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Renewables continue to make shambles of energy sector

Tom DiChristopher, CNBC

The amount of money flowing into the energy sector fell for a third straight year, raising concerns about the world’s ability to provide enough power and tackle climate change, the International Energy Agency reported on Tuesday.

On the whole, governments and businesses plowed $1.8 trillion into the infrastructure, equipment and resources that keep the world running. That means global energy investment fell by 2 percent from 2016 after adjusting for inflation, and the IEA warned the trend does not appear to be reversing.

At the same time, governments are shouldering more of the burden of investing in the energy sector, the Paris-based advisor to energy-consuming nations said in its annual report. State-owned enterprises now account for 40 percent of all investments in energy, and about 95 percent of spending in the power sector can be chalked up to regulation or depends on some kind of subsidy.

“Despite this increased role of governments, the overall trend of energy investment remains insufficient for meeting energy security, climate and air quality goals, and is not spurring an acceleration in technologies needed for the clean energy transition,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in the report.

That investment includes spending on power plants, electric grids, new oil and gas wells and systems to make buildings more energy efficient.

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