New investment in the worldwide clean energy sector in the second quarter of 2009 has already surpassed that in the first quarter by a third, with several weeks still to go in Q2, according to analysts at New Energy Finance. However, this is in comparison to a disastrous first quarter, which saw investment down 44% from the fourth quarter of 2008, and down 53% from the peak in the first quarter of 2008. Overall, new investment is expected to finish 2009 between US$95 billion and $115 billion, a drop of between 26% and 39% on last year’s total of $155 billion, says New Energy Finance.

Total global new investment in clean energy jumped from $35 billion in 2004, to reach last year’s record. However in a report entitled “Green Investment: Towards a Low-Carbon Energy Infrastructure,” published earlier this year by the World Economic Forum, New Energy Finance demonstrated that annual investment in clean energy has to more than treble from $155 billion to $500 billion between 2008 and 2020 to ensure that carbon emissions peak before the end of the next decade. The release of this latest full-year forecast for 2009 shows that the financial crisis and recession have knocked these plans considerably off track.

Moving forward though, the figures indicate that the first quarter of 2009 is likely to prove the low point for clean energy investment in this downturn. Already in the second quarter, investment in clean energy companies via the public markets has rallied sharply, with well over $2 billion of completed secondary issues.

Even more importantly, the biggest single obstacle facing the sector this year — the sudden shortage of debt finance for wind farm, solar parks and other clean energy projects caused by the banking crisis — may also be past its worst. Another key issue is the timing of the arrival of “green stimulus” money from government programmes aimed at alleviating the recession. Since September 2008, major economies announced some $184.9 billion of stimulus funds aimed at clean energy or energy efficiency, the company notes.

© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine,, Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine,, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.