Global investments in renewable energy are set for a major boom over the next decade and a half. This will eventually help global carbon emissions to start declining beyond 2030. These are the findings of a new report released by Bloomberg News Energy Finance. A total of $7.7 trillion in investment is forecast for building new power plants by 2030, out of which renewable energy may receive as much as two-thirds or about $5.1 trillion.
The share of fossil fuels in power generation will decline to 46 percent from the current 64 percent, according to the report. About 5,000 gigawatts of power generation capacity will be added worldwide, out of which non-renewable power will only account for about 1,073 gigawatts.
Clean energy generation around the world is becoming more profitable because of the falling prices of solar cells and wind turbines and a glut of solar and wind energy manufacturing capacity. This is happening even as governments from the U.S. to Germany are scaling back incentives. Annual investment in renewable energy technologies surpassed fossil fuels for the first time in 2011.
Solar power will lead among clean energy installations in every region across the world over the next 15 years, according to the report. Asia will witness the maximum expansion of capacity, with new solar sites exceeding those of gas and coal combined. This growth will be driven by pure business economics, and not government subsidies. Bloomberg analysts suggest that solar will be fully competitive with other power sources by 2020.
The combined share of solar and wind power in global generation stood at three percent last year. This will grow to 16 percent in 2030. Gas-fired fuel generation will survive this boom in renewable energy because the fuel produces less pollution than coal and the supplies are abundant, considering the shale gas discoveries in the past few years. Coal plants will fare much worse in comparison.
Out of the total estimated $5.1 trillion investment in renewable energy by 2030, Asia will account for $2.5 trillion, the Americas $816 billion and Europe $967 billion, while the Middle East and Africa will invest another $818 billion.
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