Int'l Energy Agency Sees New Era in Solar Power

  • Int'l Energy Agency Sees New Era in Solar Power

Int'l Energy Agency Sees New Era in Solar Power

Global renewable power capacity is forecast to increase by 43% in the next five years.

By 2022, renewable energy is forecast to account for 30% of power generation - up from 24% past year, with the growth twice as large as that of gas and coal combined.

The IEA expects China, the US and India to continue dominating the renewables landscape, and forecasts that two-thirds of all new renewable capacity through 2022 will be installed in these three nations.

Along with new policies that spur competition in several other countries, this Chinese dynamic has led to record-low announced prices of solar PV and onshore wind, which are now comparable or even lower than new-built fossil fuel alternatives.

When it comes to power generation, IEA said renewable electricity was seen growing by over a third by 2022, hitting more than 8,000 terawatt/hour. The forecast is 12% higher than past year, mainly as a result of upward revisions for solar additions in China and India.

The United States represents over one-fifth of global electricity consumption in cars, but the estimated consumption of renewable electricity is expected to be smaller than in China and Europe as a result of the lower share of renewables in the electricity mix.

Despite slower capacity growth, hydropower will remain the largest source of renewable electricity generation in the IEA forecast, followed by wind, solar PV and bioenergy.

By then, renewables will account for 30 per cent of power generation, up from 24 per cent in 2016.

"India gets lowest wind tariff of Rs 2.64 per kWh (unit) in the second wind auction of 1,000 MW", the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said in a statement on Thursday.

It also warned that growth of renewable energy in the European Union was set to be some 40 percent lower, as the bloc awaits the adoption of the EU's revised Renewable Energy Directive, which is now being discussed in the European Parliament, and would cover the period 2021 to 2030.

China will be responsible for the largest amount of global renewable capacity growth, driven by strong Government targets, economic incentives and air pollution concerns.

Paolo Frankl, the IEA's head of renewable energy, warned that despite the tumbling costs of solar and wind power, there remains a risk that record-low prices could prove off-putting for developers, and thus the IEA continues to err on the side of caution. Total solar PV capacity by then would exceed the combined total power capacities of India and Japan today, the IEA said.

The Paris-based IEA said yesterday that China accounted for nearly half of the global expansion of solar power.