The OECD's energy arm, the IEA (International Energy Agency), recently released its annual report on developments on the energy market.
According to the report, renewables contributed almost half of the world’s new power generation capacity globally in 2014. The IEA believes that renewables will overtake coal to become the biggest energy source globally by 2030.
The IEA also estimates that, by 2040, 60 per cent of all investments in new power plants will be spent on renewable energy technologies. According to the calculations, this will correspond to a further 8,300TWh/year of electricity from renewable sources globally.
India will overtake China
Last year, the oil prices fell sharply, which caused countries like India and Indonesia to move ahead on with their phase-out out of fossil-fuel subsidies.
According to the IEA, India will replace China as the country where demand for fossil-based power will increase the most.
Mikael Nordlander, R&D Portfolio Manager at Vattenfall, says: "India expects to have 600 million new electricity customers in the next 25 years. By 2040, the Indians will also be unbelievably big on renewables but there'll still be a fair amount of fossil-based power, mainly coal, as a base. IEA chief, Fatih Birol, made it clear when he presented the report that India must be given support in building the right type of capacity."
China's CO2-emissions are expected to peak in 2030 and, from that point onwards, to fall. This will be made possible by ongoing improvements in energy efficiency and the commissioning of more wind power, solar power, hydro power and nuclear power.
In its report IEA also focuses on the importance of a global agreement on climate. If all countries meet their climate pledges in advance of COP21 in Paris, global warming will be reduced to 2.7 degrees, which is short of the target agreed in the UN convention on climate change of a global temperature increase of a maximum of 2 degrees."Currently, 270 billion dollars a year is invested globally in renewable energy generation. If we're to achieve a temperature increase of a maximum of 2 degrees, we'll have to invest 400 billion dollars a year in renewables generation until 2030. Compared with developments over the past decade, this is not a revolutionary increase, so there are grounds for cautious optimism," says Mikael Nordlander, who also sees signs of the ”happy divorce” referred to in the IEA report."The demand for electricity will continue to increase but emissions seemingly look to remain at today's levels. Historically they have followed suit. You could call this, as Fatih Birol did, a happy divorce."