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Global cleantech investment figures for Q1 show uptick

Finally some encouraging cleantech investment numbers, at a global level at least.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance released their Q1 clean energy investment figures. Overall investment was up 9 percent from the same quarter a year ago, up to $47.7 billion from $43.6 billion.

There were a couple of indicators of trends that we continue to see. Rooftop solar continues to drive investment as panel prices drop and overall installation costs decline. Small scale solar is also looking surprisingly solid.  Of the $27.5 billion spent on solar, $21.2 billion was for projects under a megawatt.

Other sectors showing solid growth include grid battery storage, electric cars, and grid efficiency. Wind power and biofuels are facing declines in investment.

And the core message? Move beyond Europe. China, Brazil, Africa and the Middle East are growth areas for cleantech investment while Europe saw investment sink by 30 percent. Africa and the Middle East are looking especially strong with an 82 percent surge in investment.

It’s been a tough few years for cleantech investment but the macro trends remain strong–fossil fuel costs are increasing and renewable energy prices keep creeping south. This is combined with skyrocketing energy demand in the developing world. These trends will need to hold in an environment where subsidies are evaporating.