Energy mix predicted to shift to majority renewables by 2050

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF) has released its New Energy Outlook report for 2019, outlining its predictions for the future of new energy markets. Global demand for power is predicted to grow by 62 per cent between now and 2050. The electric vehicle market is predicted to make up a large part of this demand, adding about 3,950TWh of new electricity demand globally by 2050, accounting for nine per cent of the world’s electricity needs. This is especially significant in the UK, where the electric vehicle market has seen significant growth despite a declining demand in the wider vehicle market, reported on here. BloombergNEF expects the electric vehicle market to make up as much as 24 per cent of total electricity demand by 2050, due in part to increasing government investments in electric car infrastructure, reported on here.

With increasing worldwide demand for electricity, energy producers will need to increase output while they attempt to make the energy transition to renewables. BloombergNEF expects a transition in the world fuel mix, from two-thirds fossil fuels in 2018 to two-thirds zero-carbon energy by 2050. Wind and solar are expected to make up the majority of the renewable energy mix, supplying almost 50 per cent of world electricity by 2050. Significant increases in investment in new power generation are also predicted. Bloomberg predicts $13.3tr in new energy investments over the next 32 years, 77 per cent of which is expected to be invested directly in renewables, mostly wind and solar. New power plants, constructed between 2019 and 2050 are expected to produce 15,145GW of power, 80 per cent of which will be carbon neutral.

Europe is set to lead the energy market in the direction of renewables, with 90 per cent of the continent’s electricity mix predicted to be renewably sourced by 2040. Cheaper and more widely available resources for the production of emission-free energy infrastructure lead BloombergNEF to this prediction, along with the predicted phasing out of coal-powered plants and other fossil fuel power producers. Germany and the UK are notable examples of European countries expected to reach emissions targets, as renewables are expected to provide 96 per cent of Germany’s electricity generation and 87 per cent of the UK’s electricity generation by 2050. The US and China are large markets for the energy transition and are expected to see similar renewable energy expansions, though gas-powered energy production is predicted to become the primary energy source in the US, and coal and nuclear energy will likely continue to be important power sources in China in the coming decades.

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