BNEF issues 2017 New Energy Outlook


The whitepaper 2017 New Energy Outlook paints a picture of the future of energy. The paper is published by BNEF on an annual basis.

This year’s edition comprises insights provided by 65 energy stakeholders including technology specialists in 12 countries.

The study gives a breakdown of how the electricity sector will look like in years to follow until 2040.

According to BNEF, this year’s edition focuses on factors including wind, solar, battery storage, electricity demand, electric vehicles and consumer dynamics, driving rapid changes in the energy market, grid systems and utility business models.

BNEF says it analysed the coal, gas and oil markets as revolutions within the sectors have a direct impact on the electricity segment.

On a short term basis, BNEF says it uses the changing regulatory frameworks of different countries and their impact on the energy sector.

The research firm also made use of a list of retired energy projects, programmes currently being implemented and those set for deployment to come up with forecasts of how the global energy landscape will be like in the near future.

In the medium to long term, BNEF’s projections of the sector is based on the cost of building different power generation technologies to meet peak and average energy demand.

BNEF says the paper aims to highlight the opportunities and risks associated with the shift from traditional conventional energy generation and centralised energy systems to renewable energy focused and distributed energy systems.

Global energy outlook

Some of the findings and projections made by the BNEF in the paper include:

  • The global power demand to grow by 58% between now and 2040, or by 2% per year.
  • $10.2 trillion in investments to be directed towards new energy generation capacity worldwide by 2040. 72% will be invested in renewable energy. Investments in renewable energy to grow to around $400 billion per annum with the investments in wind exceeding those in solar.
  • Wind and solar will account for 48% of total installed capacity and 34% of electricity generation by 2040. The emergence of new battery technologies will help the markets to expand.
  • Cost of electricity generated from solar will decrease by 66% by 2040. A dollar will buy 2.3 times electricity than it does today.
  • Consumer-driven PV will continue to become a significant part of the grid.
  • EVs will bolster electricity use and help balance the grid
  • Lithium-ion battery for energy storage to become a $20 billion per year market
  • By 2030, wind and solar power generation will undercut existing coal plants on an operational basis
  • Global coal-fired power generation will peak in 2026
  • Gas is a transition fuel, but not in the way most


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