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Despite $28 billion drop, renewable energy projects grow

Staff writer |
Despite a sharp decline in private investment in energy, transport, and water infrastructure in developing countries in the first six months of 2015, investment in renewable energy projects rose to nearly half of the total investment.

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This is the highest level ever as a share of total investment, according to an update released today by the World Bank Group’s Private Participation in Infrastructure Database.

Total private infrastructure investments for the energy, transport, and water sectors in 139 emerging economies dropped by more than half, from $53 billion in first six months of 2014 to $25 billion in the first six months of 2015, mainly due to a decline in the number of projects in Brazil, China, and India. Investments in other countries remained steady.

The top countries by private investment totals were South Africa, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, and Brazil. These five countries together attracted $11.9 billion, representing 47 percent of global commitments in the developing world in the first half of 2015.

Regionally, Latin America and the Caribbean region continued to lead, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Central Asia, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa.

The total number of projects stayed relatively stable at 124 (from 132 the year before), with a focus on investments in renewable energy projects — energy generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat.

Unlike the first half of 2014, when transport dominated global investment, this year saw all forms of energy projects capturing 64 percent of the total investments while transport captured 32 percent and water 4 percent, according to the updated database.

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