50 by 50 — BloombergNEF
48%, to be exact.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance has released their New Energy Outlook 2018. The work of 11 authors, with 35 named collaborators and in close consultation with many more analysts from their 16 offices around the world — it is a thorough take of the international energy industry's key drivers, players and probable pathways in future to the year 2050. Renewables are central.
Their first forecast is for the overdue downfall of fossil fuels from 60%-70% market dominance. They predict 50% PV plus wind globally by 2050 and 71% renewables broadly. They foresee $11.5 trillion in investment in new sources of generation overall. $8.4 trillion they expect to go towards solar and wind with another $1.5 trillion to other zero emissions technologies like hydro and nuclear.
Renewable supply is projected to be up to 87% in Europe, 73% in the UK, 62% in China and 75% in India. They haven't hazarded Australia's total in a percentage (wonder why!), but suggest it will become one of the two most decentralised countries in the world: 44% of power nationally to come from consumer PV and behind-the-meter batteries.
The global goal is for coal to shrink to a limp 11% from its present pinnacle of 48% and fossil fuels broadly to be brought down to 29% from the current 63%.
Batteries, big and small, are the story of the day. Cost of lithium-ion varieties are already down by 79% from 2010. 50% of that was Tesla by itself — Powerwall's premiere cut the market price of a battery literally in two. And the authors are convinced they'll be 67% less than today by 2030. Manufacturing capacity is set to step it up from 131GWh per annum to 400GWh. By 2050 they see 1,291GW global investment in battery storage, 40% to be behind-the-meter.
Primary regional investors are Asia Pacific area at 41% of all batteries bought by 2050, amounting to $223 billion evenly distributed between utility-scale and residential. Europe will be runner-up on $168 billion, 77% of that to be industrial-scale installations.
The report rather dishearteningly concludes we could not reach the 2°C target of the Paris Agreement, leave aside that the IPCC now recommends 1.5°C: not even if we forcibly closed down all coal fired power plants across the world this very day.
Gas would remain the problem. According to the authors, we require either a zero emissions technology to completely supplant hydrocarbons altogether as well, or to somehow de-carbonise it at scale. Either way we have to do more than we are at the minute.