Solar, wind, electric vehicles, and other clean energy technologies saw a record-high $1.1 trillion in investment globally last year, matching investment in fossil fuels for the first time ever, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“Our findings put to bed any debate about how the energy crisis will impact clean energy deployment,” Albert Cheung, head of global analysis at BNEF, said in statement. “Investment in clean energy technologies is on the brink of overtaking fossil fuel investments, and won’t look back.”
Nearly every sector covered in the report — from renewable power to batteries to heat pumps to carbon capture technology — hit new highs. Investment in renewables, such as wind and solar, grew 17 percent last year, reaching $495 billion, while investment in electric vehicles grew a staggering 54 percent, hitting $466 billion. Nuclear power was the lone sector where investment stayed flat.
China accounted for nearly half of global clean energy investment, attracting some $546 billion. The EU saw $180 billion, while the U.S. saw $141 billion. “China is investing by far the most in building out its clean energy supply chain, and it remains to be seen if other regions can capture significant market share,” said Antoine Vagneur-Jones, head of trade and supply chains research at BNEF.
Last year’s record numbers still fell short of what is needed to reach zero emissions by 2050. BNEF estimates the world must invest $4.55 trillion every year for the rest of this decade to get on track for net zero.