Climatescope’s 2016 update of the most comprehensive clean energy investment tracker releases soon


Resource:  Climatescope

Cost:  Free

Published by:  Bloomberg New Energy Finance and supported by UKAID and USAID.


Climatescope surveys clean energy investment and growth in a country via 50 indicators under 4 headings – Enabling Framework (40%), covering the regulatory and policy environment; Clean Energy Investment (30%), both local and inward; Low Carbon and Clean Energy Value Chains (15%), measuring how well developed such chains are in the country; and Greenhouse Gas Management activities (15%) that the country and companies there are undertaking.

Qualitative and Quantitative Measures

The indicators are assessed via a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures, and the tool benefits from the vast data-gathering capability of the Bloomberg financial services organisation worldwide. This means that the database includes project-level data on any on-grid development above 1MW in size.  Traum notes however, that Climatescope also puts significant resource into identifying off-grid developments, with a dedicated team analysing this growing element of energy access worldwide.

Data is also gathered on capacity building grant support for clean energy development, both at the project and programmatic levels.

As well as the regionally-based data and research teams, each country except those in Latin America is visited once a year by BNEF staff for on-the-ground assessment of key issues identified for the country.

Policy library has 450 documents stored
Policy library has 450 documents stored

The regulatory assessment is based on a clean energy policy library, which is available on the Climatescope site and is regularly assessed by a panel of policy experts for its likely impacts and effectiveness in promoting investment. For GHG management activity, Climatescope has access to Bloomberg’s global corporate database to understand levels of awareness at the corporate level, as expressed in its energy efficiency and climate-related initiatives.

New in 2016

The 2016 release will have some changes in coverage. 3 countries in the MENA region will be added for the first time – Egypt, Jordan, and the Lebanon. Meanwhile, coverage of China’s individual provinces, introduced in 2015 will be dropped, mainly for usage reasons, as users have been found to focus on the national numbers.  The way that individual states in India are covered will also be amended.

On the off-grid front, the 2016 version will upgrade coverage of this critical area, with quarterly updates that BNEF hopes will encourage users to return to the site regularly. The update will also feature more interactive datasets and other regular content updates will include short “insight” pieces, for example on regional trends.

The tool has a broad range of users, as BNEF hoped at the outset.  These include investors, developers, policy makers, civil society and observers such as think tanks and academics.

Climatescope and NDCs

When we asked Dario Traum about the benefits for a finance ministry in terms of promoting investment in the NDCs, he said that one good measure, which will be confirmed in the 2016 release, is that countries covered by Climatescope are now seeing more investment and capacity installations in clean energy that the OECD put together.  Moreover, if one views Germany as a global benchmark for investment intensity in renewables, then several countries are now outperforming this mark.  Traum also said that the 2016 release will show some surprising and highly encouraging results for upgrades in commitments since Paris and a play-through to the scores of a number of countries in the new update.

But wherever they are on the spectrum, Traum says that Climatescope gives countries a solid way to track their performance and investment levels, and also to view this performance against their peers.  “They can look and say ‘If the country two along from me on the continent is attracting X dollars and building Y capacity, then what are they doing that we aren’t,” he says.

When we asked about where investment is coming from, he said that, while countries in the global North are increasingly seeing investment opportunities in the global South, historically the bulk of actual investment in the South is from within the South.  Meanwhile, local capital markets in countries like South Africa are providing the majority of the investments in clean energy there.

Traum said that two things to look out for in the new release will be some specifics on how NDCs are working through to more ambitious policy, and the continued explosion of solar sector, both on the grid and off it. He also noted that Climatescope is actively seeking support to expand its coverage and to engage with governments and other stakeholders who want to use the tool.  “This is part of our remit for the project and very much welcomed by our funders,” he said.

If you have a resource you think is useful to implementation of or investment in the NDCs, please let us know

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