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Shadows fall on renewable energy fundraising

Public market investment in renewable energy was $6.3 billion in 2016, down 53% from the prior year.

Solar companies, among the leaders in public fundraising in past years, raised $1.7 billion during the year, down 83% from 2015. Wind power companies saw a 66% uptick in new money, bringing in $4.3 billion in 2016.

The data were slightly skewed because more than one-third of the investments were from the $2.2 billion spinoff of German firm Innogy. Innogy was the renewable energy arm of German utility RWE. In total, German renewable energy companies generated $2.4 billion in new investments in 2016. Comparatively, companies in the U.S., U.K and China raised $1.3 billion, $800 million and $500 million in capital, respectively, during the 12-month period.

Private equity and venture capital fundraising for renewable energy projects was about $3.3 billion in 2016, down 4% from 2015. Solar investments have historically dominated the space and took in two-thirds of the capital raised during the year, despite a 2% decline from 2015.