Solar power is the fastest growing source of global energy


The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) has today published a new report that states solar PV was the world's fastest-growing energy source in 2016.

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.

By 2022 the share of renewables in power generation is expected to increase to 30% from 24% in 2016. "In 2016, renewable generation was 34% less than coal but by 2022 this gap will be halved to just 17%", IEA said.

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The price of Rs 2.64 per unit is lower than the average rate of power generated by coal-fuelled projects of NTPC Ltd, which stands at Rs 3.20 per unit.

While Ontario's decision to scrap the LRP program is a minor setback in the near-term, analysts say that tightening environmental policy in Canada and elsewhere will regardless continue to drive rapid growth in renewable energy supplies like wind and solar.

The IEA, however, expects the growth in hydro power capacity to "slow significantly" beyond 2022, after a raft of new hydro projects come online.

The stunning growth trajectories reflected in the IEA report show how quickly the transition to renewables can be underway when aggressive policies cut through the barriers to growth. While coal is expected to remain the largest source of electricity generation in 2022, its lead over renewables will be halved.

China's solar dominance is only going to keep growing, according to the IEA report.

China represents half of global solar PV demand, while Chinese companies account for around 60% of total annual solar cell manufacturing capacity globally.

Solar PV grew faster than any other fuel previous year, exceeding the net growth in coal.

In the United States, the IEA said the world's largest economy is No. 2 when it comes to growth in the renewable energy market because of federal tax incentives for wind and solar power.

The contrasting fortunes of the three largest solar markets - Japan being edged from the top table by India this year - highlight how the solar industry ebbs and flows.

"When you look at how clean energy development has exploded beyond official government projections from just 10 years ago, it offers hope that its potential will continue to far surpass expectations and we'll meet our USA climate goals", she said.