The energy system has expanded and transformed dramatically since the use of mainly biomass in the pre-Industrial Revolution era to the current advances in innovation in the renewable energy sector.
Indeed, while 100% clean energy is the end goal, leveraging technology to make the best use of energy or - even better – using less of it is seen as a good start point. This has been driven by energy-technology innovations, even though greater investments, supportive policy-making, and better coordination and partnerships across sectors and countries are still needed. Current trends in innovation in the energy sector include the use of AI and big data in energy consumption, advanced photovoltaics, distributed energy storage systems, and the recent strong thrust towards green hydrogen. Annual average investments in technologies that are at either prototype or demonstration stages currently total around USD 350 billion through to 2040, and then reach nearly USD 3 trillion in the 2060s, offering substantial opportunities to governments, industry and investors.