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Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

How the Energy Department views rising gas prices

Gas prices in Arlington, Va., on Oct. 30, 2021. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

GLASGOW, Scotland The discussions over tapping the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to bring down gas prices continue at the highest levels of government, Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk told Axios.

Why it matters: The Biden administration is trying to strike a delicate balance between emphasizing a push to pour hundreds of billions into clean energy technologies, including electric vehicle charging stations, while at the same time dealing with an energy supply crunch driving up prices.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.