Google Makes New Clean Energy Purchases After Abandoning R&D Efforts

by Liza Farr

During the last few years, Google has had a roller coaster ride with clean energy. In 2007, they started their RERomm, Dec 4, 2014). In 2011, however, Google stopped this program completely, with the reasoning that they determined this effort would not actually reverse climate change, or make new renewable energy cheaper than existing coal. Critics argued that both of these goals are widely considered impossible, and chastised the company for ending the R&D program. Likely, Google realized with plummeting global renewable energy prices, there was more money to be made in renewable energy deployment than in research and development (Romm, Dec 4, 2014). Continue reading

Changes in Clean Energy Investment in 2014: End of Year Recap

by Melanie Paty

On January 9th, 2015, Bloomberg New Energy Finance submitted a press release on the strong performance of clean energy investments in 2014. The overall investment in clean energy reached $310 billion, a 16% increase from 2013, but 2011 still holds the record at $317 billion. However, it was the biggest increase of new investment in clean energy since 2011. Government funded research and development increased 14% and corporate increased 15%. Private equity and venture capital investments increased 16%, but overall investment is still three times below 2008 levels. In terms of region, the most investment came from the United States, China, and Europe. European investment increased only 1% since 2013, but is still the highest at $66 billion. China increased a whopping 32% to $89.5 billion. Clean energy investment in the United States experienced a smaller increase of only 8% reaching $51.8, $15.5 billion of which went to utility scale asset finance. U.S. investment in solar increased by 39% whereas investment in wind decreased by more than 50%. India and Brazil both reached $7.9 billion in clean energy investments, an 88% increase for the former and a 14% increase for the latter. French investment increased by 26% due to the installation of Europe’s largest solar PV plant with 300MW capacity. Continue reading