Global investment in greener energy systems is expected to reach $1.74 trillion this year. This is the assessment of the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) in a report published on Thursday. According to the report, the main drivers are the continued high level of investment in renewable energy generation such as wind and solar plants, which alone is investing 659 billion dollars.

Niklas Záboji

Business correspondent in Paris

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This is due to investments in energy efficiency ($377 billion) and power grids ($331 billion). The IEA also considers electromobility and nuclear energy to be "clean" energy technologies. According to their estimates, 129 and 63 billion dollars will be pumped into it. Other technologies include heat pumps and battery storage.

"Clean energy is developing fast – faster than many people realize," the IEA quoted its executive director Fatih Birol as saying in a communiqué. If the forecast were correct, investment growth would slow noticeably this year: 1.617 trillion dollars flowed into greener energy systems last year and 1.408 and 1.259 trillion dollars in the previous two years. After growth rates of around 12 and 15 percent, only just under 8 percent will be recorded this year.

Five years ago, the ratio was 1 to 1

In addition, despite all the "rays of hope" in India and Brazil, for example, there are persistent deficits in investment in emerging and developing countries, the IEA warns. Among other things, higher interest rates and a weak grid infrastructure slowed things down. If we want to achieve the global climate targets, the global community must do more here.

According to the forecast, however, investment growth in fossil fuels also weakened this year after around 9 and 10 percent in the past two years. According to the report, it will rise by around 5 percent to 1.050 trillion dollars – so that the gap to investments in more environmentally friendly energy systems will continue to widen.

In addition to oil and gas production and transportation, coal is also expected to attract more investor money, $148 billion after $136 billion last year, when coal consumption hit a record. According to the IEA, however, the trend is clear. "For every dollar spent on fossil fuels, $1.7 is spent on clean energy today," she says, down from 1 to 1 five years ago.

For the first time this year, investments in solar plants are also expected to outstrip investments in oil production. 382 would be opposed to 371 billion dollars. Ten years ago, it was $127 billion and $636 billion.