Investments in small hydropower, marine energy fall through 2016

New investment in clean energy worldwide fell from US$348.5 billion in 2015 to $287.5 billion (excluding large hydropower plants of more than 50 MW) in 2016 or about 18%, according to figures from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

BNEF said investment indicated small hydro showed a 1% dip in investment to $3.4 billion and investment in marine energy in 2016 were at $194 million, down 7% on 2015 levels.

In its press release measured by BNEF and listed, but not included in the figures for new investment, is acquisition activity in clean energy.

BNEF said this totaled $117.5 billion in 2016, up from $97 billion in 2015 and the first time this has broken the $100 billion level. Behind the surge were a rise in renewable energy project acquisitions to $72.7 billion and, in particular, a leap in corporate merger and acquisitions to a record $33 billion.

An example of clean energy investment in 2016 is the Bracebridge Generation acquisition of three companies in Haliburton County, Ontario, Canada, that own hydroelectric plants.

Companies acquired are Drag River Water Power Inc., Irondale River Water Power Inc., and Elliott Falls Power Corp.

Bracebridge Generation owns the Bracebridge Falls, Wilson’s Falls, 1.5-MW High Falls and Burk’s Falls hydro plants. And in 2016 the company started construction on a $16.9 million upgrade at its 1.2-MW Cascade Street generation station on the Seguin River in Parry Sound. When complete, the plant will have a capacity of 3.4 MW.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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