Renewables will take their place in the sun



International Energy Agency : Economist, engineer
A steady increase in hydropower and the rapid expansion of wind and solar power has cemented the position of renewables as an indispensable part of the global energy mix; by 2035, renewables account for almost one-third of total electricity output.
A steady increase in hydropower and the rapid expansion of wind and solar power has cemented the position of renewables as an indispensable part of the global energy mix; by 2035, renewables account for almost one-third of total electricity output. Solar grows more rapidly than any other renewable technology. Renewables become the world’s second-largest source of power generation by 2015 (roughly half that of coal) and, by 2035, they approach coal as the primary source of global electricity. Consumption of biomass (for power generation) and biofuels grows four-fold, with increasing volumes being traded internationally. Global bioenergy resources are more than sufficient to meet our projected biofuels and biomass supply without competing with food production, although the land- use implications have to be managed carefully. The rapid increase in renewable energy is underpinned by falling technology costs, rising fossil-fuel prices and carbon pricing, but mainly by continued subsidies: from $88 billion globally in 2011, they rise to nearly $240 billion in 2035. Subsidy measures to support new renewable energy projects need to be adjusted over time as capacity increases and as the costs of renewable technologies fall, to avoid excessive burdens on governments and consumers.


WEO 2012