Investment trends in 2016
Energy investment by sector
Total energy investment worldwide in 2016 was just over $1.7 trillion, accounting for 2.2% of global GDP. Investment was down by 12% compared to IEA’s revised 2015 energy investment estimate of $1.9 trillion.
Spending in energy efficiency rose by 9% while spending in electricity networks rose by 6%, yet these increases were more than offset by a continuing drop in investment in upstream oil and gas, which fell by over a quarter, and power generation, down 5%. Falling unit capital costs, especially in upstream oil and gas, and solar photovoltaics (PV), was a key reason for lower investment, though reduced drilling and less fossil fuel-based power capacity also contributed.
For the first time ever, the electricity sector edged ahead of the oil and gas sector in 2016 to become the largest recipient of energy investment. However oil and gas still represent two-fifths of global energy supply investment, despite a fall of 38% in capital spending in that sector between 2014 and 2016. As a result, the share of low-carbon supply-side energy investments, including electricity networks, grew by six percentage points to 43% over the same period.