Governments and companies around the world have committed to adding some 826 gigawatts of new non-hydro renewable power capacity in the decade to 2030, at a likely cost of around $1 trillion. Those commitments fall far short of what would be needed to limit world temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius. They also look modest compared to the $2.7 trillion invested during the 2010-2019 decade, as recorded by this Global Trends report.
The Covid-19 crisis has slowed down deal-making in renewables in recent months, along with that in other sectors, and this will affect investment levels in 2020. However, governments now have the chance to tailor their economic recovery programs to accelerate the phase-out of polluting processes and the adoption of cost-competitive sustainable technologies.
The stakes are high. If this chance is missed, it may be even more difficult to find the funding to decarbonize the energy system in a postCovid-19 global economy characterized by elevated government debt and squeezed private sector finances.