IEA hails new era in solar PV

Jeannette Daniel
October 5, 2017

Historically, the IEA has significantly underestimated growth in renewables, notably solar PV and its newly renamed report "Renewables 2017" (formerly titled Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report) is an attempt to redress fundamental failings over the last decade of forecasts.

The IEA's renewable forecast this year is 12 per cent higher than last year, mostly due to solar PV upward revisions in China, which has accounted for nearly half of the global expansion, and India.

In 2016, net additions to renewable energy capacity - including hydropower, solar, wind, bioenergy, wave and tidal - set another world record, growing by 165 gigawatts (GW), 6 per cent more than in 2015, the report said. For the very first time, solar PV additions grew faster than any other resource, surpassing coal growth. Coal in particular had continued to grow in recent years despite global targets to reduce carbon emissions. India, on the other hand, "is expected to more than double its current renewable electricity capacity". Along with India and the U.S., the three will be responsible for two-thirds of renewables expansion by 2022.

China installed 34 GW of solar capacity in 2016, out of a global total of 74 GW.

It expects about 1,000 gigawatts of renewables will be installed in the next five years, a figure that coal took 80 years to achieve.

India's moves to address the financial health of its utilities and tackle grid-integration issues drive a more optimistic forecast, according to IEA.

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He added that police "had no intelligence" that warranted keeping the suspect under further investigation. The officer noticed the driver's name was " very similar " to that of the Malibu's registered owner.

"What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV [systems]", he said in a statement.

China, "the undisputed renewable growth leader", will account for 40% of global renewables growth over the period as it is expected to add more than 360 GW.

Solar PV and wind together represent 90 percent of India's capacity growth as auctions yielded some of the world's lowest prices for both technologies. By the end of 2016, China had increased its solar PV capacity by almost 800 times, with more than 77 gigawatts now installed.

Despite the United States now being the second largest solar energy creator, analysts hinted that USA federal policy could hamper growth in solar capacity.

IEA also said that in spite of rapidly rising sales of electric vehicles (EV), the share of renewables in road transport will likely rise only slightly to 4.5% in 2022 from over 4% in 2016. As a whole, renewables represented almost two-thirds of new electricity capacity additions past year, far outshining coal and natural gas growth.

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