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  • Ellie Borg

Sustainable Investment Soars in the Energy Transition


The Energy Transition Investment Trends 2024 report by BloombergNEF (BNEF) has revealed that global investment in the low-carbon energy transition reached $1.77 trillion in 2023, marking a remarkable 17% surge.


This rise not only represents a new pinnacle in annual investment but also signifies a pivotal moment in the global shift towards sustainable practices. Let's delve into the report's key findings and explore the driving forces behind this surge in sustainable investments.


Electric Transport Takes the Lead:

A standout highlight from the report is the exponential growth of electric transport, now standing as the largest sector in the energy transition. With a staggering 36% increase in 2023, reaching $634 billion, this sector encompasses a spectrum of investments, including electric cars, buses, two- and three-wheelers, commercial vehicles, and associated infrastructure. This surge reflects a collective commitment to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector, paving the way for cleaner and more sustainable mobility solutions.


Renewable Energy Sector's Resilience:

The renewable energy sector continues to be a resilient and crucial contributor to the energy transition. Despite global challenges, investments in this sector witnessed an 8% increase, totalling $623 billion. This includes investments in wind, solar, geothermal power plants, and biofuel production plants. The emphasis on constructing sustainable energy production facilities underscores the commitment to reducing reliance on traditional energy sources and embracing cleaner alternatives.


Power Grids - The Enablers of Transition:

Power grid investment emerged as the third-largest contributor, totalling $310 billion. Acknowledging the critical role grids play as enablers for the energy transition, the report emphasises the need for increased investment in this area in the coming years. Robust and adaptive power grids are pivotal for integrating renewable energy sources and facilitating a seamless transition to a sustainable energy landscape.


Surge in Emerging Areas:

The report showcases robust growth in emerging areas such as hydrogen, experiencing a tripling of investment year on year, carbon capture and storage nearly doubling, and energy storage witnessing a significant 76% increase. These burgeoning sectors underscore a dynamic shift towards innovative technologies and solutions that hold the key to achieving sustainable energy goals.


Global Investment Landscape:

China retained its dominance in global sustainable investment, contributing $676 billion in 2023, equivalent to 38% of the global total. However, the collective investment from the European Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom surpassed China, reaching $718 billion. The United States, in particular, saw a substantial 22% year-on-year increase, reaching $303 billion, propelled by the effects of the Inflation Reduction Act.


The Road Ahead - Ambitious Targets:

BNEF's Net Zero Scenario, aligned with the Paris Agreement, sets an ambitious trajectory, suggesting that energy transition investments need to average $4.8 trillion annually from 2024 to 2030. This is nearly three times the total investment observed in 2023. The report emphasises the urgency to scale up investments to meet these targets and highlight the potential for growth in the global clean energy supply chain, which reached a record $135 billion in 2023.


Conclusion:

The surge in sustainable investments in the energy transition, as revealed by the Energy Transition Investment Trends 2024 report, paints a promising picture for a cleaner and more sustainable future. The diverse array of investments across electrified transport, renewable energy, power grids, and emerging technologies showcases a collective global commitment to mitigating climate change and achieving a net-zero future. As we ride the wave of sustainable investments, it is evident that businesses and investors alike are recognizing the economic and environmental benefits of aligning with the principles of sustainability. The challenge now lies in sustaining and accelerating this momentum to meet the ambitious targets set for a greener and more resilient planet.

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