The Covid-19 outbreak encouraged a surge in investment into renewable energy in the first quarter of this year, while investment into the oil and gas industry collapsed. 

Despite widespread uncertainty caused by the pandemic, foreign investors announced $23.3bn worth of investment into renewables spread over 159 projects in the first quarter of the year, according to figures from fDi Markets


The surge of investment into green energy marks the sector’s strongest first quarter performance in a decade. 

Investment continued to flow into the sector in April and May. Spanish utility Iberdrola announced a $6bn renewables investment campaign in Mexico and Australian authorities gave the green light to world’s largest hybrid wind and solar hub – the Asian Renewable Energy Hub – which will be developed by a consortium of InterContinental Energy, CWP Energy Asia, Vestas and Pathway Investments.  The project plans to install 15GW of green energy capacity with total investment of about $22bn. 

On the other hand, foreign investors announced only 45 projects worth an estimated $13.9bn in the coal, oil and gas sector during the first quarter, down by almost two thirds in terms of capital spend from $39.2bn during the same period of 2019, fDi Markets figures show. 

Oil producers endured a perfect storm of woes during the quarter with Saudi Arabia and Russia locked in a dispute over supply cuts, while demand collapsed because of the economic slowdown and lockdown measures, causing the most severe energy demand shock since the second world war, according to the International Energy Agency.