Progress Projected for Renewable Energy Generation, EV Industry
Despite the controversy that surrounds the industry’s long-term effectiveness, the evidence continues to pile up in defense of renewable energies in terms of energy generation and the automotive industry.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released a report this week projecting future trends of the energy industry from now through 2030. In their words, BNEF defined three different scenarios – ‘Barrier Busting,’ ‘Traditional Territory,’ and the ‘New Normal’ – according to their “Global Energy and Emissions Model, which integrates all of the main determinants of the energy future, including economic prosperity, global and regional demand growth, the evolution of technology costs, likely developments in policies to combat climate change and trends in fossil fuel markets.”
In the report, BNEF believes that the ‘New Normal’ scenario is the most likely of the three, which projects a system that more than triples the current investment in renewable energy capacity to $630bn (in nominal terms) for 2030, compared to the amount built last year. In addition, biofuel production would also more than double, from 120bn liters currently, to 370bn liters in 2030.
But perhaps the most telling (and easiest to explain) prediction from the ‘New Normal’ model forecasts that approximately 70% of all new global power generation from now until 2030 would be created through renewable energy, compared to only 25% being created from the oil, coal, and gas industries. That would result in half of all global electric capacity being renewable, which is a sizable jump from the 28 percent mark achieved last year.
Guy Turner, BNEF chief economist believes, “it’s a strong forecast, but it’s believable… [half of all global capacity] represents compound annual growth of 6.7 percent, and many industries have grown faster than that at this stage of their development.”
For a brief look at each of the three projections, here is a graphic provided by Cleantechnica from the report –
Electric Vehicle News
In other renewable energy news, Navigant Research also released a report last week summarizing the rise of electric vehicle (EV) sales and production in 2012 and how they expect the trend to continue throughout the remainder of the decade. Although the press release for the report admits that the increased sales figures have not lived up to expectations, they illustrate considerable progress within the industry. Navigant estimates plug-in EV sector growth upwards of 40% between 2012 and 2020, compared to 2% for the remainder of the car industry. Granted, the market share of electric vehicles is a small piece of the auto industry, but the contrast between 40% and 2% market growth is notable. As a whole, the report cites rising gas prices and government assistance in swaying interest over the next 7 years.
Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant, concurs with the findings in the study, “The average price of fuel for conventional vehicles will likely continue to rise through the remainder of this decade, driving demand for electric vehicles. Government policy, in terms of purchase incentives, emissions regulations, fuel taxes, and fuel economy rules, will also play a strong role in the expansion of the EV market.”
Technological advances, especially with improvements in battery storage and charge capacity, will also play a pivotal role in the number of EVs on the road within the next few years. Lisa Wood, executive director and vice president of the Institute of The Edison Foundation, briefly summarizes the industry and the role of battery technology, saying, “Approximately 90,000 Americans have said goodbye to the pump and hello to the plug due to battery advancements and a growing selection of car models that has made driving an EV more accessible than ever before. This number will only grow.”
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