A new record for renewables investments

It’s Thursday, August 25, and the world has set new records for renewable energy investment.

It’s been a good year for clean energy. According to a new report from the research firm BloombergNEF, global investment in renewables reached record levels over the first half of 2022, hitting an all-time high of $226 billion — 11 percent higher than during the first six months of last year.

“This was the highest ever first half for investment in renewables,” the analysis says.

Solar did particularly well, with investments in large- and small-scale solar projects rising to a record-breaking $120 billion — up 33 percent from the first half of 2021. Financing for wind projects rose to $84 billion, a 16 percent jump. The Chinese market led these renewable investments, contributing $41 billion for solar and $57.8 billion for wind. The U.S. market came in second place, investing $7.5 billion for solar and $19.7 billion for wind.

BloombergNEF also notes that the first half of 2022 set an all-time record for venture capital and private equity investment in renewable energy and battery storage. The U.S. led this area by a wide margin: Out of a total of $9.6 billion raised globally between January and June, U.S. venture capital and private equity contributed $4.8 billion.

These record-setting investments are particularly impressive given ongoing supply chain challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as rising costs of clean energy materials such as lithium and polysilicon. In the U.S., for example, the cost of putting up residential solar panels was up 18 percent over the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2021.

“Despite the headwinds presented by ongoing cost inflation and supply challenges, demand for clean energy sources has never been higher,” BloombergNEF’s head of analysis, Albert Cheung, said in a statement, “and we expect that the global energy crisis will continue to act as an accelerant for the clean energy transition.”

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