Mar 12, 2018

Green Bonds Going Greener 2018

Green Bond Series Part 3

For Part Two of our Green Bonds Series we wanted to cover the 2017 Clean Energy Investment Trends and what to look forward to in 2018. Last year the world's total clean energy was a little less than $333 billion which was a 3% increase and the second highest annual figure ever telling us that Green Bonds are infact getting greener. Clean Energy Investments are popping up everywhere just as expos and events connection companies together to do more "green" business. Keep in mind that the more green business the better for the economy as well as the Earth itself. Interested in attending a Clean Energy event, there's an annual meeting and conference in NY March 14 & 15th called "Capture the Energy" - be sure to attend for the latest and greatest in Green Energy!

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance Report is one of the most "...comprehensive, geographical reach and level of [high] detail investment transactions [can be] tracked." We appreciate their dedication and information they release to the public. Bloomberg states that 2017 was China's record year for photovoltaic installations. This and this alone shadowed changes elsewhere, such as Germany and the U.K. The increase in photovoltaic installations (a solar power system used to generate usable solar power by means of photovoltaics) in China helped not only their economy, but also the over all Green Energy globally interest. The not only proved to others that the installations would increase the likelihood of it catching on to others within China, it also promoted an economy boom of solar resources. Jon Moore, chief executive of BNEF said, "The 2017 total is all more remarkable when you consider the capital costs for the leading technilogy - solar - continue to fall sharply. Typical utility-scale PV systems were about 25% cheaper per megawatt last year than they were two years earlier." Solar investments took a leap of faith and ended up in the 160 billions despite the 18% cost reductions with China spending over half of that. More and more projects are being developed on rooftops in China, at industrial parks, and are not limited by government quota. More and more large energy consumers in China are installing solar panels to meet their own demand not guidelines induced on them by government.

Coming behind China, the U.S. was the biggest investors at $56.9 billion, up only 1% from the previous year, despite the less than friendly tone towards renewables by the current administration. Next up, Australia up 150% to $9 billion and Mexico up 516% at 6.2 billion. Though there were countries who saw increases, there was also Japan who declines by 16%, Germany 26% and Europe down 26% as well. But all in all, solar is the big boy in this family.

Taking 48% of the global total at a little more than $160 billion with the United Arab Emirates taking the biggest chunk in the 1.2GW Marubeni JinkoSolar and Adwea Sweihan plant. Behind solar, was Wind power with $107 billion. Though this was a drop 12$ from the previous year, American Electric Power said it would back the 2GW Oklahoma Wind Catcher project in the U.S. at 2.9 billion. The final biggest sector was energy smart technology which includes smart grids, electric vehicles, and battery storage totaling in 48.8 billion. The remaining sectors were biomass, waste to energy, biofuels, small hydro, low carbon services, geo thermal and marine energy.

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Other Important things to note: EV vehicles and battery packs will rise in the next year as well as the boom will continue to rise as more and more consumers are looking for alternatives to their vehicle and energy sources. This is a 40% rise from 2017 and is proposed to increase through 2019. Not only will electric vehicles increase, autonomous cars are reaching 5.2 million by the end of 2018. Tesla is mentioned to be the wildcard in the situation. The Tesla creating semi-trucks and shooting rockets into space. We have a lot to look forward to with self driving vehicles as well as electric vehicles from the creator Elon Musk.

Coal also makes a rise and sadly the Trump Administration has been contributing to that increase. "The Trump administration will continue to pull every policy lever it can find to revitalize U.S. coal-fired power generation – but will not slow coal’s inexorable and inevitable decline. We are not sticking our noses out too far on this one, actually. Already, 2018 is scheduled to be the second biggest year in U.S. history for coal plant retirements, with 13GW of projects slated to shutter. A particularly cold first week of 2018 could boost the overall coal megawatt-hours a bit, but the total amount of coal capacity online will continue to decline.  In addition, on January 8, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a request from Energy Secretary Rick Perry to have U.S. power markets reward coal and nuclear plants for the supposed “resilience” they provide to the grid. FERC, which historically prides itself on independence, rejected Perry’s request with a bipartisan 5-0 vote." 

To wrap it up: Energy is an important factor in the changes and contribution to this global economy just as much as water is to human survival. Things like this have to be monitored over a large period of time to see increases or decreases. Though things may look negative on the surface, in the overall scheme of things, energy usage and renewable energy being used more is on the rise. With things like this you have to take a step back and evaluate the entire picture, not just a piece. Should you have more information on this topic, we'd love to hear it. Just send it over to us.

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