President Donald Trump, who fancies himself a champion of the coal industry, may want to start thinking about changing his tune.
A new report from Bloomberg, released Thursday, says the renewable energy sector is gaining ground at a far quicker pace than previously predicted.
The report, an annual economic outlook by Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance research group, predicts that by 2040, the United States’ coal-power capacity will be about half of what it is now.
The slack will be picked up by green energies like wind and solar, whose production costs are rapidly falling.
“This year’s report suggests that the greening of the world’s electricity system is unstoppable,” writes Seb Henbest, lead author of the report, “thanks to rapidly falling costs for solar and wind power, and a growing role for batteries, including those in electric vehicles, in balancing supply and demand.”
The outlook predicts that over the next two decades, $10.2 trillion will be spent globally on new electricity plants. Of that total, Bloomberg’s research group says 72 percent will be invested in renewable energies.
The report predicts that even countries like India and China, which are rapidly installing coal plants, will find by the early 2020s that renewable energies are the cheaper, more efficient route.
“These tipping points are all happening earlier and we just can’t deny that this technology is getting cheaper than we previously thought,” says Henbest.
The report also says the natural gas sector, set to receive $804 billion in investment over the next two decades, will play a major role in bridging the gap between fossil fuels and renewable:
“Gas plants will increasingly act as one of the flexible technologies needed to help meet peaks and provide system stability in an age of rising renewable generation.”
Additionally, researchers found, technological advancement in the area of electric cars — and the energy-storage battery systems that propel them — will also contribute to the slow demise of fossil fuels over the coming decades.