News

2021/07/28

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF): 455 GW of new photovoltaic capacity would have to be installed annually to achieve 2050 climate targets


BNEF’s New Energy Outlook 2021 (NEO 2021) estimates massive deployment of solar PV among other commercially available abatement technologies by 2030, to be on track for net-zero emissions by 2050.
Route to net-zero emissions for the world by 2050 still remains uncertain, but it is not impossible since there are solutions, even though quite ambitious ones considering the fact it would require very well coordinated efforts - on a global level - to get there. BNEF recommends some such measures in its new report titled New Energy Outlook 2021.
The BNEF analysts stress that one of the milestones the world would need to reach to be on track for net-zero by 2050 includes massive uptake in commercially available abatement technologies in each sector during this decade. Specifically, it would mean by 2030 annual additions of 455 GW for solar PV, 505 GW of wind power, 245 GWh of batteries, 35 million electric vehicles (EV), and reducing coal-fired power generation 72% from 2019 levels while retiring 1,417 GW of this capacity, according to the report.
The NEO offers three scenarios with a mix of different technologies, all leading the world to net-zero. The “Green Scenario” is of course built on clean electricity and green hydrogen, solar and wind account for 15% of the world’s primary energy supply in 2030, scaling up to 70% in 2050. The case of “Green Scenario” requires around 1,400 GW of renewables to be deployed annually, on an average, for the next 3 decades where 20 TW of solar PV capacity is installed till 2050, representing an average of 632 GW per year. In this scenario, BNEF expects new demand for green hydrogen to grow to 1,318 million tons,
In comparison, the carbon capture and storage dominated “Gray Scenario” expects an addition of up to only 190 million tons of green hydrogen. The “Red Scenario” prioritizes nuclear power.
In overall, it is the power sector that needs to change the most to bring down its emissions by 57% from 2019 levels by 2030 and further go down 89% by 2040. Over the next 9 years, it needs to cut emissions as well as encourage faster deployment of wind and solar PV.
Depending on the scenario chosen, estimated investments towards net-zero should add up to between $92 trillion and $173 trillion over the next 3 decades on energy supply and infrastructure, as per the NEO 2021
If the world wants to make sure achieving or getting close to meeting net zero by mid-century, then the deployment of low-carbon solutions has to be accelerated massively. That means even more solar PV, wind, batteries, and electric vehicles, as well as recycling and greater electricity use in industry, and redirecting biofuels to shipping and aviation.