‘A relentless push’: energy transition investment hit record US$1.1 trillion in 2022, but more momentum required, says BNEF

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Solar PV saw the second highest manufacturing investment globally, after energy storage. Image: EDP Renewables.

Investment in the global energy transition totalled US$1.1 trillion in 2022, according to analyst firm BloombergNEF, reaching parity with investment in fossil fuels for the first time ever.

Renewable energy – encompassing solar, wind, biofuels and others – accounted for US$495 billion of the year’s total investment, a new record and 17% higher than 2021. Electrified transport was only just shy of this figure, amassing US$466 billion in investment and growing a significant 54% year-on-year.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

BloombergNEF’s Energy Transition Investment Trends report records the funding that businesses, financial institutions, governments and end-users are committing to the global clean energy transition.

In terms of specific countries’ contributions to the global total, China was an unsurprising front-runner, accounting for almost half of global energy transition investment, US$546 billion. The US was the second highest individual nation with US$141 billion, whilst Germany, France and the UK completed the top five. The EU would be the second largest contributor, generating US$180 billion, if it was considered as a single entity.

All of the sectors included in the report set record investment highs in 2022 apart from nuclear power, which stayed roughly flat.

Clean energy manufacturing financing grew to US$78.7 billion in 2022, with the majority of this coming from battery storage factories (US$45.4 billion) and solar factories (US$23.9 billion). Despite huge policy announcements and incentives from countries including the US and India, China still accounted for 91% of manufacturing investments over the year.

Both the US and India are still waiting for the effects of their respective measures to truly take hold; Wood Mackenzie reported that the US will struggle to meet its solar demand with domestic manufacturing capacity over the next half-decade and Indian manufacturing capacity will take at least another year to loosen the supply chokehold impacting the country.

In addition to policy announcements, BloombergNEF said that the global energy crisis has driven the record growth in renewable energy investment in 2022.

“Our findings put to bed any debate about how the energy crisis will impact clean energy deployment,” said Albert Cheung, head of global analysis at BloombergNEF. “Rather than slowing down, energy transition investment has surged to a new record as countries and businesses continue to execute on transition plans.”

The total global investment in upstream, midstream, downstream and unabated fossil power generation was also calculated at US$1.1 trillion, the same as clean energy. This is despite investment in fossil fuels increasing this year in light of the energy crisis.

Despite promising figures and record highs, BloombergNEF said that the net zero 2050 scenario is still out of reach on the current trajectory. The firm reported as much in December, saying that solar installations alone will need to more than triple in order to reach global net zero targets. A threefold expansion was mentioned in the Energy Transition Investment Trends report too, this time saying that global investment must “immediately triple” to an average of US$4.55 trillion annually for the remainder of the decade.

2023 is forecast to see positive progression, despite the daunting disparity between now and 2050. The USInflation Reduction Act will only get more and more effective, and the EU has announced its own, similar legislation to hasten investment in renewable energy.

“What is needed now is a relentless push to remove barriers to the transition, and the implementation of pragmatic policies that can deliver on the goals we have set,” said Cheung in an analysis accompanying the report.

“It’s been said that something akin to a wartime mobilisation would be needed to successfully tackle climate change. That might just be what we are beginning to witness.”

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.
11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

Sponsored
June 19, 2024
Eric Ast-Comoli, global head of OEM Renewable Energy at Stäubli, discussed the company’s strategy in China, expansion plan and capacity.
June 19, 2024
Singapore-headquartered solar manufacturer Maxeon Solar Technologies has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Aiko Solar and its partners in Europe.
June 19, 2024
Perovskite solar cell researcher Oxford PV has unveiled a new perovskite-silicon tandem module in conjunction with German module producer Sunmaxx, with a record conversion efficiency of 26.6%.
June 19, 2024
Global Solar Council offers policy recommendations to increase the installed solar capacity and address barriers slowing its deployment.
June 19, 2024
The Queensland government confirmed that Caloundra, Australia, will house a Local Renewable Energy Zone to triple rooftop solar generation.
June 19, 2024
ARENA has launched its global AUS$100 million ‘Solar ScaleUp Challenge’ aiming to stimulate innovation and collaboration in the solar sector.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia