The chief of the International Energy Agency (IEA) today announced that investment in solar power will this year exceed that of oil for the first time ever, as the global push towards renewables gathers pace.
Annual investment in renewable energy is up almost a quarter since 2021, compared with a mere 15 per cent rise over the same period for fossil fuels.
“Clean energy is moving fast – faster than many people realise,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based watchdog.
“One shining example,” Birol continued, “is investment in solar, which is set to overtake the amount of investment going into oil production for the first time.”
“Led by solar, low-emissions electricity technologies are expected to account for almost 90 per cent of investment in power generation.”
The IEA’s World Energy Investment outlook, released today, also suggests that investment in new fossil fuel supply will rise by six per cent in 2023 to $950bn (£770bn).
Around $2.8 trillion is set to be invested in energy worldwide in 2023, with over $1.7t trillion expected to go to renewables, nuclear power, electric vehicles and energy efficiency improvements. The rest will go to fossil fuels, i.e. oil, gas and coal.
That ratio represents a clear lead for renewables.
However, fossil fuel investment is still double the level it needs to fall to if the world is to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The IEA also flagged that over 90 per cent of the increase in renewables investment comes from advanced economies and China, presenting a serious risk of new dividing lines in global energy.
The IEA has previously called on investors to stop backing oil , gas and coal projects. It has not renewed its calls to do so. OPEC, a coalition of oil-producing companies, said such statements undermined global energy security and economic growth.