Sustainability Digital – Sept 2021

The energy transition: Why renewables outperform fossil fuels

A joint report by the International Energy Agency and the Centre for Climate Finance & Investment at Imperial College examines the risk and return proposition in energy transitions. It looks at publicly traded renewable power and fossil fuel companies in advanced and developing economies calculating the total return and annualized volatility of these portfolios over 5 and 10-year periods. 

Across all portfolios, renewable power generated higher total returns relative to fossil fuel. Annualized volatility for the renewable power was lower than fossil fuel in the global and advanced economies portfolios, but higher in the China and emerging market and developing economies portfolios.

Click here to view Michael’s slides


Michael Waldron is an energy investment analyst in the economics and investment office of the International Energy Agency. He was previously the project leader and lead author of the IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report, which assesses market trends of renewables in the electricity, transport and heat sectors. At the IEA he has also worked as an oil demand and biofuels analyst. Prior to joining the IEA, Waldron worked as a senior energy markets analyst at Lehman Brothers in New York and London. Waldron obtained his Masters in International Energy Policy & International Economics at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and his Bachelors degree in Economics & Government at Cornell University.


Tate has been an investment industry media publisher and conference producer since 1996. In his media career, Tate has launched and overseen dozens of print and electronic publications. He is the chief executive and major shareholder of Conexus Financial, which was established in 2005, and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

The company hosts more than 20 conferences and events globally each year and publishes three digital publications, including the global website and strategy newsletter for global institutional investors, Professional Planner for financial planners, accountants and private bankers in Australia and Investment Magazine for Australian superfunds and institutional investors. One of the company’s signature events is the bi-annual Fiduciary Investors Symposium attended by global asset owners and hosted in the Americas and Europe.

Conexus Financial’s events aim to place the responsibilities of investors in wider societal and political contexts, as well as promote the long-term stability of markets and sustainable retirement incomes.

Tate served for seven years on the board of Australia’s most high profile homeless charity, The Wayside Chapel; and he has underwritten the welfare of 60,000 people in 28 villages throughout Uganda via The Hunger Project. In 2021 was appointed as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for significant service to the community through charitable initiatives.

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