14 february 2021

[4C Note: We received the following message as an email from Stephan Singer, Senior Advisor for Global Energy Strategy at the Climate Action Network.]

Dear all,

As we are moving to our global annual CAN strategy meeting soon, it might be useful to share a recent November and sober analysis and projection (not prediction!) by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Note that BNEF experts are since 15 years in the business, and usually very vocal on promoting, supporting clean renewables.

The annual study/outlook (links below) assesses what might happen in the markets – and purposely omits any policy or legislation that is not yet in place. And since ‘energy’ is responsible for about three third of all GHG emissions worldwide, we need to always keep in mind, nothing is done for 1.5°C unless the energy sector is done…..

New Energy Outlook 2020 | BloombergNEF (
928908_NEO2020-Executive-Summary.pdf (

Key points from BNEF projections until 2050 and unless significant policies and legislation in energy sector occur:

• While RES will certainly grow in next decades, we are on track for a 3.3°C global warming over pre-industrial temperatures by 2100
• While CO2 energy emissions have likely peaked in 2019 and will be down by 8%-9% in 2020, they might be keeping on growing in this decade and then stabilize/slowly reduce to about 16% below 2019 by 2050.
• Fossil fuel final energy use and primary energy use will shrink to 61% and 70%, respectively, of all energy by 2050
• Electrification is rising and so is storage with batteries and (renewable) hydrogen, but not strong enough, oil and gas will maintain a stronghold in all markets
• Final energy use and Primary Energy use will grow by 24% and 9% respectively
• Clean renewables (here solar, wind, geothermal) will grow from presently 4% of all energy use to 14%.
• Solar and wind are projected to cover more than 50% of all electricity by 2050, but note that electricity is only one fifth of all energy use.
• Larger growth is expected with “zero carbon” sources like nuclear, bioenergy and CCS
• Total coal use and not limited to power sector will decline by about 25%
• Final energy demand for aviation will almost double and for rail transport grow (only) by one third.
• Fossil gas is only fossil fuel that is projected to grow continuously in next decades by about half a percent annually.
• Whereas recycling and reuse of crucial materials expands significantly – from plastics to steel, lithium to aluminum – the demand for raw materials is still rising continuously
• Renewable hydrogen will play a significant role in next decades – and even stronger with countries moving to deep decarbonisation in line with Paris objectives of up to one quarter of all energy use.
• Global investments into clean technologies (renewables, infrastructure, efficiency, nuclear, CCS [not my take] ) will grow continuously in next years but need to probably increase by up to 4-fold annually in next decades to meet the Paris objectives.
• In particular, and in any case investments into electricity transmission grids, both revamping and retrofitting old lines and developing new ones, and high voltage as well as low voltage lines are necessary to keep variable RES (solar and wind) reliable, affordable, and effective power options particularly if governments striVe to grow electrification.


>>> Back to list