Solar energy market 'set for spectacular growth over next five years'

James Marshall
October 22, 2019

This is the equivalent of the total installed power capacity of the U.S now.

Coal used to be the leading fuel source for America's power companies. The IEA claim that China is forecast to account for nearly half of global distributed PV growth. The agency predicted coal will generate about 34% of the planet's electricity in that year, down from almost 40% in 2018.

The share of renewables in global electricity generation has now reached 25 percent with industry growth expected to rebound by 12 percent this year after a lackluster 2018. That pace is being driven by solar power, which is being rapidly embraced in the European Union, India and Vietnam. Growth in the onshore wind sector is also cited as a contributing factor. The Paris-based organization, founded in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, has always been accused of "deliberately" undermining a global transition to renewable energy because of its ties to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries. Wind power is at the heart of the green energy revolution in Texas in particular.

Offshore wind, while tiny compared to other energy sources, is also enjoying explosive growth.

The IEA's Renewables 2019 market report said the growth is driven by cost reductions and concerted government policy efforts.

Renewables are already the world's second largest source of electricity. The project, Hornsea One, will produce enough energy to supply 1 million United Kingdom homes with clean power when it's finished in 2020.

Renewable energy's total share of power generation, meanwhile, is expected to rise to 30 percent in 2024 - a 4 percent rise over today's 26 percent share. "The IEA forecasts that these costs will decline by a further 15% to 35% by 2024, making the technology more attractive and spurring adoption worldwide". This is due to economies of scale and bigger savings on electricity costs.

The cost of generating electricity from distributed solar PV (PV systems on homes, commercial buildings and industry) is already below retail electricity prices in most countries. Furthermore, solar PV is set to be the chief contributor to that increase, responsible for around 60% of the rise. "It has been a historic month for renewable energy in the Commonwealth, with this landmark contract, we are continuing to lead by example in cutting emissions, investing in clean energy, and ensuring a healthy world for future generations". The renewed expansion remains well below what is needed to meet global sustainable energy targets, however, the IEA said.

They are policy and regulatory uncertainties, high investment risks and the system integrations of wind and solar power.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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