Trillions needed for World Energy Infrastructure Buildout to 2030

India needs to invest $250 billion over the next five years to tackle chronic energy shortages and provide power for all its 1.2 billion people, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said. Nearly 40 percent of India’s 1.2 billion residents do not have access to reliable electricity, a gap that President Modi has pledged to eliminate in the coming five years.

Although coal will continue to reign in the country, Goyal claimed earlier this year that India will be a “renewables superpower,” according to The Guardian. He suggested India could easily add 10 gigawatts of solar annually. Last month, the government approved the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

India is forecast to see a quadrupling of its power generation capacity, from 236GW in 2013 to 887GW in 2030, with 169GW of the additions taking the form of utility-scale solar and 98GW onshore wind. Hydro will see capacity boosted by 95GW, coal by 155GW and gas by 55GW. Total investment to 2030 will be $754bn, with $477bn of that in renewables.

Globally, Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects $7.7 trillion to be invested in new generating capacity by 2030, with 66% of that going on renewable technologies including hydro. Out of the $5.1 trillion to be spent on renewables, Asia-Pacific will account for $2.5 trillion, the Americas $816bn, Europe $967bn and the rest of the world including Middle East and Africa $818bn.

Fossil fuels will retain the biggest share of power generation by 2030 at 44%, albeit down from 64% in 2013. Some 1,073GW of new coal, gas and oil capacity worldwide will be added over the next 16 years, excluding replacement plant.

China is likely to spend about 80% of the $3.7-trillion budget on renewable energy sources alone. According to Bloomberg, that means 30 times more solar, nine times more wind power, or 67 times more nuclear energy than China has currently.

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