By 2030, clean tech may be worth more than oil than clean energy
According to a major new report from the International Energy Agency, global investment in clean energy technologies is still far below where it should be for the world to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To close the gap, annual investment for the rest of this decade must be three times greater than it was in 2021.
The size of this gap has two important implications. First, for every year that goes by without a significant scale-up in investment, the gap for future years will be even greater, and the odds of meeting the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will become even more slimmer.
Second, the rise of carbon pricing will continue to make fossil fuels more expensive even if clean energy isn't ready to take the reins. That implies that the global energy market will likely see more sudden price increases than those that have wreaked havoc on Europe, China, and India in the past month.
Still, the IEA report offers investors who make early investments in clean energy enormous returns. By 2030, the global market for clean tech surpasses the oil market by a factor of $122 billion to $870 billion, according to IEAs net-zero scenario. That increase is driven largely by an increase in the demand for batteries to store energy for electric vehicles and the electric grid. Batteries alone could be worth as much as oil will be valued in 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The report also reaffirms an assertion that IEA first made back in May: There is no room in the net-zero scenario for any new oil and gas development after this year.