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Clean Energy Investment Exceeds $117 Billion in 2007

Feb 6, 2008 - EERE Network News

The global investment in clean energy grew 41% in 2007, reaching $117.2 billion, according to analysts at New Energy Finance, Ltd. Wind power drew the greatest amount of investments, followed by solar energy and energy efficiency, while biofuels investments slowed due to surging costs for crops. The majority of the funds, $54.5 billion, were used to finance assets such as biorefineries, wind farms, and solar power plants. In fact, nearly half of that went toward wind energy investments. Meanwhile, solar project investments of $5.9 billion represented an 82% increase over investments in 2006, driven partly by large solar energy facilities in Spain and Italy. Solar energy also became the leading clean energy candidate for venture capital and private equity investment, attracting $3 billion of new equity. Much of that went toward solar energy startups in the United States; HelioVolt alone raised $101 million. Clean energy stocks also did well, as thin-film solar power company First Solar led the pack with a nearly 8-fold increase in price.

If all that sounds good to you, consider this: to meet current climate change abatement targets, New Energy Finance estimates that clean energy investments will need to triple over the next five years. The company projects that investments in renewable energy generation facilities and biorefineries will need to sustain a 20% annual growth through 2013 to meet global targets for clean energy. Among the companies stepping up to that challenge are Najafi Companies, LLC, which is committing $100 million to a new startup portfolio company for alternative energy, and GE Energy Financial Services, which now plans to invest $6 billion in renewable energy by 2010. The GE company doubled its goal after meeting its $3 billion goal a couple years early.