Solar energy investment and fossil fuels

Millie HennickAugust 28, 201810080

Solar energy investment and fossil fuels

The evident need for clean energy is making an investment in solar energy and relevant technology a wise choice for the discriminating investor. Renewable energy has existed for some time, but until recently, fossil fuels were the dominant method of powering our world. Over the last few decades however, investments in the generation of clean energy have started overtaking fossil fuels. In 2017, renewables supplied 12% of global power which is the highest percentage ever. Data from 2017 showed that despite many changes in the electric sector, investments in renewables are still leading the way toward the energy source of the future.

Solar power generation

Investments in oil and gas have increased slightly, but investments in power generation for fossil fuels lagged behind that of renewables in most parts of the world. In 2017, investment in solar PV reached record levels, largely thanks to continued investments in China and India; In fact, 2017 was the first time India’s investments in renewables exceeded its investments in fossil fuel generation. Solar attracted $160.8 billion in investment or 18% more than the previous year. The same year about four gigawatts of offshore wind was ordered, mostly in Europe. However, investments in onshore wind decreased by around 15% and hydropower investments fell to their lowest level in a decade.

Energy Supply

Even today, clean energy still makes up a relatively small portion of spending in sectors other than electricity generation. Transportation, heating, and cooling still employ large amounts of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels as a percentage of total energy supply investment rose to 59% in 2017. According to the IEA, however, the fossil fuel portion of energy supply investment may slip over the long term. Under the IEA's Sustainable Development Scenario, it would fall to 40% by 2030. Even though investments in oil and gas supply increased last year, electricity got the most investment of any energy sector. The IEA noted in its report that this shows the increasing electrification of the global economy; Renewables support this electrification more than fossil fuels or nuclear power.

Investment trends favor solar and wind power

Overall global investment in energy dropped for the third year in a row but last year, it fell by $1.8 trillion, or two percent. Most of the decrease came from power generation due to lesser amounts of new coal, nuclear, and hydro capacity. Investments in these energy sources declined, but clean energy still led the way in many localities as countries around the world continued to push for less pollution. China remained more influential in the area of energy investments and received 20 % of the global total of energy investments, the most of any country. China is increasingly moving toward low-carbon energy. It decreased its investments in coal-fired plants by 55% last year.

There has never been a better time to install a solar energy system!

If you want to move into the future and join the solar revolution, or if you want to find out what solar panels are right for you, go to and try our price checker tool. You can see how much a system will cost, and how much you can save over the next 20 years. 

For more information relating to going solar, don't forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles. 

Solar system price checker


Design Your Solar Home


12 3

Input your address to see if it is solar friendly and how much you can save with solar.

Great. Your address is perfect for solar. Solar incentive is still available. Select monthly utility cost and calculate the size of solar system you will need now.

Whoa ! Going solar is definitely a smart decision.

kw System size years Payback period Lifetime savings

No money down, 100% finance is available.

Looking for certified solar installers? Sign up now and we will find them for you.

Do not show this information again.