By most measures, renewable energy should represent one of the most exciting and in-demand investment options across the globe.
This is undoubtedly true from a worldwide perspective, with global investment in this sector having climbed by 3% to a hefty £242.4 ($333.5) billion at the end of last year. This represented the second-highest level of spending on record and seemed to hint at a bright future of the sector.
The UK’s figures bucked this trend, however, and in this post we’ll explore this further while asking what’s next for the market as a whole.
How did the UK Market Fare in 2017?
While the global markets made hay last year, the level of clean energy investment in the UK sunk considerably during the same period.
This decline followed a period of relative growth in the UK, with the amount spent by companies on green energy having increased incrementally between 2010 and 2015.
It has since fallen for two years in a row under the Conservative government, however, hitting a low of £7.5 billion ($10.3 billion) in 2017.
This represented a slump of 56% year-on-year, as the UK fell below all of its European rivals in terms of spending and investment.
What are the key Takeaways Here and What’s Next for the Industry as a Whole?
The seismic decline in the UK market has been partially blamed on the UK government, with some deriding the Conservative’s green rhetoric and initial clean energy schemes as little more than hollow promises.
We’ve certainly seen some of the government’s financial incentives removed of late, while the Conservatives have also refused to commit to clean energy targets and projects as the Brexit negotiations continue.
There are also concerns surrounding the government’s underlying attitude to clean energy, with last-minute approval controversially given to a UK fracking site back in July.
Despite this, the longer-term outlook for the marketplace remains relatively healthy in both the UK and overseas, with the number of UK patents filed for solar power, wind energy and biofuels having nearly doubled over the course of the last five years.
In total, more than 14,800 renewable energy patents were filed globally during 2017 alone, and this represented an increase of 43% in comparison with the previous years’ figure of 10,500.
This hints at sustained innovation and development in the future, providing ample opportunity for investors throughout the world.
The Last Word
There’s no doubt that clean and renewable energy represents an extremely lucrative marketplace, particularly from a longer-term perspective.
Even accounting for the recent decline in the UK market, this is unlikely to be sustained indefinitely, so the industry may well offer value for investors over time.
The key is to choose your assets and markets wisely, while seeking out expert guidance from service providers such as Downing. This will ensure that you make informed decisions and succeed financially in one of the world’s most progressive markets.