scale solar and wind investments have accounted for the vast majority of renewable energy investments.

Research and development investment in renewable energy worldwide in 2018, by sector (in billion U.S. dollars)*

On that note, solar and wind are also the top sectors to receive funding for research and development in renewable energies, both sectors receiving a total of $9.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. Biofuels, biomass and waste to energy and, small hydro are among the other top sectors receiving billions of funding worldwide.

Overview

Over a decade ago only a few companies outside of Europe and North America had policies and targets to increase renewable energy capacity, but now the vast majority of countries worldwide have established their own targets. Overall, this continued trend towards a greener future is exactly the reason why the clean tech industry carries on to be a strong space.