Investments in the global energy sector during 2016 totalled 1.7 billion dollars (1.5 billion euros), equivalent to 2.2% of global GDP, but also representing a 12% decline compared with a year earlier. This is the second consecutive annual drop, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
For the first time, investments in the electricity sector exceeded the combined spending in oil, gas and coal, the agency assigned to the OECD said. It highlighted that the investment earmarked for clean energy accounted for 43% of the money invested in supply, a new record.
Global investment in electricity was stable at 718,000 million dollars (630,067 million euros), with an increase in expenditure in networks, but less investment in coal-based generation. The investment corresponding to renewable energy-based electricity capacity fell 3% to 297,000 million dollars (260,575 million euros).
For its part, investment in energy efficiency rose 9% to 231,000 million dollars (202,722 million euros), with China being the region which posted the biggest growth in this item, accounting for 27% of the total. This will allow the Asian giant to beat Europe within a few years.
In 2016, China was the world’s biggest investor in the energy sector, while the US was responsible for 16% of the investments, despite the notable drop in oil and gas spending. And India was the country which registered the greatest growth in investment in the energy sector, up 7%. This was thanks to the government’s drive to modernise the country’s infrastructures.
“As the oil and gas industries refocus their strategy towards projects with a shorter cycle, it’s more important for the authorities to monitor how supply adapts in the long-term,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA.
*Image: Flickr/ Eduardo Fonseca Arraes