Bloomberg report predicts phenomenal renewable energy growth

Reading time: 2 minutes
25 June 2015

LONDON: With bolder policy action, zero-emission sources will make up 60% of the added world’s energy capacity within 25 years, a new Bloomberg New Energy Finance report states.

The New Energy Outlook 2015, an annual forecast of global energy markets up to 2040, also predicts that new onshore wind and solar plants will be cheaper than new and existing fossil fuel plants by 2030.

“This report predicts the exciting change for renewable energy that we already see developing worldwide,” says Emily Farnworth, Campaign Director of RE100, The Climate Group. “The business case for renewable energy couldn’t be clearer and this is further confirmation for the many companies already signed up to becoming 100% powered by renewables through RE100”.

Influential companies that are signed up to the RE100 campaign – an initiative of The Climate Group in partnership with CDP which encourages companies to go 100% renewable – are already acting on.

Image: Global annual capacity additions by technology, 2015-2040, in gigawatts. Courtesy of BNEF


Renewables look set to make up just under 60% of added capacity over the next 25 years, with over 3,000 GW of this to be solar. The price of both wind and solar energy will also keep falling – wind is already the cheapest form of new generation in Europe, Australia and Brazil – although utility-scale solar is set to overtake it by 2030, states the report.

Low carbon investment will continue, with over US$2.2 trillion in small-scale solar predicted by 2040. The report also forecasts a five-fold increase in onshore wind, a 24-fold increase of utility scale solar PV, and a 25-fold increase in off-shore wind over the next 25 years.

However, while the direction of policy support for renewables growth so far has been positive, it is not ambitious enough – as authors point out CO2emissions from the power sector will still rise 13% over the 25-year period. “Current policy settings – even combined with the vast strides renewables are making on competitiveness – will not be enough,” Seb Henbest, the lead author of the report, said with reference to the global climate talks in Paris. “Further policy action on emissions will be needed.”

Image: Levelized cost of electricity in China, based on US$/megawatt-hours nominal. Courtesy of BNEF

With businesses having a greater impact on renewables uptake as demand increases and installation costs of wind and solar continue to drop, the report concludes the transition to the low carbon economy will be well on its way by 2040.

by Frankie Mayo

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