New era of solar power

According to renewables market analysis and estimations of the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity rose by 50 percent in 2016. IEA released its finding in a report on October 4, 2017.

Installations of solar PV grew at a higher rate than any other fuel and exceeded the overall growth in coal. This was the first time solar PV capacity has outgrown all other fuels.

“We see renewables growing by about 1,000 GW (gigawatts) by 2022, which equals about half of the current global capacity in coal power, which took 80 years to build,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said in a statement within the report.

He added that the current generation is experiencing the birth of new era in solar PV.

Moreover, the growth of solar PV capacity will be more than other renewable technologies by 2022. The report indicated another record for growth in renewable energy.

Renewables contributed to approximately 66 percent of total power capacity in 2016. According to IEA’s estimation, renewable electricity capacity is expected to register growth of 43 percent by 2022.

The solar power plant installations were higher than coal, wind, gas, and nuclear. However, half of those installations were made in China. IEA estimated that countries such as India, U.S., and China will contribute to two-third of total renewable expansion by 2022.

Birol stated the era of expensive renewables is over and the cost of solar energy will reduce. He added renewables alone cannot fulfill the need of electricity around the clock. A good blend of renewable and traditional energy sources is needed.