Renewables are set to remain the world’s fastest-growing source of energy and will outstrip nuclear by the end of the next decade, according to a new report from oil and gas giant BP.
The latest BP Energy Outlook 2035 predicts that renewables output, including biofuels, will grow by an average of 6.4% a year out to the middle of the 2030s.
Renewables will surpass nuclear in their share of primary energy production by 2025 and in power production three years later, added the BP report.
By 2035 renewables will account for 13% of global power generation against 5% now and “be showing little sign of approaching any limit to their market share,” said BP, which has already exited the solar sector and unsuccessfully tried to sell all of its US wind assets last year.
However,global energy will still be dominated by oil, gas and coal, which will account for some 80% between them, the report predicts. And total demand will slow, with almost all the growth available coming from China, India and the Middle East.
In a separate study, analyst Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said global investment in clean energy fell to $254bn last year from $288.9bn in 2012 and a record $317.9bn in 2011.
BNEF said the investment fall was driven by continuing sharp falls in the PV costs and policy shifts in Europe and the US.
China was again the biggest investor, but the $61.3bn committed there last year was 3.8% down on 2012’s figure – the first time Chinese clean-energy investment has fallen for more than a decade.
BNEF said Japan was the biggest focus for increased investment – the country accounted for $35.4bn in 2013, up 55% on the previous year, thanks to its huge solar build-out.