Spending on renewable energy set to surge by 2030

July 2, 2014, 2:46 PM UTC
Storm Eases Over Windfarms
PALM SPRINGS, CA - DECEMBER 17: A rainbow forms behind giant windmills near rain-soaked Interstate 10 as an El Nino-influenced storm passes over the state on December 17, 2002 near Palm Springs, California. Because of consistantly high winds, thousands of giant windmills have sprouted in the area to create wind-powered electricity. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Photograph by David McNew—Getty Images

Nearly $8 trillion will be invested in new generating capacity around the world by 2030, according to an energy finance report released Tuesday, with two-thirds of that going to renewable technologies.

The report, Bloomberg New Energy Finance 2030 Market Outlook, predicts Asia-Pacific will see about half of the $5.1 trillion in new spending on renewables, followed by $967 billion in Europe, $818 billion in the Middle East and Africa, and $816 billion in the Americas.

The report predicts that fossil fuel will still provide the biggest share of power generation by 2030 at 44 percent, although that is a significant drop from current rates of 64 percent. Most of the 1,073GW in new capacity will come in developing countries, such as India and China, which depend heavily on coal to feed their booming economies.

“This country-by-country, technology-by-technology forecast of power market investment is more bullish on renewable energy’s future share of total generation than some of the other major forecasts, largely because we have a more bullish view of continuing cost reductions,” Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a statement.

“What we are seeing is global CO2 emissions on track to stop growing by the end of next decade, with the peak only pushed back because of fast-growing developing countries, which continue adding fossil fuel capacity as well as renewables,” he added.

Renewables will continue their strong growth in Europe, with the report projecting they will increase by 60 percent by 2030, while traditional fossil fuels such as coal and gas are expected to drop by nearly a third.

Modeling electricity market supply and demand, technology cost evolution and policy development in individual countries and regions, the report forecasts that 557GW of new renewable power capacity will come online in Europe by 2030. In the same period, coal-fired capacity will shrink from 195GW to 125GW, as emission regulations take hold and the cost-of-generation comparison shifts in favor of renewables.