/ Blog

IEA and EIA Renewable Investments and Oil and Gas: A Comprehensive Update

June 24, 2024 - Kayla Rowan

The energy sector is undergoing a transformative period marked by significant investments in renewable energy alongside continued robust investment in oil and gas. Understanding these investment trends is critical for stakeholders, policymakers, and the public, as they shape the future of energy supply, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.

Global Investment Trends in Clean Energy

Surge in Clean Energy Investment Global clean energy investments are projected to exceed USD 2 trillion in 2024, a significant increase driven by strong policy support, technological advancements, and climate goals according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Energy Information Agency (EIA). This surge is primarily concentrated in advanced economies and China, reflecting their aggressive clean energy targets and supportive frameworks.

Key Drivers Several factors drive this investment surge:

  • Policy Support: Governments worldwide are implementing policies to reduce carbon emissions and promote clean energy.

  • Technological Advancements: Innovations in solar, wind, battery storage, and electric vehicles have reduced costs and increased deployment rates.

  • Climate Goals: Commitments to net-zero emissions by mid-century push both public and private sectors to ramp up clean energy investments.

Oil and Gas Sector Investments

Upstream Investment Trends Upstream oil and gas investments are expected to rise by 7% in 2024, reaching USD 570 billion (IEA) (IEA). This increase is driven predominantly by national oil companies (NOCs) in the Middle East and Asia, which have significantly ramped up their spending.

Regional Insights Middle Eastern and Asian NOCs are the primary drivers of the increase in oil and gas investments. Since 2017, these companies have increased their investments by over 50%, accounting for the majority of the rise in spending in recent years (IEA) (IEA).

Factors Influencing Oil and Gas Investments

  • Market Dynamics: Fluctuations in oil prices and demand forecasts heavily influence investment decisions. The recent uptick in oil prices has incentivized higher spending (IEA) (IEA).

  • Policy and Economic Considerations: Policies, especially those related to energy security and economic recovery, play a significant role. Additionally, investor pressures for higher returns and debt repayment have shaped investment strategies (IEA) (IEA).

Comparative Analysis of Investments

Clean Energy vs. Fossil Fuels

  • Investment Scale: While clean energy investments are growing, fossil fuels still attract substantial investment. For instance, the oil and gas sector sees significant capital influx, highlighting the ongoing reliance on these energy sources (IEA) (IEA).

  • Returns and Risks: Clean energy investments offer long-term benefits and align with global climate goals, but they require substantial upfront costs and are influenced by regulatory frameworks. In contrast, fossil fuels provide more immediate returns but come with higher environmental and market risks (IEA) (IEA).

Strategic Implications

  • Energy Transition: The dual investment strategy underscores the complexity of the global energy transition. While clean energy investments aim to meet climate targets, substantial fossil fuel investments ensure energy security and economic stability (IEA) (IEA).

  • Long-term Outlook: The future of energy investments will likely see a gradual shift towards renewables, driven by technological advancements and regulatory support, but fossil fuels will remain significant in the short to medium term due to existing infrastructure and market demands (IEA) (IEA).


The trends in energy investments underscore a pivotal moment for the global energy sector. Significant increases in clean energy investments indicate a robust move towards sustainability, while the continued rise in oil and gas investments highlights the complexities of transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for shaping future energy policies and investments.


Published in: Energy Management