"Clean energy is moving fast — faster than many people realize. This is clear in the investment trends, where clean technologies are pulling away from fossil fuels," said Fatih Birol, executive director at IEA, in the news release.
In 2023, roughly $1 trillion of the $2.8 trillion expected to be invested in energy globally will be spent on coal, gas and oil, while at least $1.7 trillion will go to clean technologies that include renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power, grids, storage, low-emission fuels, efficiency improvements and heat pumps.
Five years ago the spending ratio was 1-to-1, Mr. Birol said.
Ten years ago, solar production was less than 20% than that of oil and gas production; in 2022, solar outpaced them.
Renewables and electric vehicles will drive an expected 24% rise in annual clean energy investment between 2021 and 2023, compared with a 15% increase in fossil fuel investment over the same period, the report said.
Low-emission electricity technologies should account for almost 90% of investment in power generation, with solar leading the way, the report said. Consumers are also investing in more renewable energy products such as electric vehicles, for which sales should increase by a third this year after a busy 2022.
Capital spending by the oil and gas industry on low-emission alternatives such as clean electricity and fuels, and carbon-capture technologies was less than 5% of upstream spending in 2022 and the previous year, the report said, with larger European fossil fuel companies doing more.
The report also highlights the risk of "new dividing lines in global energy" as emerging and developing economies fall behind. More than 90% of the expected increases come from advanced economies and China.
There are some bright spots, such as dynamic investments in solar in India and in renewables in Brazil and parts of the Middle East, the report said, but the international community, including the private sector, needs to do more to drive investment in other countries. An upcoming June special report from the IEA and the International Finance Corp. titled "Scaling Up Private Finance for Clean Energy in Emerging and Developing Economies," will address that, IEA said.