The Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency, which is backed by 170 governments, will present an analysis to the UN in New York on Thursday showing the share provided by renewable energy could double by 2030 if governments put in place policies to promote it. Irena said its assessment was the most detailed such study ever conducted, and showed that the share of global energy derived from renewables could rise from about 18 per cent today to 36 per cent in 2030.
That implies a greater potential for rapid growth in renewables than most other estimates have suggested. More interesting is that Irena believes traditional biomass could be eliminated by 2030, meaning that modern renewables such as wind, solar, hydro power and advanced biofuels would have to quadruple their contribution from 9 to 36 per cent.
Other forecasters have taken more cautious views. The International Energy Agency, the watchdog backed by rich countries’ governments, said last year that even given global policies designed to meet international commitments to curb global warming, renewables might be only 23 per cent of global energy in 2035.
The shift would require investment in renewable energy to double, from about $224bn in 2013 to an average of $460bn per year. It would also need subsidies for renewables totalling $315bn per year in 2030, according to Irena’s calculations.
However, that is less than the present level of subsidies for fossil fuel consumption, which was $544bn in 2012, mostly for consumers in low and middle-income countries.
Categories: Economic Indicators