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Reproduced from IEA's Energy Technology Perspectives 2020; Chart: Axios Visuals

Venture capital funding for energy technology startups has recovered from its mid-2010s trough but is seeing a fresh drop-off this year, new International Energy Agency data show.

Where it stands: Electric vehicles, hydrogen and storage technologies have generally been growth areas in recent years.

  • "The first-half 2020 saw half as much energy-related venture capital activity (early and late stage) as in the same period in 2018-19," IEA said in data reflected in the chart above.
  • Early-stage deals fell 20% in the first six months of this year 2020 compared to 2019.
  • But the overall early-stage deal value in 2018 and 2019 was "well above" the decade's average.

Threat level: "Global declines are expected in the second-half of 2020 as a result of financial risks, travel, and other restrictions and policy uncertainty," the report finds.

Of note: The chart above excludes "outlier deals" above $1 billion that distort the overall trend, IEA said.

Why it matters: The data is part of a much wider analysis — called Energy Technology Perspectives 2020 — calling for an all-hands-on-deck approach to greatly scaling up low-carbon energy sources and industrial practices.While VC is important, IEA is calling on governments to greatly expand support via COVID-19 economic recovery packages.

The big picture: The report explores hundreds of technologies that could help enable the world to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

  • One takeaway from the roadmap is that clean electricity technologies can only bring one-third of the needed emissions cuts.
  • "Completing the journey will require devoting far more attention to the transport, industry and buildings sectors," IEA said.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Dec 18, 2020 - Energy & Environment

How to judge America’s climate-change responsibility

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Historically, America has emitted the most greenhouse gases of any country in the world. But over the next 80 years, the U.S. may account for as little as 5% of such emissions.

Why it matters: Installing technologies to address climate change will, therefore, be most critical in places other than America where emissions’ growth is expected to be higher, according to physicist Varun Sivaram.

Updated 14 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 17 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

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