European wind power investment rose to €51bn in 2017, up 9 per cent from the previous year.

City AM reports a surge in project and company acquisitions for the increase as trade body WindEurope claimed wind energy represented the largest investment opportunity in the energy sector in 2017.
WindEurope published a report, out today, which examines investments in new assets, refinancing transactions, mergers and acquisition at project and corporate level, public market transactions and private equity raised across the continent.

“Sector maturity and technology competitiveness have brought in more investors as equity partners in projects, in particular from the financial services industry. These partnerships are key for power producers who need to recycle capital to finance new assets,” WindEurope said.

It found mergers and acquisitions drove €14.4bn in investment activity, up from just €6.8bn in 2016. Company acquisition deals doubled in value last year due to the consolidation in the industry.

Deal flow in public capital markets was also up in 2017 to €7.6bn as companies made use of the low interest rate environment and liquidity in the financial markets.

However, new asset financing, including all infrastructure investments in the construction of new onshore and offshore wind farms, plunged 19 per cent to €22.3bn due to technological cost reductions and lower offshore wind investments.

Wind Europe said 2017 was a record year for new capacity financing, with 11.5 GW of new power potential reaching final investment decision (FID) across 200 projects in Europe.

The vast majority of those were in Germany and the UK, which together accounted for half of the new FIDs announced last year.

Meanwhile the International Renewable Energy Agency’s Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050, launched at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue this week, has found that increasing cumulative energy system investment by 30 per cent to 2050 in favour of renewable energy and energy efficiency, can create over 11 million additional energy-sector jobs, completely offsetting job losses in the fossil fuel industry.

Immediate action will also reduce the scale and value of stranded energy-related assets in the future. The roadmap currently anticipates up to $11trn of stranded energy assets by 2050 – a value that could double if action is further delayed.

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency together form the cornerstone of the world’s solution to energy-related CO2 emissions, and can provide over 90 per cent of the energy-related CO2 emission reductions required to keep global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius,” said IRENA Director General Adnan Z. Amin. “If we are to decarbonise global energy fast enough to avoid the most sever impacts of climate change, renewables must account for at least two-thirds of total energy by 2050.