The development of the electricity supply sector is characterised by a dynamically growing renewable energy market. This will compensate for the phasing out of nuclear energy and reduce the number of fossil fuel-fired power plants required for grid stabilisation. By 2050, 86% of the electricity produced in OECD Europe will come from renewable energy sources. ‘New’ renewables – mainly wind, solar thermal energy and PV – will contribute 67%.
The installed capacity of renewable energy technologies will grow from the current 250 GW to 1,030 GW in 2050, increasing renewables capacity by a factor of four. Figure 6.44 shows the evolution of the different renewable technologies. Up to 2020, hydro-power and wind will remain the main contributors to the growing market share. After 2020, the continuing growth of wind will be complemented by electricity from biomass, photovoltaics and solar thermal (CSP) energy.
None of these numbers describe a maximum feasibility, but a possible balanced approach. With the right policy development, the solar industry believes that a much further uptake could happen. This is particularly true for concentrated solar power (CSP) which could unfold to 30GW already by 2020 and more than 120GW in 2050. The photovoltaic industry believes in a possible electricity generation capacity of 350GW by 2020 in Europe alone, assuming the necessary policy changes.