Because of decreasing renewable energy technology prices, half of the world’s power will be generated through wind and solar generation, according to BloombergNEF’s report New Energy Outlook 2019.
London-based BloombergNEF is a leading provider of primary research on clean energy, advanced transport, digital industry, innovative materials, and commodities. The company’s annual New Energy Outlook report tracks the costs of energy technologies, fuel prices and other trends within the energy sector.
Key findings of the New Energy Outlook 2019 include:
- For about two-thirds of the world, solar or wind power is the least-expensive energy option for adding new power-generating capacity.
- Globally, electricity demand is estimated to almost triple from 2018 to 2050, an increase of 62 percent, which will also draw $13.3 trillion in new investments.
- The use of coal for the world’s power will continue to plummet, from the current level of 37 percent to 12 percent by 2050.
- By 2050, oil as a power-generating source will be practically eliminated.
- Wind and solar power generation will boom, growing from the current level of 7 percent to 48 percent by 2050.
- Other energy-generation sources such as hydro, natural gas and nuclear will remain level through 2050.
One of the major trends cited in the report was how Western nations will continue to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. For example, the report found that Europe will decarbonize its grid the fastest, supplying 92 percent of its power with renewables by 2050.
The report also notes the Asia’s growing demand for energy. According to the New Energy Outlook 2019, Asia’s electricity demands will more than double by 2030. In addition, investment energy generation in the Asia-Pacific region will account for about half of new global capital spent on energy generation. China and India, alone, will account for $4.3 trillion in investment opportunities.
In the United States, investment in new power capacity will top $1.1 trillion and renewables will more than double their generation share to 43 percent by 2050.
As part of the New Energy Outlook 2019 report, BloombergNEF included 100 percent electrification of road transportation and residential building heat generation, which expanded the role of power generation. By adding those elements, total generation capacity in 2050 needs to be three times the current capacity. One major benefit: Relying on electric energy for heat and transportation would reduce CO2 emissions by 126 gigatonnes.