Photographer: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Clean Energy to Take Bigger Share of Electricity Market by 2030

  • Renewables will account for about 40% of electricity output
  • ‘Real challenge’ is heating, cooling, transporation: Irena

Renewable energy will account for 40 percent of electricity output capacity by 2030, almost double today’s market share, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The expansion will be due to lower technology costs, Adnan Amin, Irena’s director general, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV in Dubai. “We anticipate with the lower technology cost, by 2030 we’re going to have renewables capacity in the global power system at around 40 percent, which is quite remarkable growth.” That compares with 22 percent today, according to Irena.

The real challenge for renewables is capturing crude oil’s market share in heating, cooling and transportation products, Amin said. “As far as the power sector is concerned, oil plays a very little role in power generation worldwide” at about 5 percent, he said.

Electricity from solar energy is getting a boost as the price of solar power has declined.
Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, awarded a contract for a 200-megawatt solar plant in January 2015 at what was then a record-low price of 5.85 cents per kilowatt-hour. Last month, the emirate received a bid for an 800-megawatt plant at a power price of 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Falling crude prices have made alternative fuels less economically attractive, curbing investment in biofuels, according to Irena. “There is a lot of momentum looking at electric mobility powered by renewables, but we’ve seen a real negative impact has been on biofuel investment," he said.

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