Renewable Energy Global Investment Drops 14%; Au Dropped at 4.7 Billion

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By Athena Yenko | April 8, 2014 2:33 PM EST

Global investment in renewable energy dropped 14 per cent to US$214.4 billion, a report from UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

The report titled Global Trends in renewable Energy Investments 2014  said that the decline in investments is due to the falling cost of  solar photovoltaic systems and uncertain policy in many countries.

"A long-term shift in investment over the next few decades towards a cleaner energy portfolio is needed to avoid dangerous climate change, with the energy sector accounting for around two thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions. The fact that renewable energy is gaining a bigger share of overall generation globally is encouraging. To support this further, we must re-evaluate investment priorities, shift incentives, build capacity and improve governance structures," said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP.

In Australia, investments in renewable energy dropped at 4.7 billion.

Speaking with ABC, Clean Energy Council spokesman Kane Thornton said that the decline can be attributed to the cost of renewable technology being more affordable today than previous years.

However, he also noted that Australia is uncertain of its renewable energy policy hence the decline.

"The cost of renewable technology has come down. That's a really exciting development and therefore the cost to build a wind farm or a solar system has reduced. But secondly we've seen a lot of policy uncertainty in Australia over the past year, and that has meant that there is a lower level of investment in 2013."

Australian Renewable Energy Agency will undergo a budget cut on May. In what could be an unusual behaviour, the agency already penned a letter to its stakeholders saying that their budget was uncertain.

As a result to Australia's uncertain policy, Multinational solar panel  maker first solar is having a double take with its investment in the country. Jack Curtis, First Solar's vice-president of business development said that in the span of eight months into the project, a lot has changed.

"Those projects ... reached financial close in a different political and business environment which was almost a year ago now. That's obviously changed quite dramatically since the election. There's now a much greater deal of uncertainty around future projects like this," Mr Curtis told ABC.

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