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New IEA report reveals solar PV capacity grew by 50% in 2016

06 October 2017

Solar capacity grew by 50 per cent to reach more than 74 GW previous year and it was the first time solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel, surpassing the net growth in coal.

A new report expects growth in Canadian renewable energy capacity to slow in the next five years compared to earlier projections, a decrease that comes after Ontario scrapped a contentious clean energy program aimed at boosting wind and solar supplies. "Overall, weaker electricity demand, overcapacity and limited visibility on forthcoming auction capacity volumes in some markets remain challenges to renewable growth. Photovoltaic cells and wind capacity in China could by then reach twice the total power capacity of Japan today", the IEA said.

For the first time since 1960, the average USA household spent less than 4 percent of its income on all energy in 2016-including gasoline and electricity spending-despite the much larger number of electronic gadgets and appliances we now use.

"Every year, there is a record in renewables". "For the next five years, solar PV represents the largest annual capacity additions for renewables, well above wind and hydro". Meanwhile, renewable energy grew to 14% of the total U.S. electricity sales in 2016, with wind and solar accounting for 8% and hydropower and geothermal account for 6%.

The research undertaken by the International Energy Agency (IEA) showed that solar was leading the way, growing by 50% and passing the 74GW mark.

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Additions of solar PV grew faster than any other fuel and surpassed the net growth in coal, IEA added.

The report also provides detailed analysis on the renewable consumption of electric cars and off-grid solar deployment in Africa and developing Asia. They predict that by 2022, the capacity of renewable electricity should increase by 43 percent.

According to the new report, IEA's renewables growth forecast is 12% higher than projection made in the 2016 report, driven by the realisation of PV installation growth in China and India as well as the US. However, coal will continue to be the largest source of electricity generation in 2022, with renewables closing the generation gap with coal by half in just five years, according to IEA.

The price of Rs 2.64 per unit is lower than the average rate of power generated by coal-fuelled projects of NTPC Ltd, which stands at Rs 3.20 per unit.

Looking ahead, the IEA said that China, India and the US would account for two-thirds of worldwide renewable expansion by 2022.

New IEA report reveals solar PV capacity grew by 50% in 2016