Renewable energy investment fell for second year running in 2013.

UNEP: “According to Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014 ….the investment drop of $US35.1 billion was partly due to the falling cost of solar photovoltaic systems. The other main cause was policy uncertainty in many countries, an issue that also depressed investment in fossil fuel generation in 2013.”
“Total investments fell in 2013 by 14% to $214 billion worldwide, reflecting significant cost reductions and the impact of policy uncertainty.
– Solar PV, in particular, improved its cost-competitiveness: some 39GW were installed, up from 31GW in 2012, for fewer dollars invested.
– The number of markets that can compete without subsidies is increasing.
– Renewables excluding large hydro account for 43.6% of 2013’s newly-installed generating capacity.
– Wind investments remained roughly the same, while solar PV outlays dropped 20% despite a record amount installed.
– In 2013, China for the first time invested more in renewable energy than Europe.
– Renewable energy investment in Japan increased by 80 % during the last year.”
Time: “….looking at the numbers more closely tells a brighter story. It’s true that investment in renewable energy has been falling, but that’s chiefly due to the rapidly falling cost of solar photovoltaic systems, according to Michael Liebreich of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The average price of installing a solar panel has dropped by 60% in the U.S., which means that less money can buy more solar power. Globally, renewable energy aside from large hydro plants accounted for 43.6% of all new power capacity added last year—the same as in 2012—which translated to 81 gigawatts. That raised renewable energy’s share of total power generation from 7.8% to 8.5%.
On top of that, more clean energy companies can draw funding from public equity—a stock market index of clean tech companies was up 54% in 2013. And the biggest drop was in a form of energy—biofuels—that’s looking less green every year. Even with investment down, the shift towards a world powered by low-carbon sources hasn’t stopped. “The onward march of this sector is inevitable,” said Liebreich at a press conference Monday morning.
The biggest change on the global stage was in Europe, where investment was down 44% from the year before (U.S. investment fell by 10%). Some of that drop is due to the delayed effects of Europe’s economic slowdown, which led countries like Spain and Bulgaria to make retroactive cuts to subsidies for existing renewable energy projects, which killed off investment altogether.”