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Investment in renewable energy soars for first time in three years

Lucas Mearian | Jan. 12, 2015
Corporations and venture capitalists loved renewable energy last year, and will continue to embrace it this year.

Global venture capital funding in the solar sector saw a sharp increase over the previous year with more than $1.3 billion raised in 85 deals. In 2013, $612 million was raised in 98 deals, according to Mercom Capital's report.

Solar venture capital funding in the fourth quarter of last year totaled $315 million in 16 deals, similar to the $326 million raised in the previous quarter, the report said.

Deutsche Bank reported that the U.S. rooftop solar market will be a key highlight and utilities will also start competing in the solar market.

Government policies will continue to improve for renewables — solar, in particular — given that anti-dumping duties imposed on Chinese modules by the U.S. last year are expected to be removed this year, Deutsche Bank said.

Bloomberg predicted that installations for solar and wind power will grow about 10 percent this year.

The new investment data has eased industry concerns that the recent oil price collapse would lead to a sharp reduction in funds for low-carbon energy, Bloomberg reported.

"This increase in renewable energy investment demonstrates the resilience of the sector in the face of tumbling oil prices," said Ben Warren, head of environmental finance at the consulting firm EY. "This trend is set to continue as technology around renewables becomes more affordable. The increasing role that renewable energy plays in emerging markets will also help ensure sustainable growth for the sector."


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