Companies worldwide are investing around 1,000 billion dollars (about 930 billion euros) in fossil energy projects this year. State-owned companies in the Middle East in particular are increasing their investments. This was calculated by the international energy agency IEA.
However, the amount is less than the expenditure on renewable energy. This will amount to about 1,700 billion dollars this year.
For some time now, companies worldwide have been spending more money on cleaner energy than on fossil energy. For example, a lot of money goes to solar parks, electric cars and nuclear energy.
“For every dollar invested in fossil fuels, $1.7 goes to clean energy,” said IEA CEO Fatih Birol. Five years ago, that ratio was one-to-one. Solar energy, among other things, has the wind in its tail. The IEA expects investments in this to be higher this year than in oil.
The fact that companies are spending more and more money on clean energy is partly because the prices of oil and gas have risen sharply recently. Another factor is that Russia largely turned off the gas tap to Europe. As a result, the availability of energy was at stake.
Extensive subsidies from the United States and the European Union, among others, also helped.
Demand for coal higher than ever
Nevertheless, there are still plenty of new projects for coal, oil and gas. For example, investments in oil and gas are 15 percent higher this year than two years ago. They are also higher than they should be in 2030 to meet climate targets.
Investments in coal are even six times higher than they should be to limit global warming. Demand for coal was higher than ever last year, partly because Russian gas was barely available and coal was used as a substitute.
Many large oil and gas companies made substantial profits last year due to the increased prices of fossil energy. That money often went to shareholders, share buybacks and debt repayments. Profits went less to new investments.