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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.

Statue of KKK leader removed from side of Tennessee highway

Members of the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan participate in Nathan Bedford Forrest Birthday march. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, was removed Tuesday from the side of a highway in Nashville, Tennessee.

Why it matters: The move to take down the 25-foot statue comes amid renewed scrutiny of Confederate memorials. Dozens of Confederate symbols have been removed, relocated or renamed since George Floyd's death last year.

New report hits DOJ over lack of police shooting data

Demonstrations followed the shooting of Dijon Kizzee by Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies in 2020. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A new government accountability report says the Department of Justice failed to consistently publish an annual summary of police excessive force data from 2016 to 2020, as required by federal law.

Why it matters: The data is crucial for the DOJ to monitor excessive force cases, and used to investigate law enforcement agencies with patterns of abuse. The DOJ can pivot off it to pursue court action to force reforms.