Frost & Sullivan is predicting that the global installed capacity of renewable energy will more than double from 1,566 gigawatts (GW) in 2012 to 3,203 GW in 2025 at an average annual growth rate of 5.7 percent.
This growth will be driven primarily by developments in renewable energy policy.
As Frost & Sullivan explains, prior to the past decade, less than 50 countries had support policies for renewable energy, but that has increased to more than 130. As a result of political and financial support, investments in renewables have risen dramatically recently. In fact, the European Union has set binding targets to source 20 percent of the bloc’s total energy consumption from renewable energy by 2020, and individual member states have set renewable energy consumption targets ranging from 10 percent for Malta to 49 percent for Sweden.
Frost & Sullivan expects solar photovoltaic (PV) technology to account for 33.4 percent of total renewable energy capacity additions over the 2012-2025 period, followed closely by wind at 32.7 percent, ahead of hydro power at 25.3 percent.
“It is little wonder then that renewable energy installations have seen a gradual shift in market power to emerging economies,” said Harald Thaler, energy and environmental industry director for Frost & Sullivan. “On account of urbanization, population growth, energy security concerns, and strong economic development, regions such as Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa have increasingly been contributing to renewable energy capacity growth.”
The decline in the cost of renewable energy due to technological innovation and scale economies achieved through mass deployment has enabled developing countries to adopt these technologies. In fact, Frost & Sullivan reports that global solar power capacity will increase from 93.7 GW in 2012 to 668.4 GW in 2025.
The global capacity of hydro power will rise from 1,085 GW in 2012 to 1,498 GW in 2025, with China, Turkey, Brazil, Vietnam, India and Russia contributing strongly to market growth, according to Frost & Sullivan, while offshore wind will witness lower-than-expected growth, as political support wanes in Europe.
“Europe will remain the leading region in the global bioenergy and waste segment even as future capacity expansion in the segment comes from Southeast Asia, Australasia, North America, Turkey, Iceland and Kenya,” said Thaler. “Beyond 2025, marine power technology will also be widely deployed as government willingness to back emerging technologies increases.”