Energy Solar

Global Solar Investment Surpasses Oil for First Time in 2023

Global investment in solar energy has surpassed investment in oil for the first time in 2023, driven by affordability and private investors, with notable developments in renewable energy legislation in the European Union and innovative projects by companies like Repsol and AES Hawaiʻi leading the way towards a sustainable energy transition.

At a glance

  • Global investment in solar energy surpasses investment in oil in 2023, signaling a shift towards renewable energy sources.
  • Increasing affordability of solar electricity generation leads to a boom in the solar energy sector.
  • Private investors, including financial institutions and corporations, play a prominent role in solar project development.
  • Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) emerge as a key investment route for solar developers.
  • Repsol completes construction of Frye Solar project in Texas, aligning with net-zero emissions goal.

The details

In 2023, global investment in solar energy has surpassed investment in oil for the first time, signaling a significant shift towards renewable energy sources.

This trend is driven by the increasing affordability of solar electricity generation, leading to a boom in the solar energy sector.

Private investors, including financial institutions and corporations, are playing a more prominent role in the development of solar projects, with some countries even exploring merchant remuneration routes in electricity markets.

In the European Union

There have been notable developments in renewable energy legislation.

Some EU countries are adjusting support schemes to account for price evolutions during project construction and operation.

Recently finalized EU legislation will introduce new rules for renewable energy auctions and public remuneration mechanisms.

Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

have emerged as a key investment route for solar developers, with some countries implementing state-backed PPA guarantee schemes to address challenges for corporate buyers.

The Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) is set to play a role in establishing a harmonized European regulatory framework for Guarantees of Origin (GOs).

Solar energy’s sensitivity to fluctuations in interest rates compared to fossil fuel production has prompted discussions at the European Central Bank (ECB) about potentially introducing a green interest rate to support renewable energy investments.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is also being considered as a potential avenue for smoothing out solar financing conditions.

In the United States, Repsol has completed construction of its Frye Solar project in Texas, boasting a total installed capacity of 637 MW. The project, located near the city of Kress in Swisher County, comprises nearly one million solar panels.

Repsol has secured a long-term power purchase agreement for 89% of the project’s output, aligning with the company’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The Frye Solar project is part of Repsol’s broader renewable energy strategy, which includes existing solar power plants in New Mexico and recent ventures in onshore wind through the acquisition of ConnectGen.

AES Hawaiʻi has also made strides in the renewable energy sector with the completion of the West O‘ahu solar + storage project in Kapolei.

This facility, located on 66 acres of University of Hawai‘i land, is the company’s first to combine solar generation with battery energy storage on O‘ahu.

Generating 12.5 MW supported by a 50-MWh battery energy storage system, the project operates under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric.

AES Hawai‘i’s initiative has garnered praise from Governor Josh Green and is seen as a vital component in supporting Hawaiʻi’s clean energy goals and efforts to combat climate change.

Overall, the renewable energy landscape is rapidly evolving, with industry players and policymakers actively working towards a sustainable and environmentally conscious energy transition narrative.

Companies like Repsol and AES Hawaiʻi are at the forefront of this movement, spearheading innovative projects that contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

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Facts attribution

This section links each of the article’s facts back to its original source.

If you suspect false information in the article, you can use this section to investigate where it came from.

pv-magazine.com
– In 2023, global investment in solar overtook investment in oil for the first time
– Solar energy is experiencing a boom while the cost of generating solar electricity drops
– Private investors, including financial institutions and corporates, are playing a more prominent role in solar project development
– Electricity markets have shown resilience, allowing solar projects to explore merchant remuneration routes
– Some EU countries are indexing support schemes to price evolutions during project construction and operation
– Recently finalized EU legislation will set new rules for renewable energy auctions and public remuneration mechanisms
– Contracts-for-difference must be non-distortive and respond to market signals under the new EU Electricity Market Design
– Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are a key investment route for solar developers
– Some countries have put in place state-backed PPA guarantee schemes to mitigate challenges for corporate buyers
– The Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) will play a role in setting a harmonized European regulatory framework for Guarantees of Origin (GOs)
– Solar is sensitive to fluctuations in interest rates compared to fossil energy production
– The European Central Bank (ECB) is considering implementing a green interest rate to support renewable energy investments
– The European Investment Bank (EIB) can play a role in smoothing out solar financing conditions
– Solar energy is emerging as a compelling business case among all energy options
– Industry and policymakers have tangible solutions available to shape an investment landscape conducive to advancing the energy transition narrative.
solarpowerworldonline.com
– Repsol has completed construction of its Frye Solar project in the United States
The Frye Solar project has a total installed capacity of 637 MW
– 570 MW of the Frye Solar project is currently in operation
The project is located near the city of Kress, Swisher County, Texas
– Frye Solar is comprised of almost one million solar panels
– Repsol has signed a long-term power purchase agreement for 89% of the output from the project
– Repsol aims to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050
– Repsol’s total renewable installed and under development capacity in Texas is 2,091 MW
– Repsol generates renewable electricity at existing solar power plants in New Mexico
– Repsol entered the U.S. onshore wind market with the acquisition of ConnectGen
– Renewable energy generation is a pillar of Repsol’s decarbonization strategy
– Repsol aims to reach between 9,000 MW and 10,000 MW of installed capacity by 2027
– Repsol entered the U.S. renewable energy market in 2021 with the purchase of 40% of Hecate Energy
– In September 2023, Repsol acquired the 20,000-MW project portfolio of ConnectGen
– Repsol is committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050
– Repsol is present throughout the energy value chain and employs 25,000 people
solarpowerworldonline.com
– AES Hawaiʻi completed the West O‘ahu solar + storage project in Kapolei
This is the company’s first facility to combine solar generation and battery energy storage on O‘ahu
– The project is located on 66 acres of University of Hawai‘i land
The facility is generating 12.5 MW supported by a 50-MWh battery energy storage system
– The project is under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric
– AES Hawai‘i Executive Vice President Bernerd Da Santos commented on the benefits of the project
– Governor Josh Green congratulated AES Hawai‘i on the launch of the facility
– The project is seen as supporting the state’s clean energy goals and combating climate change
– The Hawaiʻi Clean Energy Initiative was launched in 2008
– The goal is to make the islands petroleum-independent by 2045
– The administration is investing in contractor training programs to support clean energy efforts.

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