When in Doubt, Follow the (Investment) Money

You can predict the future by following the money – and more specifically, the money being put into play by investors, venture capitalists and speculators.

And nowhere is that truer than in the energy sector, now exploding with more renewable alternatives than at any other time in history. Where the investment money goes, so goes our energy future.

So, you can imagine solar energy analysts’ glee when Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released its annual investment report showing that solar accounted for almost 50 percent of the $333 billion invested in renewable energy sources in 2017. That’s $161 billion in global solar investment, representing a year-over-year investment increase of 18 percent.

What’s especially encouraging is how much of the world is now investing in solar and renewables: 24 countries invested $1 billion or more in clean energy initiatives in 2017. And beyond perineal leaders China and the United States are a host of other players that are significantly upping their solar and other clean energy presence. 

  • In the Middle East, Egypt and UAE led in 2017 renewables investment with $2.6 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively – a staggering 500-percent and 2,300-percent increase over 2016.
  • Signaling a total-region commitment, Sweden and Italy were the biggest investors in Europe, with $4 and $2.5 billion, respectively.
  • In the Americas, Canada and Argentina ranked highest after the U.S., with $3.3 and $1.8 billion, respectively.

While there are many reasons behind the spread and dispersity in renewable energy investment, analysts like Chris McCracken at Energy Advisory Services at ICF and others point to technology advances, particularly in the U.S., for reducing costs and increasing performance and ROI, and leveling the playing field for new solar players.

The result is the ultimate technology-development cycle: new investment leads = new technology advances = reduced costs and barriers to entry = increased adoption and demand = increased ROI = even more investment = a brighter energy future and a carbonless world.

All of which is happening as country-specific energy subsidies are fading away, proving that clean energy can not only survive – but thrive – on its own.

Of course, as the developers of one of the most significant solar advances ever, CSDR International is honored to be leading this charge to make renewables the only real choice for our energy future.

Leslie Gomez