Wind and solar could provide half of the world’s energy generation by 2050 on the back of continually declining technology costs, particularly in battery energy storage, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
The 150-page New Energy Outlook (NEO) 2018 report predicts that the future of the global electricity system will be dominated by tumbling lithium-ion battery prices. These have already fallen 80% per MWh since 2010 and will continue to decline as electric vehicle manufacturing builds up through the 2020s.
This will allow intermittent renewable generation from wind and solar to grow in prominence as output from these sources becomes more dispatchable as Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for BNEF and lead author of NEO 2018, explained.
“The arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar, so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining,” he said.
“The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”
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