Renewable energy is set to expand by 50% within five years, according to a report by the International Energy Agency. The respected organisation also says solar power will drive the growth faster than previously forecasted.
The report states that renewable energy projects are rolling out around the world at their fastest rate in four years. The projects mostly involve solar, wind and hydro-power.
Solar and Wind ‘At the Heart’ of Energy Transformations
The International Energy Agency (IEA) predict that decreasing prices mean the world’s solar capacity will grow by 600GW by 2024. That will be almost double the amount of the total electricity capacity of Japan. The IEA also predicts that renewable electricity in general will grow by 1,200GW within five years. That is the equivalent of the total electricity capacity of the United States.
The IEA’s Executive Director, Fatih Birol, said: “This is a pivotal time for renewable energy. Technologies such as solar photovoltaics and wind are at the heart of transformations taking place across the global energy system. Their increasing deployment is crucial for efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution and expand energy access.”
Although he warned that the rapid rollout could disrupt electricity markets unless regulators and utilities adapt quickly, Mr Birol added: “Renewables are already the world’s second largest source of electricity, but their deployment still needs to accelerate if we are to achieve long-term climate, air quality and energy access goals.”
Solar Panel Distribution ‘Set to Take Off’
The report states that distribution of solar panels in homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities is ‘set to take off’. The IEA says that a rapid rise in the ability of consumers to generate their own electricity presents new opportunities. There will also be new challenges for electricity providers and policy makers all around the world.
The report states: “Distributed PV [photovoltaic] total capacity more than doubles, surpassing 500 GW in the main forecast (and 600 GW in the accelerated case), almost half of total solar PV growth and a similar expansion to onshore wind.”
China Becoming World Leader in Solar Technology Integration
The International Energy Agency also reveal that China is forecasted to account for almost half of global distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) growth. They will overtake the European Union (EU) to become the world leader in installed capacity as early as 2021. Other major Asian markets for solar technology include Japan, South Korea and India.
Distributed PV expansion will still increase significantly in the EU during 2019. The technology is becoming more economically attractive, plus various governmental environment policies are also helping.
The expansion of distributed solar PV in North America is also set to double, thanks mainly to the United States. The growth there will be twice as fast between 2019 and 2024 than it was for the previous five years.
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