Solar is Now the World's Fastest Growing Method of Energy Production

By Tom Pritchard on at

Here's some good news. According to the International Energy Agency last year saw solar overtake all other forms of energy production to become the fastest-growing source of energy in the world. That's 50 per cent growth, if you're interested in figures.

The new growth is being attributed to lower prices, and governments moving away from traditional, non-renewable energy production. China is of particular importance, since it was responsible for more than half of the new solar panels introduced across the globe.

The IEA has admitted that it had previous underestimated the rate at which green energy production was growing, and that a lot of countries are expected to experience a solar boom over the next few years. In fact, experts predict that this rapid capacity growth could continue until 2022. It notes that India's solar capacity is set to double by 2022, and push its own solar output ahead of the EU.

The IEA also notes that two thirds of new global net power came from renewable energy sources, and by 2022 total renewable energy capacity should have grown by a whopping 43 per cent. That's half the current capacity of coal power, and while it might not be taking over just yet you do have to consider the fact that coal generates around 41 per cent of the world's energy - and that took 80 years to build up. So there's a lot of renewable juice coming in quite a short period of time.

The IEA remains optimistic, but Engadget has noted that there are potential troubles on the horizon. Donald Trump has pledged to revive the USA's dwindling coal industry, which risks the country losing its position as the second fastest-growing renewables market. Even more concerning would be if this led to trade regulators imposing tariffs on Chinese solar panels going into the country.

Still things are looking up. Hopefully by 2022 more people will also be able to afford solar panels on their roofs, and a big-ass home battery to go with it. [IEA via Engadget]

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