Global Clean Energy Market – Going Strong

The steady global growth in cleantech investment indicates a positive outlook for the future.
Published: Thu 29 Jan 2015

The global clean energy market is enjoying strong growth. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the global cleantech market enjoyed its strongest investment performance in years during 2014. The figures indicate that total clean energy investments jumped 16% to US$310 billion.

In 2011-2012 the collective cleantech sector across both developing and developed countries was a US$5.5 trillion global market, and between 2007 and 2010, it grew on average 11.8% per year.

By comparison, the Earth Policy Institute indicates the global economy as a whole grew on average 2.4% per year over the same period.

The cleantech sector's outpacing of the economy is not stopping any time soon: it's currently predicted to grow at around 4.1% annually until 2015-16, almost double the general global economy.

Cleantech growth thanks to solar and wind

In response to this news, Ian Thomas, managing director at Turquoise International – a leading merchant bank specialising in energy and the environment – commented: “With a global value now pushing nearly US$310 billion, the cleantech sector is experiencing welcome growth. Whilst this is mainly due to continued investment in wind and solar, under the headline number there are very interesting and encouraging developments in other technologies and markets.”

“At Turquoise, we are delighted by this data, as it highlights a step up in the maturity of the cleantech and renewables sectors at a time of turmoil in the traditional energy industry. We believe innovation is key to achieving a sustainable future for our energy landscape, so we welcome wholeheartedly the inflow of new investment.

Market support for start-up’s

Thomas adds that this strong growth reflects the fact that an increasing number of projects are moving from feasibility to final stages, as well as increased levels of support for smaller companies looking to enter the market with new and exciting technologies.

Through their corporate finance advisory work and management of the Low Carbon Innovation Fund (LCIF), Turquoise International is seeing increasing levels of interest in funding energy and environmental projects from multi-million pound infrastructure scale investments through to start-up companies seeking seed funding, says Thomas. “Via this activity, we will continue to support the clean energy sector and the innovative projects of tomorrow,” explains Thomas.

Cleantech growth in developing countries

The cleantech market in developing countries is still mostly unexplored. Over the next 10 years, an estimated US$6.4 trillion will be invested in developing countries: of this, US$1.6 trillion will be accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This promising figure comes from the World Bank Group’s report published by infoDev, called “Building competitive green industries”. The report focuses on climate and clean technology opportunities for developing countries.

“Fostering home-grown clean tech industries in developing countries can create a sustainable and wealth-producing sector of the economy,” concurs Anabel Gonzalez, senior director for the World Bank’s Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, “while simultaneously addressing such urgent development priorities as access to clean and affordable energy, clean water and climate-resilient agriculture.”

Further reading

Department for Business Innovation & Skills- Annual report and Accounts 2012-13 [pdf]

Forbury- Trends in CleanTech Investing: The Search for Leaner and Less Capital-Intensive Investment

infoDev-Building competitive green industries

The Climate Group- Small and medium-sized enterprises can unlock $1.6 trillion clean tech market in next 10 years