The first trillion watts of wind and solar

The first trillion watts of wind and solar

There are now 1 trillion watts of wind (542 GW) and solar (471 GW) power installed around the world, according to new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

It took a few decades to get here, but it’ll only take five years to do it again — and at a cost that’s nearly 50 percent cheaper. Now that we’ve reached the terawatt scale, the true acceleration begins.

As recently as 2007, there was just 8GW of PV capacity installed, compared with 89GW of wind. Since then, PV has grown from just 8% of total installed wind and solar capacity, to 46%. In the process, PV installations grew 57-fold, with utility-scale PV overtaking small-scale PV in 2014. Wind still represents the majority of the installed base at 54%, but is likely to relinquish this lead soon.

“By 2050, wind and solar technology provide 48% of total electricity – “50-by-50” – with hydro, nuclear and other renewables providing a further 23% of zero-carbon electricity.” – Seb Henbest, BNEF

“Our team has looked closely at the impact of the 79% decrease seen in lithium-ion battery costs since 2010 on the economics of this storage technology in different parts of the electricity system. The conclusions are chilling for the fossil fuel sector.” – Elena Giannakopoulou, head of energy economics at BNEF.

BNEF Historical and Future Power Generation.png
By 2050, renewables supply 87% of electricity in Europe, 55% in the U.S., 62% in China and 75% in India.
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