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Data: PitchBook; Chart: Axios Visuals

Private equity investments in U.S. renewables hit a record $23.7 billion last year, per a new report on deals from American Investment Council, which is the industry's lobbying and advocacy arm.

Where it stands: "PE invests in renewable energy in two major ways: buying and expanding established power generators and increasing their production over the long term, and financing development costs for new renewable power companies," it states.

  • The report says several things are driving the increase, including renewables' cost competitiveness and investors in PE firms steering more capital into ESG.

By the numbers: The report, using PitchBook data, also notes that private equity firms invested over $11 billion last year in other clean tech applications, like energy conservation and water purification.

The big picture: AIC said the report is part of a regular series examining growing areas of investment.

  • But it comes amid increased interest in the financial sector's role in accelerating low-carbon energy deployment — and criticism of its fossil investments.
  • As we noted last week, activists have recently been increasing pressure on private equity heavyweights to decarbonize their portfolios.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Apr 13, 2021 - Energy & Environment

New Texas-based VC firm to exclusively invest in energy transition tech

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new Houston-based VC firm called Energy Transition Ventures emerged from stealth mode Tuesday and plans to reach $75 million for its first fund.

Why it matters: It's another sign of how Texas, the nation's largest oil producing state, is increasingly becoming a hub for clean energy innovation.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Apr 12, 2021 - Economy & Business

2021 saw more inflows to stocks than the past 12 years combined

Data: Bank of America; Chart: Axios Visuals

Money flowing to stocks globally in just the past five months ($576 billion) has exceeded the inflow seen over the prior 12 years by well over $100 billion, according to data from Bank of America Global Research.

Why it matters: It's further evidence that the sea change in investor psychology continues and has grown to a profound new level.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

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