- BloombergNEF’s NEO suggests 455 GW of annual PV deployment by 2030 for the world to reach its net-zero ambition by 2050
- It suggests 3 scenarios—Green, Red & Gray—with a different mix of technologies to get there
- Cumulative investment on energy supply and infrastructure, depending on the scenario chosen would amount to between $92 trillion to $173 trillion
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 a coordinated efforts—on a global level—to get there. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF) recommends some such measures in its new report titled New Energy Outlook 2021 (NEO).
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 3 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.
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, while for wind the opportunity exists for 25 TW or 816 GW annually.
In this scenario, BloombergNEF expects new demand for hydrogen to grow to 1,318 million tons, while in the carbon capture and storage dominated Gray Scenario it adds up to only 190 million in comparison. Red Scenario prioritizes nuclear power.
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.
“If the world is to achieve or get close to meeting net zero by mid-century, then we need to accelerate deployment of the low-carbon solutions we have this decade – that means even more wind, solar, batteries, and electric vehicles, as well as heat pumps for buildings, recycling and greater electricity use in industry, and redirecting biofuels to shipping and aviation,” said BNEF Chief Economist Seb Henbest.
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.