Solar power globally rising; is the fastest growing power source for 2016

Dust solar panel

"We see renewables growing by about 1,000 GW by 2022, which equals about half of the current global capacity in coal power, which took 80 years to build", said Dr Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA.

China remains the "undisputed leader of renewable electricity capacity expansion", Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday.

A previous report from the IEA estimated the cost of utility-scale solar power projects has declined by about 60 percent since 2011 and could drop another 25 percent by 2021.

"We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology through 2022", it noted. Solar energy has already become the world's cheapest energy source, and new low prices were announced worldwide, including in India, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and Chile. If corporate rates fall - the USA has the highest corporate tax rates in the world - investors will have less need for write-offs, and that could undermine a key source of financing for clean energy. Renewables made up almost two-thirds of new net power capacity around the world in 2016, with 165 GW of capacity coming online.

Last year, new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity around the world grew by 50 per cent, reaching over 74 gigawatts (GW), with China accounting for nearly half of this expansion. Meanwhile, renewable energy grew to 14% of the total United States electricity sales in 2016, with wind and solar accounting for 8% and hydropower and geothermal account for 6%. By 2022, installed renewable electricity will reach more than 8,000 terawatt hours, the IEA said - the equivalent of the power consumption of China, India and Germany combined.

USA physicists win Nobel Prize for discovery of gravitational waves
Gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein a century ago as part of his theory of general relativity. Weiss, Barish and Thorne will share in the Nobel prize of 9 million Swedish Krona (£834,264/$1.1 million).

Modest growth is expected in the European Union given that the policy landscape after 2020 is not expected to encourage industry investment. Solar and wind power in India combine for about 90 percent of new capacity growth.

In fact, the IEA has admitted it had underestimated how fast green energy was growing, noting that many countries are set for a solar boom in the coming years.

These firms quoted the price at which they will sell electricity to win contracts under the tender that received demand for three times the grid-linked capacity being sold.

IEA is more bullish for developing Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The IEA predicts that in the next five years, growth in renewable generation will be twice as large as that of gas and coal combined.

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