Bloomberg New Energy Finance 2030 Market Outlook Predicts a Bigger Future for Renewable Energy

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicts that two thirds of the world's investments in building new power generation by 2030 may go to renewable energy, as declining costs make renewable energy more competitive and attractive. A whopping $5.1 trillion of a predicted $7.7 trillion of global energy investment could be spent on renewables. The BNEF’s 2030 Market Outlook report forecasting renewable energy’s future, is based on modelling of electricity market supply and demand, technology cost evolution, policy development in individual countries, and regions.

About half of the investment predicted will be in Asia, where power capacity will grow the most - Asia will account for $2.5 trillion of the $5.1 billion investment. BNEF expects the Americas to invest $816 billion. Europe is expected to give $967 billion, while the Middle East and Africa will invest another $818 billion. The annual investment in technologies such as solar, wind and hydropower surpassed fossil fuels for the first time in 2011.

The report believes that global carbon dioxide emissions will peak by the end of next decade, before declining thanks to renewable use. Michael Liebreich, Chairman of BNEF's advisory board says, "What we are seeing is global CO2 emissions on track to stop growing by the end of next decade, with the peak only pushed back because of fast-growing developing countries, which continue adding fossil fuel capacity as well as renewables.” Fossil fuels' share of power generation will shrink to 46 percent by 2030 from 64 per cent. Coal, gas and oil-fired plants will only account for about 1,073 gigawatts and much of that will be in developing countries where power demand is growing.

The U.S. will continue to enjoy natural gas prices of less than $5 per MMBtu (a standard unit of measurement to denote both the amount of heat energy in fuels and the ability of appliances) until 2024, before they start to rise sharply in response to the depletion of some of the main gas plays and to increased demand from power, industry and exports. BNEF also foresees solar power as the most popular form of clean energy to be installed in the next decade and a half, where the capacity will expand the most in Asia, where new solar sites will exceed gas and coal combined.

The period from now to 2030 is going to see spectacular growth in solar in Asia, with nearly 800 gigawatts of rooftop and utility-scale PV added. This will be driven by economics, not subsidies, as BNEF’s analysis suggests that solar will be fully competitive with other power sources by 2020. Overall, solar and wind power will increase their combined share of global generation to 16 percent in 2030 compared with three percent in 2013. Large-scale hydropower has the biggest share of power generation among non-polluting sources.

BNEF’s study anticipates a brighter future for the planet with renewable energy, one that allows the earth’s air to be less polluted.  

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