BNEF has a look at how their predictions for 2016 panned out, giving themselves a mark of 70% - LIEBREICH: A YEAR OF HECTIC CHANGE AND OFF-TARGET PREDICTIONS.
As for our serenely sunny prediction for the clean energy sector itself, we were, on average right, with some sectors doing worse and some better than expected. It is worth highlighting three areas in which events surprised us.
First, when our advanced transport team forecast early in the year that EVs would ride a remorseless descent in battery prices to claim 35 percent of new car sales globally by 2040 (with the possibility of 50 percent on one scenario), the immediate reaction from the outside world was mainly disbelief. Yet within months, as one major motor manufacturer after another made decisive commitments to EVs, opinion swung round to agree with us, and most other major forecasters fell into line. By the end of the year, the most frequent comment we get when we present is: “Surely by 2040 more than half of new cars will be electric.” We will be updating our forecasts for the electric vehicle market early in 2017 – watch this space.
The second surprise was a series of astonishingly low tariffs for solar projects in developing countries, starting in January with $64 per megawatt-hour in Rajasthan, India, then riding a downward escalator via Peru, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco to a new record of just $29.10 per megawatt hour in Chile. With the world record for unsubsidised power from solar is now below $30 per megawatt hour, and that for wind not far behind, you can forget competitiveness, renewables are robustly entering the era of undercutting. If you need to build new generating capacity, and you can deal with the attendant variability at an affordable cost, renewable energy will beat any other technology in most of the world without subsidies.