Solar power to overtake oil production for first time, IEA says
Solar projects are expected to outpace oil production in a first in 2023, according to the International Energy Agency.
According to the International Energy Agency, investment in renewable energy will continue to exceed spending on fossil fuels in 2023, with solar projects predicted to surpass spending on oil extraction for the first time.
The Paris-based energy watchdog World Energy Investment report said that annual investment in renewable energy has increased by about 25% since 2021, compared to a 15% increase in investment in fossil fuels.
However, while fossil fuel investment is still double the levels required to attain net-zero emissions by the middle of the century, it highlights the worldwide difference between wealthy and poor nations. Around 90% of that renewable energy expenditure comes from industrialized economies and China.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol expressed that "Clean energy is moving fast-faster than many people realize."
"For every dollar invested in fossil fuels, about 1.7 dollars are now going into clean energy. Five years ago, this ratio was one-to-one."
In 2023, there will be a global investment in energy of over $2.8 trillion, of which more than $1.7 trillion will be allocated to nuclear power, electric cars, renewable energy, and efficiency enhancements.
The remaining portion, or over $1 trillion, will be spent on oil, gas, and coal, demand for which will reach a record high, or six times the amount required in 2030 to reach net zero by 2050.
According to the EPA, current fossil fuel spending is much more than it needs to be to achieve net zero by the middle of the century.
Spending on solar energy is anticipated to reach $382 billion in 2023, or more than $1 billion each day, compared to $371 billion for oil production.
Dave Jones, the head of data insights at Ember's, an energy think tank, described solar as a superpower and the "biggest tool" for rapid decarbonization of the economy.
He also added that ironically, places with the highest level of sun still have the lowest investments in solar power.
The IEA stated that investment in new fossil fuel supplies will increase by 6% to $950 billion in 2023.
The organization didn't explicitly reaffirm its prediction from 2021 that investors shouldn't support new oil, gas, and coal supply projects if the goal is for the world to achieve net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.
Demands by the IEA to stop investing in oil, according to the producer organization OPEC, threaten the stability and expansion of the world's energy supply. International climate activists and scientists have warned that the fossil fuel sector is a major contributor to the disastrous effects of climate change.