Solar PV will lead renewables electricity generation by 2050, finds DNV GL

The use of renewables will increasingly dominate global electricity production over the next decades, and solar photovoltaic (PV) will help meet almost half of the demand, delivering 40% of electricity generation. This is one of the main conclusions of DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook (ETO) 2018: Power Supply and Use report, which provides an outlook of the global energy landscape up to 2050.

The report forecasts that as solar and other renewables are increasingly integrated into the grid there will be a crucial need for utilities to incorporate more flexibility and new technologies, including greater energy storage capacity, to mitigate the potential effects of intermittent power supply. Regulators and policy makers will also need to respond to the evolving electricity market dynamic by creating new market mechanisms that support solar and wind generation.

“The rise of renewables presents opportunities and challenges for utilities and other stakeholders in the transition to cleaner sustainable energy options, including ‘behind the meter generation’ dominated by solar-plus-storage,” said Richard S. Barnes, DNV GL executive vice president energy North America.

Additionally, the focus of energy security will shift from obtaining affordable access of imported fossil fuels to ensuring the stable supply of power from local renewable sources. Due to a shift to renewables, where capital expenditure (capex) is primarily upfront, the current energy system’s 60/40 split between operational expenditures (opex) and capex will transition to one with the inverse split of 40/60. This indicates that the energy transition is affordable and can be undertaken without a major increase in overall energy expenditures.

The full Energy Transition Outlook ‘Power Supply and Use’ report is available for a free download at This publication is part of DNV GL’s suite of Energy Transition Outlook reports.

News item from DNV GL

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