World Renewable Energy Subsidies projected to grow from $110B in 2013 to $230B in 2030.
Its interesting how the same information can be seen with very different perspectives. This article takes a positive spin, but growing from $110B to $230B in 15 years only represents a 5% annual growth rate. It is also very rare for articles to use the word subsidy. The word that is usually used is Policy.
From the graph below, 2013 clean energy investment was $254B, of which PV accounted for about $110B. Subsidies were 110/254 or 43%. At 43% coverage, $230B of subsidies in 2030 will cover about $535B of clean energy investment. This 43% seems reasonable, as reducing costs for wind and solar generation will be offset by growing subsidies for energy storage and offshore wind costs.
Numbers are numbing. These numbers seem large, but will only build a small amount of clean energy supply relative to what is needed to replace fossil fuels.
Given the general stabilization in investment since 2009 and the strong dependence on the amount of subsidy, to predict high growth means predicting higher levels of subsidy. US subsidies will almost certainly decline in 2016. Europe's recession, Japan's recession, and China's slowdown don’t bode well for increased subsidies. The projected 5% annual growth in subsidy and by inference in clean energy investment seems realistic when taken in perspective.
This is not a path to reducing fossil fuel consumption.