The International Energy Agency (IEA, Paris, France) on October 25th, 2016 announced that it was significantly increasing its five-year growth forecast for renewables thanks to strong policy support in key countries and sharp cost reductions.
The latest edition of the IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Market Report now sees renewables growing 13% more between 2015 and 2021 than it did in last year’s forecast, due mostly to stronger policy backing in the United States, China, India and Mexico.
Renewables have surpassed coal last year to become the largest source of installed power capacity in the world, IEA notes.
Solar PV costs are expected to drop by a quarter by 2021
Over the forecast period, costs are expected to drop by a quarter in solar photovoltaics (PV) and 15 percent for onshore wind.
Last year marked a turning point for renewables. Led by wind and solar, renewables represented more than half the new power capacity around the world, reaching a record 153 Gigawatt (GW), 15% more than the previous year. Most of these gains were driven by record-level wind additions of 66 GW and solar PV additions of 49 GW.
About half a million solar panels were installed every day around the world last year. In China, which accounted for about half the wind additions and 40% of all renewable capacity increases, two wind turbines were installed every hour in 2015.
“We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by renewables and, as is the case with other fields, the center of gravity for renewable growth is moving to emerging markets,” comments Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.
Generation from renewables is expected to exceed 7,600 TWh by 2021
Over the next five years, renewables will remain the fastest-growing source of electricity generation, with their share growing to 28% in 2021 from 23% in 2015.
Renewables are expected to cover more than 60% of the increase in world electricity generation over the medium term, rapidly closing the gap with coal.
Generation from renewables is expected to exceed 7,600 TWh by 2021 – equivalent to the total electricity generation of the United States and the European Union put together today.
The IEA report identifies a number of policy and market frameworks that would boost renewable capacity growth by almost 30% in the next five years, leading to an annual market of around 200 GW by 2020. This accelerated growth would put the world on a firmer path to meeting long-term climate goals.
Download “Medium-Term Renewable Market Report” here [via IEA Bookshop]
Infographic here [free of charge]
Source: IEA | solarserver