Renewable energy investment falls
GLOBAL investment in renewable energy technology fell in the first quarter this year, as private equity spending dropped along with initial public offerings, London-based consultant New Energy Finance says.
The amount of private equity flowing to wind farms, solar power companies and other alternative energy investments fell 64 per cent to $878 million in the three months to March 31, from $2.5 billion a year earlier, the research company says.
Companies raised $807 million on public stock markets in the quarter, compared with $5.2 billion a year earlier, it says.
The renewable energy market was hurt as banks and other investors generally became more reluctant to lend money because of deteriorating credit conditions, according to New Energy.
Still, the market was boosted as crude oil averaged $97.79 a barrel in the quarter, 68 per cent more than a year earlier, according to New York Mercantile Exchange prices.
Some companies became targets, with mergers and acquisitions jumping to $7.7 billion from $3.5 billion, New Energy says. Wind farm investment are at $6.6 billion in the quarter, compared with $7.2 billion a year earlier.
Venture capitalists put $1 billion into the renewable energy industry in the first quarter, 57 per cent more than the $668 million a year earlier.
Clean energy: Private equity investment has retreated in the past quarter