Analysts warn markets biased against clean energy

Clean energy firms might be lobbying the wrong U.K. ministers when they seek market reforms to help drive green investment. Rather than focusing on energy policies, they should be seeking to reform the "institutionally fossilist" financial markets.

That is the stark message contained in a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which uncovered a litany of biases in financial regulation that tilt markets in favor of conventional energy and could potentially hold back the flow of investment into renewable energy technologies.

A white paper, published this week, identified seven major financial regulations that appeared to be dissuading investors from backing clean energy investments that tend to require high upfront investments.

Global clean energy investments have grown from less than $50 billion to more than $250 billion (£33 billion to £165 billion) a year in the past decade. However, 2012 was the first year that saw progress stall as investment dipped by 11 percent.

Michael Liberich, chief executive of BNEF, suggested the financial system was "institutionally fossilist" and "pervasively biased against clean energy and clean infrastructure investment in favor of incumbent technologies".

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