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A worker mounts a solar panel module during construction of a Silicon Ranch Corp. solar generating facility in Milligan, Tennessee, U.S., (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) published its annual long-term analysis of the future of the global electricity system – New Energy Outlook (NEO) 2018.

The new analysis suggests that coal will shrink to “just 11 percent of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38 percent now, as comparative costs shift heavily in favor of wind, solar and batteries”.

Wind and solar are set to surge to 50 percent of world generation by 2050, the report finds.

Seb Henbest, the lead author of the outlook, said: “The arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

NEO sees $11.5 trillion being invested globally in new power generation capacity between 2018 and 2050, with $8.4 trillion of that going to wind and solar and a further $1.5 trillion to other zero-carbon technologies such as hydro and nuclear.

This investment will produce a 17-fold increase in solar photovoltaic capacity worldwide and a sixfold increase in wind power capacity.

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