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Published on July 14th, 2014 | by James Ayre

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BNEF: Europe To Invest $1 Trillion Into Renewables By 2030

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July 14th, 2014 by
 
Europe will invest around $1 trillion into growing its renewable energy capacity by the year 2030, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Of this, a very substantial amount is expected to be into rooftop solar PV ($339 billion) and onshore wind energy ($250 billion).

The growing investment into solar PV and onshore wind will be down to falling technology costs in those fields. The report predicts that by the 2020s only offshore wind will still be subsidized, and that 557 GW of new renewable power capacity will be online in Europe by 2030.

flag of the euImage Credit: EU Flag via Flickr CC

Overall, the renewable energy share of Europe’s total electricity generation capacity is expected to rise to 60% by 2030, up from 40% in 2012. Fossil fuel based capacity (coal and gas) is expected to see a corresponding fall, from 48% in 2012 to “only” 27% by 2030.

That fall in capacity will be primarily via coal-fired capacity, as natural gas capacity is expected to see a modest increase — coal-fired falling to 125 GW by 2030, down from 195 GW in 2012; and gas-fired capacity rising from 257 GW in 2012 to 280 GW in 2030.

The findings of the report — which is titled BNEF 2030 Market Outlook — come to us via complex modeling that has taken into account “electricity market supply and demand, technology cost evolution and policy development in individual countries and regions.”

Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, stated:

Our research shows that further improvements in the economics of solar and wind will mean they are increasingly installed without subsidy in the years ahead. We expect Europe to invest nearly $1 trillion to increase its renewables capacity by 2030, with rooftop PV accounting for $339 billion and onshore wind $250 billion.

Our model suggests that power demand in Europe will increase by only 9% between 2014 and 2030, as energy efficiency improvements take effect. This, and the growing cost advantage of wind and solar, will enable the continent to cut its power sector emissions from 1.3 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2013 to 564 million tonnes in 2030.


Despite the fact that the report predicts that offshore wind will remain subsidized while other renewables move to the free market, offshore capacity is still expected to grow significantly — with the prediction that 64 GW of new capacity will be added in Europe between now and 2030.

Those interested in reading the full report can find it here.

Or, alternately, you can check out our previous coverage (“BNEF: Renewable Energy’s About To Dominate Global Power Investments“), which takes a look at the broader, global changes rather than just those in Europe.

The quick take away from that coverage, for those that don’t have the time to click through, is that “renewable energy could represent up to 65% of the $7.7 trillion in new power plant investments and 60% of all new capacity additions expected over the next 15 years.”

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • http://solarbrokerscanada.com/ Solar Brokers Canada

    I saw another another article which said that UK is not on track to achieve Europe’s 2020 renewable energy targets. Wouldn’t that impact the overall Europe’s renewable energy share rise?

  • NicholB

    Can this be true: “Overall, the renewable energy share of Europe’s total electricity generation capacity is expected to rise to 60% by 2030, up from 40% in 2012. ”

    Was ‘Europe’ at 40% renewable total electricity generation in 2012? Should it be something else than generation capacity? Maybe investments in new capacity?

    • No way

      The total electricity generation for the EU28+Norway from renewables was 22,5% in 2012 according to Eurostats.
      Only Norway, Austria, Sweden, Portugal and Latvia (in that order) produced over 40% electricity from renewables.

      But the installed effect of the generation capacity could maybe have been 40% since coal/gas/nuclear is much more efficient.

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