The Strategist

IEA: Oil & Gas are the most popular investments

07/18/2018 - 14:30

The global volume of investment in the energy sector in 2017 amounted to $ 1.8 trillion, or 1.9% of global GDP. This amount is 2% less than a year ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated. Of the total investment, $ 750 billion was spent in the power industry (minus 6% compared to 2016). Of these, investments in the electrical grid amounted to $ 303 billion (plus 1%), investments in renewable generation - $ 298 billion (minus 7%), to fossil fuel generation - $ 132 billion (minus 9%), to nuclear power - $ 17 billion (minus 44%).

In the oil and gas sector, investments in field development increased by 2%, to $ 450 billion, for transportation and processing - by 4%, to $ 266 billion; in the coal industry, total investments decreased by 13% to $ 79 billion (mainly in China where the reduction was 22% in the aggregate with the decline in coal-based generation). Finally, investments in energy efficiency amounted to $ 236 billion (plus 3%). Among the countries, China remains the largest investor, accounting for one fifth of investments ($ 377 billion). The country is followed by the US (16%, $ 287 billion), and the third place is taken by the EU (14%, $ 260 billion). 

Investments in fossil fuels were 34% below the level of 2014. However, last year the share of investments in this sector grew for the first time in four years and amounted to 59% (plus one percentage point). According to the agency's long-term forecast, this share should decrease to 40% by 2030 in the "stable" scenario. However, in 2018, investments in renewable energy may decline once again, the IEA warned. The increase in the use of solar panels, where the cost of producing one megawatt decreased by 15% last year, did not compensate for the decline in wind and hydropower.

The agency notes a growing share of investments from state-owned companies (last year they accounted for 40% of investments), and this can be explained by the fact that they were more resistant to lower energy prices. Moreover, 95% of investments now depend on some kind of state regulation. This also concerns the increase in energy efficiency, which follows the change in standards, the IEA points out.