Energy investments to defeat the pandemic: IEA Report

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released the 2021 World Energy Investment Report. Total global energy investments seem to be on track to overcome the crisis precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report. The IEA estimates that total energy investments in the world will increase by 10% in 2021 to USD 1.9tr, approaching pre-COVID -19 levels.

Nonetheless, despite the overall upward trend in energy investments the increases are not evenly spread, the report reveals. Coal investments, for instance, will make no progress in 2021, remaining flat at their USD 91bn level in 2020.


Oil and natural gas investments will increase globally this year, according to the IEA. Upstream oil and gas investment is expected to rise by about 10% as companies recover financially from the shock of 2020.

The report also shows serious changes experienced in the composition of global energy investments. Trends are moving away from traditional fuel production while sub-sectors toward end-users and electricity are on the rise, according to data in the report.


Investments in the global electricity sector are estimated to increase nearly by 5% and exceed USD 820bn in 2021, compared to the previous year. USD 530bn of total electricity sector investments contain expenditures for generation while investments to for networks and batteries amount to USD 293bn.

USD 369bn (70%) of the USD 530bn generation capacity investments will go to power plants which will operate with renewable energy resources while USD 119bn in electricity generation investments will be made in power plants to operate with fossil fuels. Investments in global nuclear energy capacity will take a USD 44bn share.


Expenditures for energy efficiency are beginning to occupy a more important place in total energy sector investments, with an expected increase of about 10% in 2021. However, decarbonization efforts in energy investments are still far from reaching the 2050 net zero emission goal, according to Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA. “More resources should be mobilized and directed to clean energy technologies to reach the net zero emission goal by 2050,” said Birol.


The Third Turkish- German Energy Forum was held in Ankara. German companies have invested about EUR 25bn with their local partners in the energy industry and they have employed over 15,000 people in the country, according to Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez. Speaking at the event via video conference, Donmez said German companies made an important contribution to the country’s installed renewable energy capacity to reach 51,000 megawatts (MW) as of April from 12,000 MW in 2002. “After the partnership with Siemens won the 1,000 MW Renewable Energy Resource Areas (YEKA) wind power tender in 2017, 500 MW of the second 1,000 MW wind power tender was won by Enercon while the remainder was won by Enerjisa in partnership with EON with competitive prices in 2019,” Donmez added.


He also said a new YEKA-SEPP (solar energy power plant) tender will be initiated this year and they expect German companies to join it. “I would like to invite German investors to participate more actively in our natural gas market containing important opportunities,” he noted.

Germany still meets 75% of its primary energy need from foreign countries although it is making major investments in renewables, according to Peter Altmaier, German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy. “We fully import oil. We import 75% of natural gas. We import bituminous coal. All this energy is impossible to be produced in Germany. That’s why we’ll need a very close relationship in renewable energy in the future,” said Altmaier.

He also added that they are aware of efforts in Turkey’s national hydrogen strategy and that they are ready to collaborate in this field.

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