China Is Showing the World What Renewable Energy Dominance Looks Like

Dust solar panel

The amount of new solar photovoltaics (PV) outstripped the net increase in coal power in 2016, the latest renewables market analysis and forecast report from the agency said.

The projected growth is 12 per cent more bullish than the IEA's forecast a year ago.

The International Energy Agency has highlighted the claimed 50% growth in solar PV installations in 2016, which reached over 74GW, is part of a new trend that showed renewable energy sources with nearly two-thirds of net new power capacity that approached 165GW coming online.

Solar PV capacity grew by 50 per cent to reach more than 74 GW a year ago and it was the first time solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel, surpassing the net growth in coal.

The IEA said renewables will continue to show strong growth over the coming years with electricity capacity set to increase by more than almost 1,000 gigawatts (GW), or 43 per cent, by 2022.

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

The IAE predicted that China, India and America would account for two-thirds of global renewable expansion by 2022 and that renewables would account for 30 percent of global power generation, up from 24 percent in 2016.

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Despite President Donald Trump's vow to bolster coal's position in the power market, the U.S.is expected to be the second-largest market for renewables. "What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV", said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

For road transport, IEA projects that renewable-powered vehicles will increase marginally in the next five years to make up 5 percent of transport from the current 4 percent.

In line with its recent determination to end up a victor in the renewable energy market, China led the way on building solar capacity.

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.

"China's renewables growth is largely driven by concerns about air pollution", the Paris-based institution admitted. As a whole, renewables represented almost two-thirds of new electricity capacity additions previous year, far outshining coal and natural gas growth.

The agency said power generation is set to rise by more than a third to 8,169 terawatt-hours (TWh), which is equal to the total power consumption of China, India and Germany combined.

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