BNEF: Renewables Will Account For Two-Thirds Of New Power Investment By 2030


Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) says it expects $7.7 trillion to be invested globally in new generating capacity by 2030, with 66% of that going to renewable technologies including hydro.

In a new report called BNEF 2030 Market Outlook, the company says that out of the $5.1 trillion to be spent on renewables, Asia-Pacific will account for $2.5 trillion, the Americas $816 billion, Europe $967 billion and the rest of the world, including Middle East and Africa, $818 billion.

The report says fossil fuels will retain the biggest share of power generation by 2030, at 44% – albeit down from 64% in 2013. Some 1,073 GW of new coal, gas and oil capacity worldwide will be added over the next 16 years, excluding replacement plants. The vast majority will be in developing countries seeking to meet the increased power demand that comes with industrialization, as well as to balance variable generation sources such as wind and solar.

Notably, the report expects solar PV and wind to increase their combined share of global generation from 3% last year to 16% in 2030.

BNEF's report also has a focus on the Americas. It says the next decade and a half will see renewable energy raise its share of electricity generation capacity in the Americas from 7% in 2012 to 28% in 2030 (excluding the contribution of hydropower), while the share of coal-fired capacity will fall from 21% to 9%.

According to BNEF, North, Central and South America will add 943 GW of gross new capacity by 2030, including replacement plants. Some 522 GW will be added in the U.S., 341 GW in Latin America and 80 GW in Canada.

The report says this will equate to $1.3 trillion of investment in new power generation capacity, with the largest single slice of that ($314 billion) going to gas-fired plants, followed by rooftop solar photovoltaics ($231 billion) and onshore wind ($200 billion). There will be smaller slices of investment going to nuclear (almost all in the U.S.), hydroelectric (mainly in Latin America), biomass-to-power, offshore wind and large-scale solar.

"Two striking conclusions from our research: First, wind and solar will win bigger and bigger shares of the investment in new capacity as their technology costs go on falling; second, coal will be in rapid retreat, [with] its share of generation in the Americas falling from 26 percent in 2012 to 17 percent in 2030," says Michel DiCapua, head of Americas analysis for BNEF.

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