- ISA and Bloomberg Philanthropies to partner to mobilize $1 trillion for solar energy by 2030
- WRI to help with preparation of investment action agenda—to be relased during COP26, and followed by a roadmap in 2022
- They will identify opportunities in the sector basis analytical insights provided by a BloombergNEF report on Scaling Up Solar In ISA Member Countries
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Bloomberg Philanthropies will partner to mobilize $1 trillion to be invested globally for solar energy by 2030, along with the World Resources Institute (WRI) that will help the duo develop a Solar Investment Action Agenda and a Solar Investment Roadmap.
Once the Solar Investment Action Agenda is launched at COP26, it will pave the way for Solar Investment Roadmap to be unveiled in 2022 which will provide clear scaling goals and metrics to measure progress towards $1 trillion goal.
Together the trio of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the ISA and WRI will work to ensure ISA member nations and partners agree on necessary pathways to scale up investment and commit to the $1 trillion goal. They will identify opportunities for both public and private sector to collaborate and scale solar investment to solarize the world, and also bring it closer to people living without access to electricity.
“With strong foundations already in place, our immediate focus is to identify and mobilize the opportunities and capital to accelerate our solarization goals in the interim and long-term,” explained ISA Director General Dr. Ajay Mathur. “This partnership would help three different but interlinked objectives: promoting a clean energy transition; enabling energy access and energy security; and delivering a new economic driver for ISA member countries.”
Both the agenda and the roadmap will be built on the basis of analytical backing provided by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report titled Scaling Up Solar In ISA Member Countries.
Currently global installed solar capacity is over 788 GW according to BloombergNEF, and analysts see it growing to 3.2 TW cumulatively by 2030.
Commissioned for the ISA, the BloombergNEF report says that by 2050 in 80 less developed nations in ISA’s beneficiary classification, electricity demand is expected to nearly triple, and a combination of a ‘strong Sun and poor access to fossil fuels’ makes solar PV a power generation technology of choice here. At the same time, prices for solar technology are expected to drop further in the coming decades, making it all the more attractive a proposition.
The ISA categorizes its member nations as beneficiary nations that require direct assistance, pivotal partners who are well positioned to facilitate learning for other nations in the ISA, and facilitator partners who are positioned to assist beneficiary nations and facilitate cooperation between pivotal and beneficiary countries through financial or technical contributions.
In pivotal nations, on-grid solar capacity has grown significantly and through 2023 BNEF expects an average annual YoY growth rate of 42%. For facilitator countries, demand is growing but slowly than in pivotal nations primarily because the latter already have a large installed base. BloombergNEF sees annual YoY solar growth of about 39% for beneficiary nations between 2021 and 2023.
“Installed solar should rise across all three ISA country classifications at a collective annual rate of 30%, BNEF projects. Facilitator countries will continue to make up the majority through 2022, after which Pivotal countries will make up 56% of total global solar capacity, which will continue to grow into 2023,” reads the report.
Authors anticipate utility-scale build rates to rebound in beneficiary nations in 2021 and continue to grow YoY for the foreseeable future.
Most of the small-scale PV capacity exists in pivotal and facilitator nations. Brazil is the largest pivotal country with close to 3 GW added in 2020 alone and is likely to continue its domination in the space well past 2023. The Netherlands and Australia have the largest share among facilitating countries. Very little of small-scale PV has been added in beneficiary nations, and out of that most is not connected to the grid, thus leaving a lot of scope for further additions.
While off-grid solar has really made a difference in expanding access to electricity for millions, BloombergNEF believes due to the pandemic’s impact on the global economy in 2020 overall electrification rates must have been negatively impacted. One reason is also because governments in less-developed countries would have had to divert their economic resources to other pressing matters as healthcare.
Authors point out at the potential for solar home systems (SHS) mini-grids and off-grid applications based on PV to transform developing nation, however its build-out depends on cooperation from local authorities including regulators and state-owned utilities.
Among beneficiary ISA countries to watch out for, BloombergNEF pens Myanmar as a very large market, along with Nigeria, and El Salvador. For pivotal countries, Brazil and India along with Egypt and Morocco take the centerstage. Among facilitator countries, authors see Japan and Australia as strong solar markets.
Complete report is available for free viewing and download here.