GERMANY – German investors' interest in wind-power funds continued to grow in the second half of 2012, while interest in solar energy waned, according to ratings agency Scope.

In 2010, more than 80% of all closed-end energy funds launched in Germany were solar funds, but their share almost halved to 43% in 2011 and dropped even further to 32% in 2012.

The ratings agency said investments in solar parks had become "less attractive" in Germany and other European markets due to shrinking subsidies and a drop in prices for this kind of renewable energy.

Additionally, increasing competition in the sector is "putting pressure on returns", while "uncertainties" surrounding investments in Southern Europe also have an impact, it said.

Scope said wind investments were quickly establishing themselves as an alternative.

In the second half of 2012, wind funds made up 33% of the capital in closed-end funds in Germany, at level with the solar funds.

According to Scope's, this is a seven-fold increase in absolute figures compared with 2011, bringing the total capital in closed-end funds in Germany in this asset class to €114m.

The ratings agency said the trend was set to continue, as wind funds "remain one of the few alternatives for investments in renewable energies".

It added: "Both the technology as well as the certainty in calculation are fully developed, offering a stable and attractive investment framework."