“Healthy investment in clean energy may surprise some commentators, who have been predicting trouble for renewables as a result of the oil price collapse,” Michael Liebreich, chairman of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in the article. “Our answer is that 2014 was too early to see any noticeable effect on investment. The impact of cheaper crude will be felt much more in road transport than in electricity generation.”
Looking ahead, the clean tech space will continue to expand, brushing off concerns that low oil prices would pressure funding for low-carbon energy. For instance, BNEF calculates installations for solar and wind power will expand 10% this year.
“This increase in renewable energy investment demonstrates the resilience of the sector in the face of tumbling oil prices,” Ben Warren, head of environmental finance at EY, said in the article. “This trend is set to continue as technology around renewables becomes more affordable. The increasing role that renewable energy plays in emerging markets will also help ensure sustainable growth for the sector.”
For more global exposure, alternative energy investors can take a look at related ETFs that take on overseas companies. For instance, GEX includes a large U.S. position at 65.2%, along with Denmark 9.5%, China 7.7%, Italy 4.2% and Japan 3.2%. Additionally, the PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio (NYSEArca: PZD) includes large tilts toward developed economies, including U.S. 55.9%, Switzerland 6.9%, France 6.1%, Denmark 6.1% and Germany 4.6%.
Alternatively, the PowerShares Global Clean Energy Portfolio (NYSEArca: PBD) and iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (NYSEArca: ICLN) both include greater allocations toward China. Specifically, ICLN’s top country weights includes China 37.8%, U.S. 22.0%, Brazil 6.7%, Denmark 6.1% and Japan 5.5%. PBD’s top countries include U.S. 32.6%, China 16.3%, Germany 6.8%, Hong Kong 4.6% and Denmark 4.5%.
For more information on the alternative energy space, visit our clean energy category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.