The International Energy Agency’s latest report signals a wide scale and rapid expansion for the renewable energy sector.
A report from the International Energy Agency - IEA - has noted the globe’s current renewable energy supplies are growing faster than forecasted, and are estimated to grow by as much as 50% within the next five years.
That reported rise in the roll-out of renewables is being buoyed by a ‘resurgence’ in solar energy, according to The Guardian’s Jillian Ambrose. According to Ambrose, the latest report “predicts that by 2024 a new dawn for cheap solar power could see the world’s solar capacity grow by 600-gigawatts, almost double the installed total electricity capacity of Japan. Overall, renewable electricity is expected to grow by 1,200-gigawatts in the next five years, the equivalent of the total electricity capacity of the US.”
Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol said that “this is a pivotal time for renewable energy,” in a statement. “Technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV) 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.”
According to the IEA, renewables account for 26% of the world’s electricity production today, however this is set to increase to 30% by 2024. This rise in the uptake of solar will be matched by dropping prices in the costs of solar energy production- anywhere between 15-35% by 2024.
The IEA’s report also outlines that while the rise has been driven by rising climate ambitions in Europe as well as the US, China is expected to lead the charge toward renewables with large wind and solar energy projects entering the production pipeline. In the West, however, the number of home installations is set to double by 2024, with the strongest per-capita growth lead by Australia, Belgium, California, the Netherlands and Austria.
“Renewables are already the world’s second-largest source of electricity,” The IEA’s Fatih Birol continued to explain, “but their deployment still needs to accelerate if we are to achieve long-term climate, air quality and energy access goals,” warning that the “breathtaking” rollout of solar projects could indeed disrupt existing energy chains if regulators and industry fail to adapt.