Investment in solar will exceed that in oil production for the first time ever this year, predicted the International Energy Agency (IEA) as it said security concerns mean clean technology spending is now “significantly outpacing” fossil fuels.
The IEA reckons about $2.8trn will be spent on global energy in 2023, $1.7trn of that on clean generation and infrastructure such as renewables, grids storage and EVs, with the rest going to fossil energy sources.
IEA executive director Fatih Birol said: “Clean energy is moving fast, faster than many people realise. This is clear in the investment trends, where clean technologies are pulling away from fossil fuels.
“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. One shining example is investment in solar, which is set to overtake the amount of investment going into oil production for the first time.”
The IEA said: “Solar is the star performer and more than $1bn per day is expected to go into solar investments in 2023 ($380bn for the year as a whole), edging this spending above that in upstream oil for the first time.”
The massive PV growth means low-emissions investments will account for 90% of power generation technologies.
Concerns over national energy security following the invasion of Ukraine and growing electrification among consumers have joined climate action as levers for green growth, said the IEA’s latest World Energy Investments report.
“Enhanced policy support through major actions like the US Inflation Reduction Act and initiatives in Europe, Japan, China and elsewhere have also played a role,” added the Paris-based agency.