By Swagato Chakravorty
Depressing news for the clean energy sector was released this week. A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance yesterday stated investment in clean energy dropped 20 percent year-on-year - down to $56.6 billion in the third quarter of 2012 - on a global scale. This year could be the first to see an annual decline in eight years.
"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.
In large part, the seismic tremors affecting the world's economy on a near-constant basis are responsible for the slip in clean energy investment. For example, the U.S., U.K., and Italy all feature governments with fractured support systems for renewable power projects - something that has caused energy companies to take a step back, which in turn has led to diminished investment in such projects.
In the U.S., investment dropped 62 percent year-on-year to hit $7.3 billion in the second quarter of this year.
Over in Europe, investment dropped 29 percent to reach $18.2 billion. China, on the other hand, noted a 6 percent increase at $14.8 billion, but the numbers for July-September show a decrease of 17 percent compared with the previous quarter.
Brazil, also part of the emerging BRIC bloc of developing countries, was different; the country showcased a 24 percent increase year-on-year and an impressive 94 percent increase over the quarter to reach $1.9 billion.
Of the three largest renewable projects that received the green light during the third quarter, two are located in Morocco and the third is in Brazil.