Europe will be 70% renewable by 2040 (but it won’t be enough)

Bloomberg’s “New Energy Outlook 2016” confirms the advance of renewable energy. But it also explains that the road ahead is still steep and uphill.

The use of renewable energy is going to rapidly grow in the next few years, both in Europe and the United States. Thanks to a drop in production costs of windmill blades and solar panels, clean energy sources will meet 70% of the electricity demand in the countries of the Old Continent by 2040. And in the United States renewables will exceed gas.


Germany photovoltaic construction
The construction of a photovoltaic plant in Germany © Sean Gallup/Getty Images


The significant and constant development of renewables has been confirmed in the “New Energy Outlook 2016” compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which explains that the production of renewable energy with cec accredited is estimated to double in the next decades.  Today, clean energy accounts for 32% of total European production. In the Unites States this figure doesn’t exceed 14% (and it will grow to 44% by 2040). For the USA this is a good result anyway: contrary to the fact that many poeple thought that gas (and mostly “shale” gas) would have been the source of the future in the country, clean energy will make up the majority of the electricity produced.

The drop in prices of renewable energy

“Low prices for coal and gas are likely to persist – Bloomberg’s report reads – but will fail to prevent a fundamental transformation of the world electricity system over coming decades towards renewable sources such as wind and solar”. In particular, the production of clean sources will exceed that of gas by 2027; however, we should wait until 2037 to see renewable energy exceed coal.

The advance of renewables will be ensured by the drop in the prices of solar (-60% by 2040) and wind technology (-41%). So, in 2020 these will become the cheapest energy sources in many countries of the world, and almost everywhere in the Planet by 2030.


wind renewables
The drop in prices of renewable technology will be determining to boost renewables in the next decades © Ryan Pyle/Getty Images


The electricity demand, instead, is likely to increase, even thanks to electric vehicles: these, according to Bloomberg, will make up 35% of all cars sold in 2040, with about 41 million units worldwide. The battery market will also develop as the needs to stock photovoltaic production increase.

“It won’t be enough to reach the COP 21 pledges”

As for investments in green energy, Europe will allocate 7,800 billion dollars by 2040. In the same year, on the contrary, investments in fossil fuels wouldn’t exceed 2,100 billion dollars.

However, according to the report, these figures won’t be enough to comply with the necessary road map to cap the rise in global temperatures to 2°C compared to the pre-industrial era. Bloomberg indeed explains that, to reach this goal, it is necessary to increase investments in renewables by a further 5,300 billion dollars in the next decades.

Featured image: Valerie Gache/Afp/Getty Images

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