January 22, 2019 Read More →

BNEF estimates new global solar installations in 2019 at 125GW, or more

Oilprice.com:

Renewable energy will march forward this year, due to “remorseless reductions in the costs of solar and wind electricity and of lithium-ion batteries,” Angus McCrone, the chief editor of Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) wrote in a commentary.

Clean energy will also make huge strides because of the “widening realization on the part of investors and corporations that there is this ‘sustainability thing’ and, for reasons of self-interest, they just need to do it,” McCrone added.

Falling costs for wind and solar are great news, but they also make the headline investment figure appear less impressive. BNEF sees total clean energy investment hovering at around $300 billion, down from 2018’s $332.1 billion. But while investment totals will be down this year, as time marches on and costs continue to fall, every dollar invested brings more renewable energy capacity.

The same will be true in 2019. For instance, BNEF predicts that the world will add between 125 and 141 gigawatts (GW) of new solar this year, sharply up from the ~109 GW added in 2018. For wind, BNEF sees capacity additions of 70 GW in 2019, up from 53.5 GW last year.

One notable development is the rise of offshore wind. It will still remain a fraction of the wind installation total, but “eye-catching price drops” will make it a “must-have” technology this year, BNEF analysts argue. Europe is set to install 4.9 GW of offshore wind, with Asia installing 3.5 GW – both new record highs. BNEF says this will be the last year that Europe leads in offshore wind. From here on out, Asia will take over as the global leader.

Energy storage hits a milestone in 2019 as well, adding 10 GWh of new capacity for the first time. China will “establish a truly global presence” in the energy storage market, with automakers increasingly seeking out Chinese suppliers. Average battery prices could fall below $150/kWh this year, down from $176/kWh last year, which itself was a record low.

More: “Remorseless’’ cost reductions drive renewable energy revolution

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