Additions of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy, converted directly from the sun surpassed the net growth in coal and grew at a faster pace than any other fuel for the first time ever, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated on Wednesday. “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,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said in a statement.
The agency added that the new PV capacity increased by 50% in 2016, marking the birth of a new era in solar energy. “We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology through 2022,” Birol stated.
According to the report, renewables made for almost two-thirds of new net power capacity in 2016, while the IEA predicted that the sector will grow by 43% by 2022, with China, India and the US accounting for two-thirds of worldwide renewable expansion by 2022. Regarding power generation, renewable electricity is expected to grow by over a third and reach more than 8,000 terawatt hours by 2022, which equals the power consumption of China, India and Germany combined.