S. Himmelstein | July 15, 2022

Global energy investment is set to increase by 8% in 2022 to reach $2.4 trillion, with the anticipated rise attributed to clean energy development, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency. While encouraging, the investment hike is inadequate to address the multiple dimensions of today’s energy crisis and pave the way toward a secure energy future founded on renewable energy.

The fastest growth in energy investment is coming from the power sector — primarily in renewables and grids — and from energy efficiency, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Investment 2022 report. The projected clean energy spending increase will benefit advanced economies

and China. In some markets, energy security concerns and high prices are prompting higher investment in fossil fuel supplies, most notably on coal.

Renewables, grids and storage now account for more than 80% of total power sector investment. Spending on solar photovoltaics, batteries and electric vehicles is now growing at rates consistent with reaching global net zero emissions by 2050.

However, clean energy spending in emerging and developing economies remains stuck at 2015 levels, with no increase since the Paris Agreement was reached. A lack of supportive public funds and policy frameworks undercuts the economic attractiveness of capital-intensive clean technologies. The need for international development institutions to boost investment levels and bridge widening regional divergences in the pace of energy transition investment is underscored.