The world’s clean energy transformation is continuing to accelerate, driven by significant investment from around the globe,” said Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director. “The rise in clean energy investment seen in 2021 is a hopeful sign for the future of global energy transitions and a key indicator of how the energy sector is responding to the crisis.
International Energy Agency (IEA) data shows that global investment in clean energy technologies is gaining momentum, surpassing that in fossil fuels in 2020. According to IEA’s World Energy Investment Report 2021, for every dollar invested in fossil fuels, about 1.7 dollars are now going into clean energy. That number is expected to rise 24 percent between 2021 and 2023, with renewable energy sources and electric vehicles leading the charge.
Advanced economies and China are driving the majority of the clean energy transition, having made commitments to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy sources. The European Union, United States, and China have all made significant investments in clean energy, with an increase in clean energy investment of $150 billion, $95 billion, and $25 billion respectively over the same period.
In some countries, increased investment in clean energy technologies has already started showing promising results - in 2020, electricity from renewables accounted for nearly one-third of all global electricity. Additionally, 29 countries committed to completely phase out fossil fuel-powered electricity generation by 2030, along with major industries and businesses as part of their commitment to the Paris Agreement.
The increase in clean energy investment is an encouraging sign that governments, companies, and individuals are becoming increasingly aware of the urgency of the energy crisis and taking concrete action to address it. A smooth transition to clean energy will not only reduce emissions, but also create jobs, spur innovation, and improve energy security.
For the clean energy transition to be fully successful, strong policy support from governments, adequate energy access and financing, and widespread consumer adoption of clean energy technologies will all be necessary. It is clear that in order for clean energy solutions to become widely viable, continued investment is essential, and with the current level of global support, that goal is achievable.