Renewables to supply over ⅓ of global electricity by 2030

A new report by RMI is depicting a bright future for wind and solar.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Representational image of solar and wind.jpg
Representational image of solar and wind.

Ron and Patty Thomas/iStock 

New research by RIM, formerly the Rocky Mountain Institute, is revealing that wind and solar will supply over one-third of global electricity by 2030.

The report which was conducted in cooperation with the Bezos Earth Fund highlights how active growth in solar, wind and battery deployment might just allow nations to achieve ambitious net-zero pathways by the end of the decade.

This is according to a press release by the institute.

Fossil fuels no longer wanted

The analysis also revealed that fossil fuel demand for electricity will decrease as much as 30 percent from the 2022 peak by 2030 as renewables become more cost-competitive and popular.

Solar and battery costs have seen a decrease of 80 percent between 2012 and 2022, while offshore and onshore wind costs are down 73 percent and 57 percent respectively. This is according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data.

The countries most responsible for this growth are European nations and China but the Middle East and Africa are also starting to catch up and have many incentives to deploy more renewables.

“The exponential growth trend in renewable electricity can be harnessed to help developing countries get ahead of the curve and transition faster to a cleaner and more affordable electricity system,” Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund.

The report highlighted how current deployment rates are so high that they are driving intense price decreases that are rendering hydrocarbons uncompetitive in most markets.

“Exponential growth of clean energy is an unstoppable force that will put more spending power in the pockets of consumers. The benefit of rapid renewable deployment is greater energy security and independence, plus long-term energy price deflation because this is a manufactured technology – the more you install the cheaper it gets,” said Kingsmill Bond, Senior Principal, RMI.

Public cries

The constant growth of renewables is also fuelled by public cries to save our planet by switching to sustainable energy sources.

“This is a clear signal to policy makers, businesses and investors to seize the opportunity of accelerating the energy transition. The call to triple renewable electricity investment and capacity by 2030 are deliverable. But only by removing barriers to faster renewable deployment, from streamlining permitting to redirecting subsidies for polluting energy. Otherwise, the exponential growth we are seeing and the benefits that come with it could be derailed unnecessarily,” said Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of UNFCCC and a Founding Partner of Global Optimism.

In November of 2019, RMI revealed that clean electrification of transport vehicles was rising at impressively quick rates. The report at the time also indicated a 2030 timeline for achieving this lofty goal.

The "exploding investment in battery technologies is revolutionizing the sector much faster than expected and setting in motion a seismic shift in how we will power our lives and organize energy systems as early as 2030," said the RMI press release. 

Today we have seen a significant rise in electric vehicles with Tesla making a killing and many other automakers entering the game. If RMI is correct, and it likely is, we are bound to see even more sustainable energy solutions applied within the next decade.

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