• Investments drop to $53.1 billion in first quarter of 2016
  • Slowdown comes after record year for spending on renewables

Global investments in clean energy fell 12 percent during the first three months of 2016 as slowing economies in China and Brazil helped curb demand for power.

First-quarter spending on renewables dropped to $53.1 billion, compared with $60.5 billion in the first quarter of 2015, according to data released Tuesday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Investments in China fell 37 percent to $11.8 billion and spending in Brazil slipped 27 percent to $1 billion.

The declines follow a record year for clean energy investments in 2015, when global spending reached $328.9 billion. The first quarter is often the weakest of the year for global investment, and totals may be revised up if more deals come to light, BNEF said.

Europe was the strongest-performing region, where three separate billion-dollar wind projects boosted spending 70 percent to $17 billion. First-quarter investments in the U.S. rose 9 percent to $9.7 billion.

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