• Chart: Clean energy investment to hit $1.7T, widening lead on fossil fuels
  • Newsletter
  • Donate
Clean energy journalism for a cooler tomorrow

Chart: Clean energy investment to hit $1.7T, widening lead on fossil fuels

That’s more than the $1 trillion oil, gas and coal will get this year — but still a far cry from the $4 trillion IEA says will be needed annually by 2030.
By Dan McCarthy

  • Link copied to clipboard
A photo of an oil pumpjack in a field with wind turbines. The graphic overlay reads CHART OF THE WEEK

Canary Media’s chart of the week translates crucial data about the clean energy transition into a visual format.

As the global transition away from fossil fuels accelerates, the gap between investment in clean energy technologies and fossil fuels continues to grow.

This year, the world is projected to invest around $1.7 trillion in clean energy, according to International Energy Agency data released last week — substantially more than the just over $1 trillion expected to pour into fossil fuels. 

Renewables will make up the biggest portion of clean energy spending this year, according to the IEA, with $659 billion projected to go into the segment, up from $596 billion last year. Energy efficiency and grids will be the next biggest segments, with $377 billion and $331 billion, respectively. The IEA’s overall clean energy investment figures also include nuclear, electric vehicles, low-emission fuels, and carbon capture, utilization and storage.

Solar is a particular driver of the global growth in clean energy investment, expected to attract $382 billion this year — enough to beat out expected spending on global oil production for the first time ever. It’s a remarkable turnaround from just 10 years ago when for every dollar invested in solar, five dollars were invested in oil production.

In total, the amount of money put toward clean energy is expected to jump by nearly 8 percent this year compared to 2022, beating out fossil fuels by its largest-ever margin. Still, that’s not fast enough growth to be on track for the $4 trillion in annual clean energy investment the IEA says the world must achieve by 2030 in order to hit net-zero goals.

But more concerning for the climate is the persistently high investment in planet-warming fossil fuels. Fossil fuel spending has stabilized around $1 trillion since 2016, down from $1.3 trillion in 2015, but still far from the ideal target: $0.

Subscribe to receive Canary's latest news

Dan McCarthy is news editor at Canary Media.