INTERNATIONAL – The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday that renewables will collectively increase to 49 percent of global electricity generation by 2050.
Based on its International Energy Outlook 2019, released recently, EIA projected that of the top three renewable sources, solar's share of generation will grow the fastest and hydroelectric's share will grow the slowest.
EIA projected that China is the country that will see the most growth in solar generation because of its growing demand for electricity, favorable government policies, and competitive technology costs.
Wind power is still a relatively new technology, and the declining capital costs it experiences as a result of learning-by-doing effects are not as steep as solar technologies.
Wind technology adoption has significant growth potential, however, because many wind resource areas around the world are not yet developed.
Similar to solar power, EIA forecast that near-term renewable policies in India and OECD Europe will lead to wind generation growth in those areas. In China, wind is among the many sources meeting the country's increasing demand for electricity.
Hydroelectricity was the predominant global renewable electricity generation source in 2018, but EIA expected relatively little growth in hydroelectric generation through 2050.
In 2018, 28 percent of global electricity was generated from renewable energy sources, most, or 96 percent, of which was produced from hydropower, wind and solar technologies.