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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

Sunrun CEO: Transition to renewables will happen "independently" of politics

Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich said at an Axios virtual event on Wednesday that the transition to renewable energy from fossil fuels is "going to happen independently of any political regime," but that a potential Joe Biden presidency could help the U.S. make the transition faster.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has attempted to undermine the scientific consensus of climate change and promote fossil fuels. But Jurich says that technology and cost drivers have still created momentum toward a renewable transition.

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Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Photo: THIERRY ROGE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium is enforcing a strict lockdown starting Sunday amid rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and a surge of deaths, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday.

Why it matters: De Croo said the government saw no choice but to lock down "to ensure that our health care system does not collapse." Scientists and health officials said deaths have doubled every six days, per the Guardian.

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