According to predictions by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, renewable energy projects will represent two-thirds of all energy investments between the years 2016 and 2040. That’s right, solar power and other renewables will eventually surpass coal and gas combined! This is excellent news for our planet’s ecosystems, and also great news for us as electricity consumers: some of the newest wind and solar farms coming online are reaching record low prices, and have become capable of competing head-on with established fossil fuels such as coal, but without the negative environmental impact.
Breaking Down the Numbers: Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that renewable energy investments from 2016 to 2040 will add up the impressive amount of 7.8 trillion dollars. Just for comparison, coal is expected to draw 1.2 trillion dollars over the same time period, not even one-sixth of the expected investment for renewables. The outlook for gas is even less promising, as it will only add up around $892 billion in investments through the year 2040. The predicted 7.8 trillion dollars in clean energy investments are split mostly among solar power ($3.4 trillion), wind power ($3.1 trillion) and hydroelectricity ($911 billion). Solar power is once again proving its feasibility as a mainstream energy source, ahead of other renewable sources, not to mention fossil fuels. Most of the new coal power plants are expected to be built in developing regions in Asia, particularly India and China, the two most populous countries in the world. On the other hand, gas will remain an important energy source for several decades in the USA. Nevertheless, at the global scale renewables will eventually surpass both coal and gas. Gas will fall behind renewable sources in the energy race by the year 2027. Coal, currently at the top of the list in terms of installed capacity, will be overtaken by renewables around the year 2037.
How Renewable Energy Will Behave by Region – Europe as a whole is expected to take the lead in clean energy adoption, with a power grid that will be 70% renewable by the year 2040. This should come as no surprise, since Ernst & Young has placed several European nations among the top 20 best countries to invest in renewable energy:
Germany – 5th place
France – 8th place
United Kingdom – 13th place
Denmark – 15th place
Netherlands – 17th place
Turkey – 19th place
Belgium – 20th place
North America is also expected to see a lot of activity in the renewable energy industry. For example, United States is expected to increase its share of clean power from 14% to 44% by the year 2040, and the country currently holds the 1st place in the Ernst & Young ranking. Canada and Mexico are not falling behind either, securing the 9th and 7th places, respectively. Mexico in particular is an example of how favorable policies can boost the adoption of renewable sources: the country recently opened up its energy sector, previously a state-owned monopoly, and it already has over 2000 megawatts of private contracts in the pipeline,distributed among solar and wind farms. Speaking of Mexico, Latin America in general is expected to see a lot of activity in the energy industry. For example, Chile and Peru share the Atacama Desert, possibly the best place for solar power in the world, receiving around 2700 peak hours of sunshine every year.
Argentina has also carried out reforms that favor renewable, and the country will now be able to benefit from its considerable wind power potential; some estimates indicate that the wind power potential of Argentina is able to cover the full energy demand of Latin America! Although China and India are expected to continue depending on coal in the long term, it doesn’t mean that these countries will not see activity in the renewable energy sector. In fact, the opposite is true: consider that these two countries have the largest populations in the world, and that translates into a considerable appetite for energy. In the Ernst & Young ranking, China sits in the 2nd place, just below the USA, and India is number three.
Article is posted by XsunX – Complete Solar Solution.