Bloomberg: in 2050 energy will come from sun, wind and storage plants

Published on Friday, 12 July 2019

“The costs of solar panels, wind turbines and batteries will continue to decline. By 2030, the energy generated and stored by these three technologies will take the place of electricity generated by coal and gas throughout most of the world.”

– Matthias Kimmel, NEO 2019 lead analyst

The energy of tomorrow

In a world demanding more and more energy, the spread of renewable energy is key to triggering the most sustainable and inclusive development possible.

Also because by 2050 energy demand will increase by 62% and production capacity will nearly triple over the next thirty years, according to NEO 2019 data.

Overall, Bloomberg analysts anticipate that investments in the energy sector over the coming three decades will reach dizzying heights of over 13 trillion dollars, 77% of which will go to renewable energy, thereby enabling new power capacity equal to 15.149 GW to be built.

The power of sun and wind

As of today, electrical energy produced by burning fossil fuels represents around two-thirds of total production.

According to NEO 2019, in thirty years’ time the situation will be turned on its head, with renewable resources alone providing two-thirds of the planet’s energy.

The technologies dominating this change will be solar and wind. The former will grow from the current overall production level of 2% to 22% in 2050, and the latter will surge from today’s 7% to 26% in thirty years. 

From an economic perspective, wind power will prevail with estimated investments of over 5 trillion dollars, whereas solar will see investments of around 4 trillion dollars.

And that’s not all. The spread of almost 395GW of new storage plants and of dynamic grid management, made possible thanks to the dissemination of electrical mobility, will facilitate the storage of sun and wind power. BNEF analysts hypothesize that in some particularly advanced markets stored energy could eventually cover almost 80% of total demand. New storage systems in particular will enjoy total investments of 840 billion dollars.  

“Governments must move in two directions. On one hand, they must ensure that markets are conducive to the expansion of solar and wind power and low-cost batteries. On the other hand, they must support research in such a way that it can be done on a large scale from 2030 onwards.”

– Seb Henbest BNEF’s NEO director

A green world

From Europe to Mexico, passing through the United States and Brazil. Over the course of the next thirty years, renewable energy will become the main power source in many countries around the world, ousting fossil fuels and triggering a major overhaul of markets and various governmental policies.

Europe will be one of the leaders of the energy transition. Bloomberg foresees 92% production from renewable resources in 2050, especially due to the rise of fossil fuel prices, strong public backing and a radical transformation of the energy market.

“The days of subsidies now are over. To achieve the numbers we’ve mentioned, legislative changes are needed, which can reshape the electricity market and guarantee fair remuneration for solar and wind power and batteries.”

– Elena Giannakopoulou, head of BNEF’s energy economy

Mexico will also be at the center of an honest-to-goodness “green” revolution led by the solar photovoltaic utility scale, which will see 100 GW of new power capacity built. According to NEO 2019, by 2050 “zero carbon” energy production in Mexico will stand at 84%, with a consequent 76% reduction of emissions.

In the United States, in 2050 renewable energy and batteries will produce 43% of total energy and will contribute to a drop in CO2 emissions of over 54%.

Brazil will continue to follow the path of renewable energy thanks to a mix of hydroelectric, solar and wind that will enable a sharp decrease in emissions of over 80% in 2050.