Global solar investments outpace oil and gas for first time

(, 25 May 2023) Investments into solar look set to exceed that of oil production for the first time ever, with more than $1.7trn set to be funnelled into clean energy solutions in 2023.

Research published in a new IEA report has found that around $2.8trn looks set to be invested in global energy this year, of which more than $1.7trn will be spent on clean energy technologies – including renewables, electric vehicles (EVs), nuclear power, grids, storage, low-emissions fuels, efficiency improvements and heat pumps.

During this time global investments into solar look set to eclipse spending on fossil fuels for the first time. The IEA cites the global energy crisis as the primary driver for clean energy spending.

Spending on upstream oil and gas is expected to rise this year, rebounding to pre-pandemic levels. Most spending will come from national oil companies in the Middle East. The IEA also noted that record profits from oil firms because of higher costs are not going back into supplies, but instead being paid out as dividends to shareholders.

The IEA warns that fossil fuel investment in 2023 will be more than double the levels need in 2030, under the Agency’s net-zero emissions scenario for 2050. With global coal demand meeting an all-time high in 2022, investment this year will reach nearly six times the levels envisaged in 2030 in the Net Zero Scenario.

External link, 25 May 2023: Global solar investments outpace oil and gas for first time