BNEF: 455 GW of new photovoltaic capacity would have to be installed annually to achieve climate targets by 2050

Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require as much as $173 trillion in investments in the energy transition, according to BloombergNEF’s (BNEF) New Energy Outlook 2021 (NEO). The energy transition requires very substantial investments in infrastructure, with capital flowing away from fossil fuels and toward clean power and other climate solutions. Despite uncertainty around the overall cost of each NEO scenario set out, BNEF estimates investment in energy supply and infrastructure amounts to between $92 trillion and $173 trillion over the next thirty years. Annual investment will need to more than double to achieve this, rising from around $1.7 trillion per year today, to somewhere between $3.1 trillion and $5.8 trillion per year on average over the next three decades, says the consultancy.
The power sector needs to make the greatest progress over the next decade, reducing emissions by 57 percent from 2019 levels by 2030. Specifically, several milestones will need to be achieved by 2030 to be on track to reach net-zero by mid-century. This includes to add 455 GW of solar PV each year to 2030 (3.2 times the 2020 total), 505 GW of new wind power each year to 2030 (5.2 times the 2020 total) and 245 GWh of batteries each year to 2030 (26 times the 2020 total), beneath others. Furthermore, coal-fired power generation has to be reduced by 72 percent from 2019 levels by 2030, and retire up to 1,417 GW of coal-fired power capacity by 2030.

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