Wind, solar to power 50% of the world by 2050


Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has released predictions for both the energy mix, as well as possible better prospects for climate change.

This news may come to the relief of Climate Extinction, who have also cancelled their summer protests. That turn of events is also is undoubtedly to the relief of anyone travelling to, or from Heathrow airport over the summer months.

The reason for the BNEF’s projections is, in part, due to the falling costs of renewable technologies such as wind, solar, and battery-storage, which will ensure that the power sector contributes to global warming not exceeding 2°C by 2030, as outlined in international climate targets.

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Whilst the timing of Climate Extinction announcement is purely coincidental, experts from BNEF say that wind and solar already represent the cheapest power generation technologies in approximately two-thirds of the world.

BNEF’s data further predicts that the share of renewable energy generation will have grown from approximately by 2050, with coal’s share of the global energy mix set to plummet from 37%, to a forecasted 12% by 2050. Oil is expected to have been “virtually eliminated’ as a power source. Nuclear and natural gas are expected to hold their current share of market.

The report further notes that Europe, with 92% of forecasted power in the region to be supplied by renewables, will likely decarbonise its electricity grid first. Countries like US and China are set to follow at a slower pace, given the abundance of natural gas and coal, with these expected to amongst the last remaining elements of a polluting power grid.

The report further suggests that beyond 2050, renewables will increasingly need assistance from nuclear, biogas, hydrogen-to-power and carbon capture and storage technologies to aid in emissions reduction.

Matthias Kimmel, BNEF Analyst, said: “Solar photovoltaic modules, wind turbines and lithium-ion batteries are set to continue on aggressive cost reduction curves, of 28%, 14% and 18% respectively for every doubling in global installed capacity.

“By 2030, the energy generated or stored and dispatched by these three technologies will undercut electricity generated by existing coal and gas plants almost everywhere.”