GEM sees terawatt gap in global solar and wind power additions

According to estimates from San Francisco-based nonprofit energy market research organization Global Energy Monitor (GEM), utility scale solar power plants (20 megawatts or more) with a total capacity of 366 gigawatts (GW) and wind power plants with 729 GW are currently in operation worldwide – a total of just under 1.1 terawatts (TW). By 2030, the total capacity is expected to increase to 1.33 TW of solar and 1.91 TW of wind power plants. At a total of 3.24 TW, the installed capacity would then be »just large enough to offset current operating coal capacity.« The latter is 2.07 TW, but the amount of energy produced relative to installed capacity is far greater than solar and wind.
In order to achieve the targets for a carbon neutral energy supply (Net Zero Targets) calculated by the International Energy Agency (IEA), just under 5.12 TW of solar and 3.07 TW of wind would be required. So there is a gap of nearly five TW – 3.79 TW for solar and 1.18 TW for wind. If the capacity installed in small, distributed photovoltaic plants increases at a similar rate as utility scale solar, GEM estimates that there would still be a deficit of more than one terawatt here.
© PHOTON

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