Jan 19, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Global investments into clean-energy technology reach record high

Reproduced from BloombergNEF; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from BloombergNEF; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investments into clean-energy technologies totaled more than $500 billion for the first time ever, according to a BloombergNEF report released Tuesday.

Why it matters: Technologies making energy and other material cleaner needs to expand rapidly if the world is to adequately address climate change in the coming decades.

Where it stands: If this sounds familiar, that's because it is.

  • This report comes on the heels of another one we wrote about last week that showed another record broken, specifically looking at venture capital investments.
  • Investments are accelerating due to a series of overlapping factors, such as falling costs and increasing political goals, including here in the U.S. under President-elect Joe Biden.

By the numbers: Global investment in the low-carbon energy transition was $501.3 billion in 2020, up 9% from 2019 despite the pandemic driving the world into a recession.

  • This tally includes investments in renewables, energy storage, electric vehicle charging stations, hydrogen production, carbon capture projects and more.
  • The largest areas of investment are renewable energy and electrified transportation.

Yes, but: The report also reflects another broader trend, which is that investment often lags in technologies beyond renewable electricity and electric cars. This includes carbon capture and most industrial processes like cement, according to the International Energy Agency.

Go deeper: VC investments into climate change technologies reach record high

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