RE set for $5tr boom – study

A Juwi Shizen array in southern Japan

A PV array in southern Japan. Asia is set to see the most spectacular growth, says BNEF

Two-thirds of the $7.7tr the world will spend building new power-generating capacity over the next 15 years – about $5trn – will go to renewables, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis.

Over the period to 2030, renewables will boom in every region, while the success of other energy sources will vary greatly depending on local circumstances, according to BNEF.

In the Americas, non-hydro renewables – primarily wind and solar PV – will rise in the electricity mix from 7% at present to 28%. In the US, gas will remain highly competitive, with overall gas-fired capacity set to rise by 134GW.

But renewables will be the biggest gainer, with the US set to add 275GW of capacity out to 2030, mostly small-scale PV and onshore wind.

Meanwhile, coal will be the big loser as it is increasingly outcompeted by renewables and gas, with 109GW of US coal-fired capacity set to disappear by 2030.

Latin America will add 102GW of solar capacity over the next decade and a half, and 71GW of wind capacity. By comparison, all fossil-fuel sources will collectively add just 48GW of new capacity in Latin America, BNEF says.

In Europe, the share of renewables in the power mix will hit 60% in 2030, up from about 40% at present. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, will fall to 27% from today’s 48%.

Put together, that means that the amount of carbon emitted by Europe’s power sector in 2030 will be less than half of its 2013 output.

BNEF predicts offshore wind will be the only major renewables technology still being subsidised in Europe in the 2020s.

The Asia Pacific region will experience the most jaw-dropping growth in renewables investment and installation, although unlike Europe and the Americas, Asia Pacific will also see significant growth in coal-fired plants.

Of the $3.6tr that will be spent on installing new power-generation capacity in Asia Pacific to 2030, some $2.5tr will go into renewables.

“The period to 2030 is going to see spectacular growth in solar in this region, with nearly 800GW of rooftop and utility-scale PV added,” says Milo Sjardin, BNEF’s head of Asia Pacific.

“This will be driven by economics, not subsidies; our analysis suggests that solar will be fully competitive with other power sources by 2020, only six years from now.”

BNEF notes, however, that Asia Pacific will see 434GW of new coal-fired capacity added during the period, and another 314GW of gas, meaning that its carbon emissions will continue to rise strongly for the foreseeable future.

User

Become a Recharge subscriber!

Or try our free trial.

Order Subscription

Already a member?

Login


Recharge Monthly Magazine