Solar Power May Soon Be the Biggest Source of Renewable Energy

Solar Power
Source: Tech Xplore

As per International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy comprised two-thirds of power added to world’s grids in 2016. Among all the sources of renewable energy, solar power is most promising. Solar power was also last year’s fastest-growing source of new energy worldwide. New solar capacity even overtook coal’s net growth. Price drops and government policy changes set the stage for the installation of nearly half the solar panels. This shift was most prominent in China.

Rapid Growth in Solar Power

IEA predicts that solar power will see incredible growth in next five years. It further estimates that the world’s capacity for solar power might exceed the total power capacity of India and Japan. Executive Director of IEA, Dr. Fatih Birol, stated that the world is witnessing the dawn of a new era as far as solar photovoltaics [PV] is concerned. Solar PV capacity growth will likely be much higher than the other renewable technologies until 2022, Birol adds.

China is the dominant player when it comes to renewables expansion. Even after President Trump’s plan to commit to revive coal-based power, the US is still a rapidly growing market for renewables. Per IEA, as a result, the solar and wind subsidies will be limited. But this prediction could change if the US International Trade Commission decides to impose tariffs on Chinese solar panels.

The predicted demand for solar power in the UK is still uncertain. From 2017 until 2022, offshore wind farms will account for the growth in green energy. The predicted amount by 2022 is still much smaller than the initially installed capacity.

In the next five years, India expects to see an increase in solar power. The country can expect its renewable energy capacity to double by 2022. This growth will overtake the entire EU.

The IEA also reports that renewables may be cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives in its five-year prediction. Renewable power will also double the combined capacity of gas and coal. While renewables share in electricity generation will increase to 30% in 2022, coal will continue to be the main power source.