Investment in new renewable energy capacity is predicted to increase by 230% annually to US$630 billion by 2030, according to new research by analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
This 2030 investment figure is 35% higher than that produced in BNEF’s last global forecast a year ago, and the projection for total installed renewable energy capacity by that date is 25% higher than in that previous forecast, at 3,500GW. Improvements in the cost-competitiveness of solar and wind technologies is expected to be the catalyst for this growth.
In the power sector, the research company’s latest forecasts project that 70% of new power generation capacity added between 2012 and 2030 will be from renewable technologies (including large hydro). Only 25% will be in the form of coal, gas or oil, the remaining being nuclear.
BNEF predicts that solar and wind will take up the largest shares of new power capacity added in terms of gigawatts by 2030, accounting for 24% and 30% respectively. By 2030 renewable technologies will account for 50% of new power generation capacity installed around the world, up from 28% in 2012. In terms of power produced, the share of renewables will increase from 22% in 2012 to 37% in 2030.
Guy Turner, head of economics and commodities for BNEF, commented: “In spite of the recent news showing a downturn in clean energy investment since 2011, renewable technologies will form the anchor of new generating capacity additions, even under a less optimistic view of the world economy and policy choices.
“The main driver for future growth of the renewable sector over this timeframe is a shift from policy support to falling costs and natural demand. Our work also highlights, however, the importance of planning for the integration of intermittent renewables into the grid and into power markets. This will require significant new investment in grid infrastructure, load management and storage technologies,” concludes Turner.
Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance said: “The news right now is dominated by stories of pain caused by overcapacity on the supply side of clean energy, and the lure of cheap shale gas. But this is playing out against the falling costs of renewable energy and of all the technologies required to integrate it into our energy system, and falling costs win. What it suggests is that we are beyond the tipping point towards a cleaner energy future.”