Global Clean Energy Investment Hits US$1.8 Trillion in 2023: Report

Global investment in the low-carbon energy transition surged 17% in 2023, reaching US$1.77 trillion, according to Energy Transition Investment Trends 2024, a report published today by research provider BloombergNEF (BNEF).

This number is a new record level of annual investment and demonstrates the resilience of the clean energy transition in a year of geopolitical turbulence, high interest rates and cost inflation.

The report finds that electrified transport is now the largest sector for spending in the energy transition, growing 36% in 2023 to $634 billion. This figure includes spending on electric cars, buses, two- and three-wheelers and commercial vehicles, as well as associated infrastructure.

Electrified transport overtook the renewable energy sector, which saw an 8% increase to $623 billion. This figure reflects investment to construct renewable energy production facilities, such as wind, solar and geothermal power plants, and biofuels production plants – among other things.

Power grid investment was the third-largest contributor at $310 billion. Grids are a critical enabler for the energy transition, and investment in them will need to rise in the coming years.

“Last year brought new records for global renewable energy investment. Strong growth in the US and Europe drove the global rise, even as China, the world’s largest renewables market, sputtered, recording an 11% drop. Despite a year of tough headlines, a record amount of offshore wind capacity also reached financial close,” said Meredith Annex, BNEF’s Head of Clean Power and co-author of the report.

There was also strong growth in emerging areas such as hydrogen (with investment tripling year on year), carbon capture and storage (near-doubling) and energy storage (up 76%).

 The largest country for investment by far was China, with $676 billion invested in 2023 – equivalent to 38% of the global total. Although China remains dominant, its lead has been reduced.

Taken together, the European Union, US and UK outpaced China with $718 billion of investment – a feat they hadn’t managed to achieve in 2022. Investment in the US jumped 22% year-on-year, to $303 billion, as the effects of the Inflation Reduction Act started to be felt.