A bright future for renewables to 2022, solar PV entering a new era

A bright future for renewables to 2022, solar PV entering a new era

Boosted by a strong solar PV market, renewables accounted for almost two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world in 2016, with almost 165 gigawatts (GW) coming online. This was another record year, largely as a result of booming solar PV deployment in China and around the world, driven by sharp cost reductions and policy support.

Last year, new solar PV capacity around the world grew by 50%, reaching over 74 GW, with China accounting for almost half of this expansion. For the first time, solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel, surpassing the net growth in coal.

This deployment was accompanied by the announcement of record-low auction prices as low as 3 cents per kilowatt hour. Low announced prices for solar and wind were recorded in a variety of places, including India, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Chile.

These announced contract prices for solar PV and wind power purchase agreements are increasingly comparable or lower than generation cost of newly built gas and coal power plants.

This record performance in 2016 forms the bedrock of the IEA’s electricity forecast, which sees continued strong growth through 2022, with renewable electricity capacity forecast to expand by over 920 GW, an increase of 43%. This year’s renewable forecast is 12% higher than last year, thanks mostly to solar PV upward revisions in China and India.

Solar PV is entering a new era. For the next five years, solar PV represents the largest annual capacity additions for renewables, well above wind and hydro. This marks a turning point and underpins our more optimistic solar PV forecast which is revised up by over one-third compared to last year’s report. This revision is driven by continuous technology cost reductions and unprecedented market dynamics in China as a consequence of policy changes.

Stime della crescita di energia da rinnovabili  al 2022. Fonte Agenzia internazionale dell’energia (Iea)

(Source: Iea)

Under an accelerated case – where government policy lifts barriers to growth – IEA analysis finds that renewable capacity growth could be boosted by another 30%, totalling an extra 1,150 GW by 2022 led by China.

Solar PV and wind capacity in China could by then reach twice the total power capacity of Japan today.

China is the undisputed renewable growth leader

China alone is responsible for over 40% of global renewable capacity growth, which is largely driven by concerns about air pollution and capacity targets that were outlined in the country’s 13th five-year plan to 2020. In fact, China already surpassed its 2020 solar PV target, and the IEA expects it to exceed its wind target in 2019. China is also the world market leader in hydropower, bioenergy for electricity and heat, and electric vehicles.

Source: International Energy Agency (Iea)

Date: October 2017

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energy policyrenewablessolar power

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