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Will solar and wind rush in to replace fossil fuels?

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Big changes are afoot for the energy sector in the next 25 years. Coal and gas are headed out and solar and wind are rushing to take their place on a multi-trillion dollar investment bonanza, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance that scopes out the power generating landscape through 2040.

The main reason for the big shift in power generation isn’t likely to be because of a grand climate agreementnational polices or carbon pricing scheme, though. Instead, it comes down to cold, hard cash with renewables offering more power-generating bang for the buck than fossil fuels. Here are the three big numbers.

  1. The world will invest $12.2 trillionin new power generation
    Since 2004, renewable energy investments have risen from $43 billion to $270 billion annually. In 2014, most of that money went to China, a pattern that’s expected to continue through 2040.

The world will spend a combined $12.2 trillion on new power-generating capacity over the next 25 years. The majority of that—two-thirds to be exact—will go to renewables like wind and solar thanks to falling costs. An estimated $3.7 trillion alone will go into both rooftop and utility-scale solar making it the biggest growing facet of the power-generating system globally.


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