IEA raises green energy outlook

Phillip Cunningham
October 5, 2017

That's according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which also notes that " renewables accounted for nearly two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world" previous year.

For the first time ever, there were more grid additions from solar power than another other type of fuel, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.

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.

The upward revision in the IEA's growth forecast for renewable energy was largely attributable to new solar capacity being added in China and India.

The US is the second largest market for renewables, but there is uncertainty in the future over federal tax reforms, global trade and energy policy, the report said.

"What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV".

The report said the next chapter in the rise of renewables required more work to integrate new technologies into energy systems and increase their application in buildings, industry and transport.

"This growth is enough to overtake renewable expansion in the European Union for the first time", the report said.

China represents half of global solar PV demand, while Chinese companies account for around 60% of total annual solar cell manufacturing capacity globally.

The influential Paris-based agency said its recent outlook for Canadian renewables was "less optimistic" than its 2016 projection due to "recent changes in auctions schemes in Ontario and Quebec".

"Three countries - China, India and the United States - will account for two-thirds of global renewable expansion by 2022", the IEA said. The growth in renewable generation will be twice as large as that of gas and coal combined, the IEA said.

It also warned that growth of renewable energy in the European Union was set to be some 40 percent lower, as the bloc awaits the adoption of the EU's revised Renewable Energy Directive, which is now being discussed in the European Parliament, and would cover the period 2021 to 2030. But even considering the explosive growth of solar and wind, coal will remain the largest source of electricity under the current scenario.

By 2022, India is expected to more than double its current renewable electricity capacity. By the end of 2016, China had increased its solar PV capacity by almost 800 times, with more than 77 gigawatts now installed.

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