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Renewables set for 40% share of global power mix by 2030

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The world’s electricity is going to increasingly come from renewable sources, with the latest report from GlobalData suggesting that renewables will account for 40% of the global power mix by 2030.

As the world works towards the goals set out in the Paris Climate Accords, renewables will play a bigger role in generating electricity. In the past few years, wind and solar farms have proliferated in all corners of the globe, with that pace likely to increase as we aim for net zero. 

Earlier this year, the International Energy Agency revealed that despite the economic slump caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 saw the installation of wind and solar power plants grow at the fastest pace in 20 years

Barbara Monterrubio, Energy Transition Analyst at GlobalData, commented, “2020 was a decisive year in the push towards renewable technologies. Now, renewables will lead the power mix from 2024, overtaking coal-fired power generation.”

A mixed picture globally

Despite GlobalData being confident that renewables will generate 40% of the global need for electricity, the company believes that some regions will move faster than others. In fact, it suggests that Europe will see renewables generate 50% of its electricity demand by 2030, while North America will see renewables contribute just under 40% by the same period.

Monterrubio continued, “Rapid demand growth in the APAC region means that coal and gas is currently set to increase over the decade, with fossil-fuel generation retaining over a 50% share of the mix. However, clean technologies will continue to increase generation, wind and solar power in particular. This will impact the energy mix both in APAC and the Americas regions”.

While GlobalData hasn’t shared any specifics regarding the UK, there is already a target that the UK Government is aiming for by 2030 – in which wind energy will power every home. That goal is relying on new technology, such as floating wind farms, but so is GlobalData’s report. 

In fact, it notes that as part of the energy transition path, the development of particularly disruptive technologies such as hydrogen, carbon capture storage (CCS), energy storage and digitalisation will reshape the market.

Monterrubio noted, “While hydrogen is seen as a way to cut emissions across industries, green hydrogen plants are at a nascent stage. Most projects are still in the ‘feasibility’ stage, targeting multiple sectors such as transportation and industry alongside refining and chemicals sectors.

“The pace at which these areas have evolved in the last year is exponential, and the continued need of elements that can secure carbon emissions reduction, balance renewables intermittence within the system and smart systems monitoring will help maintain this trend.”

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