back to article On the bright side, solar investment finally set to surpass oil spending

If the International Energy Agency's predictions are correct, 2023 is set to be the year that investment in solar energy technologies finally overtakes spending on oil production. Lest you forget, however, spending on fossil fuels is still rising too. In its 2023 World Energy Investment report, the IEA estimates total world …

  1. Andy 73 Silver badge


    Nearly all of these 'solutions' involve governments directing where money is spent. When solar gets cheaper, they direct their money there. But that doesn't mean they're investing in energy security, or investing wisely - they're just avoiding the costly expenditure of robust infrastructure.

    As for the UK not investing in solar... you do live here don't you?

  2. SammyB

    Reminds me of the joke aoiut gambling

    How do you make a million gambling, start with 2 million. It's not the investment, it the return on said investment.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Reminds me of the joke aoiut gambling


      "It's not the investment, it the return on said investment."

      I came to say the same thing

  3. Thought About IT

    So, what is the solution?

    First, the fossil fuel corporations denied there was a problem, even though their scientists had warned them of it. Now, as the problem has become too visible to deny, their propagandists have changed tack and attempt to discredit all renewable sources of energy and electric cars. The effectiveness of this approach is seen in the number of commenters parroting their lines whenever these issues are discussed. OK, given the short timescale we have to start reducing the cause of the problem, and solar panels and wind turbines aren't part of the solution, what is?

    1. Andy 73 Silver badge

      Re: So, what is the solution?

      Solar and wind are absolutely *part* of the solution, but saying we've solved the problem by having some small island in Europe piddling money on solar and wind is to completely and utterly misunderstand what the problem actually is. The UK currently produces less CO2 than we did in the 1880's, but is doing so at the cost of delaying infrastructure investment. Meanwhile the rest of the world, particularly China and the developing nations are heading sharply in the other direction as they work to reach the living standards we enjoy.

      For all the idiocy from the fossil fuel lobby, the renewable lobby is doing us all a disservice by pretending that the path to true sustainability is simply a question of sticking up more windmills. The current massive inflation spike, driven in no small part by the energy insecurity highlighted by the Ukraine war should make it very clear that we have not "solved" renewable energy. Both Germany and the UK have been hailed as leading the charge to renewables, and both nations saw just how dependent we are on fossil fuels when Russia began it's campaign. Worse still, no-one seems prepared to acknowledge that the *only* reason solar and wind investment has exceeded oil is because the war has (hopefully temporarily) skewed the economics so heavily that renewables look cheap in the short term. That is not actually a thing to celebrate.

      Here's the problem: domestic transport and energy usage is the easy part. National infrastructure, construction, industry and commercial transport are the hard parts - and these are the ones that actually dominate the global energy landscape. We don't have good solutions for them (particularly industry, storage and construction), and until we do we will continue to see China building coal-fired power stations, global energy usage rocketing ever skyward, and the geopolitical fallout of energy insecurity causing continued conflict. Being able to drive to Waitrose in your solar powered Tesla is no doubt very reassuring, but very much a first-world privilege built on very shaky foundations.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, what is the solution?

      Nuclear, SMRs, etc

    3. xyz Silver badge

      Re: So, what is the solution?

      Kill 'em, kill 'em all!!

      But seriously folks, people (esp Westerners) have expectations regarding what civilisation is that people 70-80 years ago wouldn't been able to dream about.

      Did those people long ago wash their hair daily, shower, have fridges, use washing machines, order pizzas and all the other dross that makes people feel 21st century "normal"?

      If COVID taught everyone 1 thing, it was even a disease isn't going to stop world+dog jumping on a 'plane for 2 weeks of sun at the first opportunity.

      No one is going to be the first to reduce their energy use, but they all like bellyaching about it. Face it, the planet is awash with energy addicts who need a good smack to change their ways.

      1. blackcat Silver badge

        Re: So, what is the solution?

        The bigger issue is the global south who are all looking at our lifestyle and saying 'I want that!' and not caring where their energy comes from. The emerging economies are all busy burning coal and oil and burning more each year. Intermittent energy sources are not going to work for these countries. Quite a lot of them already suffer from poor infrastructure and power cuts so they want reliable always on power.

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