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Clean energy investments increasing fast: IEA

26. 05. 2023

"A new clean energy economy is emerging - and emerging much faster than many realise," IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said at the launch of the agency's eighth World Energy Investment report.

The last few years have been a period of extreme disruption for the energy sector, with the "powerful alignment" of costs, climate concerns, energy security concerns and industrial strategies contributing to the "growing momentum" behind more sustainable options. Investment in clean energy technologies is now significantly outpacing spending on fossil fuels, with more than USD1.7 trillion of investment this year expected to go to clean technologies including renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power, grids, storage, low-emissions fuels, efficiency improvements and heat pumps.

"For every dollar invested in fossil fuels, about 1.7 dollars are now going into clean energy. Five years ago, this ratio was one-to-one," Birol said. Led by solar, low-emissions electricity technologies are expected to account for almost 90% of investment in power generation.

Global investment in nuclear generation is projected by the IEA to be USD63 billion in 2023, USD10 billion up on 2022 figures and continuing a year-on-year increase: "More than a decade after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, an increasing number of countries are taking a fresh look at how nuclear technologies might provide low-emissions and dispatchable power," the report notes. However, this investment is still less than the USD64 billion investment seen for generation from oil and natural gas.

Dividing lines

Despite upbeat expectations for clean power, the picture for final investment decisions (FIDs) in 2022 was mixed, the report found - and the positive momentum behind clean energy investment is not distributed evenly across countries or sectors. This is something that policy makers will need to address to ensure a broad-based and secure energy transition, the report notes.