Ranked: The Top 10 Countries by Energy Transition Investment
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Ranked: The Top 10 Countries by Energy Transition Investment
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More than 130 countries have set or are considering a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Achieving net-zero on a global scale, however, requires $125 trillion in climate investment by 2050, according to research commissioned by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
While that level of investment hasn’t been achieved yet, it’s ramping up. In 2021, the world spent $755 billion on deploying low-carbon energy technologies, up 27% from the year prior.
This graphic highlights the top 10 countries by low-carbon energy investment in 2021 using data from BloombergNEF.
Energy Transition Investment by Country
The top 10 countries together invested $561 billion in the energy transition, nearly three-fourths of the world total.
|Country||2021 Energy Transition Investment (US$)||% of World Total|
|South Korea 🇰🇷||$13B||1.7%|
China increased its overall energy transition investment by 60% from 2020 levels, further cementing its position as a global leader. The country’s wind and solar capacity increased by 19% in 2021, with electrified transport also accounting for a large portion of the investment.
Next, the U.S. invested $114 billion in clean energy last year, up 17% from 2020. Several European countries also made the top 10 list, with Germany, U.K., and France rounding out the top five. In total, European countries invested $219 billion in the energy transition.
Which Low-Carbon Technologies are Attracting Investment?
While the top 10 countries provide an overview of where investments are being made, it’s also interesting to see which sectors are seeing the biggest influxes of capital.
Here’s a breakdown of energy transition investment by sector in 2021:
|Technology/Sector||Total Investment in 2021 (US$)||% change from 2020|
|Carbon capture & storage||$2.3B||-23.3%|
Renewables accounted for nearly 50% of total investment in 2021. However, electrified transport drove much of the growth as several countries charged ahead in the shift to electric vehicles.
Nuclear power also racked up roughly $32 billion in investments, as conviction grows that it can deliver reliable, carbon-free electricity. But the biggest overall percentage gain was seen in sustainable materials including recycling and bioplastics, which saw investment activity more than double in 2021.
Given that the dawn of clean energy is still in its early hours, technologies in the sector are constantly evolving. As the race to net-zero continues, which energy technologies will draw even more investment in the future?
Mapped: Renewable Energy and Battery Installations in the U.S. in 2023
This graphic describes new U.S. renewable energy installations by state along with nameplate capacity, planned to come online in 2023.
Renewable and Battery Installations in the U.S. in 2023
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Renewable energy, in particular solar power, is set to shine in 2023. This year, the U.S. plans to get over 80% of its new energy installations from sources like battery, solar, and wind.
The above map uses data from EIA to highlight planned U.S. renewable energy and battery storage installations by state for 2023.
Texas and California Leading in Renewable Energy
Nearly every state in the U.S. has plans to produce new clean energy in 2023, but it’s not a surprise to see the two most populous states in the lead of the pack.
Even though the majority of its power comes from natural gas, Texas currently leads the U.S. in planned renewable energy installations. The state also has plans to power nearly 900,000 homes using new wind energy.
California is second, which could be partially attributable to the passing of Title 24, an energy code that makes it compulsory for new buildings to have the equipment necessary to allow the easy installation of solar panels, battery storage, and EV charging.
New solar power in the U.S. isn’t just coming from places like Texas and California. In 2023, Ohio will add 1,917 MW of new nameplate solar capacity, with Nevada and Colorado not far behind.
|Top 10 States||Battery (MW)||Solar (MW)||Wind (MW)||Total (MW)|
The state of New York is also looking to become one of the nation’s leading renewable energy providers. The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) is making real strides towards this objective with 11% of the nation’s new wind power projects expected to come online in 2023.
According to the data, New Hampshire is the only state in the U.S. that has no new utility-scale renewable energy installations planned for 2023. However, the state does have plans for a massive hydroelectric plant that should come online in 2024.
Renewable energy is considered essential to reduce global warming and CO2 emissions.
In line with the efforts by each state to build new renewable installations, the Biden administration has set a goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.
The EIA forecasts the share of U.S. electricity generation from renewable sources rising from 22% in 2022 to 23% in 2023 and to 26% in 2024.
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