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New report reveals staggering increase in global investment in clean energy: 'Policymakers have a huge opportunity'

"This is good news."

"This is good news."

Photo Credit: iStock

Global investment in clean energy tech manufacturing increased by more than 70% from 2022 to 2023, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The numbers accounted for solar, wind, battery, electrolyzer, and heat pump manufacturing, Electrek reported

Further, with gains of more than double the solar panel manufacturing, capacity has already hit its target for 2030 based on the IEA's net zero pollution scenario, according to the publication. Meanwhile, battery manufacturing increased by 60%, taking this sector 90% of the way toward net zero by the end of the decade (this includes announced projects).

This is great news, as clean energy does not spew dangerous contaminants into the environment. According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, air pollution from the burning of dirty energy sources like oil, coal, and gas can cause health issues like asthma, cancer, heart disease, and premature death. In fact, more than 8 million people died in 2018 because of dirty energy pollution, per the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Air pollution also affects other animals, including pollinators. One study found that certain compounds found in industrial pollution can alter the smell of flowers and result in far fewer visits from moths. 

Dirty energy is also the major culprit behind the warming of our planet, which is set to bring more frequent and severe weather in coming years if we don't take action. Meanwhile, clean energy technologies offer a more sustainable option to power our lives.

Fortunately, innovative scientists, governments, and organizations are making major strides to incorporate clean energy solutions into our communities. For instance, one former coal plant in New Jersey is getting a makeover to live a new life as a wind farm, and a Portuguese company has created a floating system of solar panels that move with the sun.

"While greater investment is still needed for some technologies — and clean energy manufacturing could be spread more widely around the globe — the direction of travel is clear. Policymakers have a huge opportunity to design industrial strategies with clean energy transitions at their core," IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said, per Electrek.

Meanwhile, on the publication's forum, one person commented: "Clean energy is the future. It's wise to invest in emerging markets versus dying industries. This is good news."

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