Renewable Energy Investment To Double Globally By 2020 - But Is Just One-Third Of What's Needed

Glen Bledsoe/CC BY 2.0

Just after releasing a report showing that wind power will be soon easily cost competitive with natural gas, Bloomberg New Energy Finance has released a new analysis of how renewable energy investment will change in coming decades.

The good news, as you can tell from the headline, is that by 2020 it will be double what it is today, and nearly triple current levels by 2030. The bad news is that by 2030 the analysis shows that, with this level of clean energy investment, just 15.7% of total energy production will come from renewable sources, including large-scale hydropower—an increase of just 3.1% from today.

By 2020 Bloomberg NEF says, annual global spending on renewable energy will rise to $395 billion, up from $195 billion in 2010. By 2030 that will rise to $460 billion.

The Global Renewable Energy Market Outlook says that Europe will remain one of the biggest markets for renewable energy, after a dip in investment through 2015. China is expected to spend $50 billion a year on renewables, with the US and Canada combined spending $50 billion.

The fastest areas for renewable energy growth over the next decade will be India, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with 10-18% annual growth.

Which is really all the good news. But on to the bad news: In brief, according to figures from the International Energy Agency (h/t Think Progress), this level of investment is just one-third of what's needed to reduce emissions sufficiently to avoid dangerous climate change.

Just last week the IEA said that we have just five years to rapidly move away from fossil fuels before dangerous climate change becomes inevitable.

Tags: Global Climate Change | Renewable Energy

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