In its annual World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that renewables are expected to overtake coal as the primary means of producing electricity by 2025. The combined share of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind in the global generation will rise to almost 30 percent in 2030 from 8 percent in 2019, with solar PV capacity growing an average of 12 percent a year.
On top of that, solar is poised to set new records for deployment every year after 2022 based on “today’s policy settings.” Another reason solar is expected to grow so much is due to maturing technology and support mechanisms that have cut financing costs for major solar projects, making solar cheaper than new coal or gas-fired power plants in most countries. The IEA also concluded that power generation from renewables is the only major source of energy that continued to grow in 2020.
Although the IEA’s projections for the future are positive, the Paris-based agency said that gaps remain between long-term ambitions and specific near-term plans to curb emissions, which are expected to keep rising over the next decade. To limit emissions, more investment will be needed in all parts of the energy system so that more wind and solar power can be integrated.