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GSR 2015 - Early Investment Trends in 2015

85 03 RENEWABLES 2015 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT The year 2014 also saw the creation of two new South-South development banks: in July 2014, the five BRICS countries created the USD 100 billion New Development Bank, to which each country will initially contribute USD 10 billion with the primary focus on infrastructure and sustainable development projects, and with lending to begin in 2016. A few months later, 23 Asian countries (excluding Japan and South Korea) agreed to create the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The initial USD 50 billion was provided mostly by China, and operations are expected to start by the end of 2015. ■■ EARLY INVESTMENT TRENDS IN 2015 Global investment in renewable energy was USD 50.2 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, as dealmaking slowed in big markets such as Brazil, China, and in Europe. The first quarter tends to be the weakest of the year, but this total was down 10% from Q1 in 2014 (USD 55.9 billion). However, the US dollar had strengthened 15% against several currencies over the interim, and 29% against the euro, accounting for at least part of this decline. Figures for Q1 of 2015 show that investment fell 29% in Europe compared to the first quarter of 2014, and also declined in China (-23%), Brazil (-62%), and the rest of the Americas (-18%) outside of the United States, where it was up 46%. It also was down slightly in Japan (-3%) and in the rest of the Asia-Oceania region (-43%), with the exception of India, where investment rose 59% compared with Q1 in 2014. South Africa saw the strongest performance, with investment surging to USD 3.1 billion, from almost nothing in the same quarter of 2014, as financing flowed to a series of large solar PV, CSP, and wind power projects that were contracted under the country’s tendering process. All types of investment were down relative to Q1 in the previous year, except for small distributed capacity—primarily rooftop solar PV—which rose 11% to USD 20.3 billion. By sector, investment in Q1 2015 increased relative to Q1 in 2014 for solar power (up 7% to USD 31.8 billion) and biomass and waste-to- energy (up 94% to USD 1.7 billion). However, it declined for wind power (-30%; USD 15.1 billion) and biofuels (-64%; USD 447 million). Despite the declines, the numbers indicate that the slump in oil and natural gas prices has not had much of an impact on investment in renewable energy.

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