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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.

U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The economy added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The first Biden-era jobs report shows hiring surged as coronavirus cases eased — though a full recovery remains far off. Economists expected the economy to add roughly 182,000 jobs last month, after adding a paltry 49,000 in January.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.

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