Global investment in the energy transition grew by 27% in 2021, hitting a new record of $755bn, as countries stepped up their climate policy agendas, according to a report from research company BloombergNEF.
Investment rose in almost every sector, including renewable energy, energy storage, electrified transport, electrified heat, nuclear, hydrogen and sustainable materials – with only carbon capture and storage (CCS) recording a fall. Together, clean power and electrification accounted for $731bn, with hydrogen, CCS and sustainable materials making up the remaining $24bn.
Renewable energy – including wind, solar and other renewables – received the most investment, hitting a new record of $366bn in 2021, up 6.5% from the previous year. Electrified transport, which includes spending on electric vehicles (EVs) and associated infrastructure, came in second with $273bn invested. With EV sales surging, the sector grew at a breakneck rate of 77% in 2021, and could overtake renewable energy in dollar terms in 2022, according to the Energy Transition Investment Trends 2022 report.
Despite its booming fossil-based power sector, Asia-Pacific was both the largest region for clean investment, at $368bn – accounting for nearly half the global total – and the region with the highest growth, at 38%. Investment in Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew by 16%, reaching $236bn, while the Americas saw investment grow by 21% to $150bn.