Aug 3, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The glass is barely half full on clean energy capital

Global investment in renewable energy
Data: BloombergNEF; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

New data shows that combined global investment in renewable energy companies and projects just had its best first half of any year.

Driving the news: The first six months of 2021 saw the investment of $174 billion amid record amounts of public market financing, venture capital and private equity, per the research firm BloombergNEF.

  • "A decline in investment in new renewables projects was offset by a jump in equity offerings of renewable energy companies," the analysts note.

The big picture: More aggressive deployment of mature clean sources and investment in emerging tech is needed to start forcing carbon emissions downward.

  • The BloombergNEF report puts fresh data behind an important trend: A lot of money is flowing into clean energy, but the activity lags behind what's needed to reach global climate goals.
  • "Renewable energy investment has withstood the effects of the global pandemic, in contrast to other sectors of the energy economy where we have seen unprecedented volatility," BloombergNEF head of analysis Albert Cheung said in a statement alongside the data.
  • But Cheung added: "However, a 1.8% year-on-year increase is nothing to write home about. An immediate acceleration in funding is needed if we are to get on track for global net zero.”

By the numbers: Companies raised over $28 billion in public markets and nearly $6 billion in VC and private equity commitments in the first half of this year.

  • Investment in solar power projects was almost $79 billion, up 9% compared to the same period last year, but wind project finance was around $27 billion lower.
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