Global investment in the energy transition

Investment in low-carbon energy projects topped $500bn in 2020, according to data from BloombergNEF.

Last year, global investment in the transition to low-carbon energy sources totalled $501.3 billion, breaking the $500 billion barrier for the first time. This compared with $458.6 billion the year before and just $235.4 billion in 2010, according to figures from BloombergNEF.

That $501.3 billion included investment in renewable power, energy storage, EV charging infrastructure, hydrogen production, and carbon capture and storage projects. It also included end-user purchases of low-carbon energy devices.

Just over 60 percent of the total – $303.5 billion – was invested in renewable energy. That was up 2 percent on 2019, despite covid-related delays to some deals. The next-largest sector was electric transport.

No country invested more in the energy transition than China which, despite a drop of 12 percent, saw investment of $134.8 billion. The second-biggest country in terms of investment was the US with $85.3 billion, which represented a decline of 11 percent.

European countries drove much of the growth. Europe’s combined investment of $166.2 billion was 67 percent higher than it had been in 2019 and greater than either the US or China.

Key statistics

$303.5bn renewable energy attracted more capital than any other sector

$139bn electric transport was the second-biggest sector

9% year-on-year increase in energy transition investment

$501.3bn global investment in low-carbon energy transition