03 Nov Solar To Become “King of Electricity”
The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated in its annual report “World Energy Outlook 2020”, published on the 13th October 2020, that solar output is expected to lead in renewable power supply in the next decade, as renewables are set to make up 80% of energy generation growth over the next decade, under current conditions (https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-outlook-2020).
IEA Executive Director, Mr. Fatih Birol, said that he sees “solar becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets” and that “based on today’s policy settings, it is on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022” (https://balkangreenenergynews.com/iea-solar-pv-to-become-king-of-power-supply-in-decade-ahead/).
In the annual report, it mentions that the combined share of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind in global generation will rise to almost 30% in 2030, from 8% in 2019. Solar PV appears set for massive expansion, with a projected average growth rate at 12% a year from 2020 to 2030, meeting almost a third of electricity demand growth over the coming decade (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/iea-crowns-renewables-new-king-of-world-electricity-markets-as-oil-demand-will-flatten-by-2030-11602731687).
The Paris-based agency further stated that solar photovoltaic cells are now one of the cheapest sources of electricity in history, due to maturing technologies and policies that have reduced the cost of investments (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/13/energy/iea-world-energy-outlook-2020/index.html).
Additionally, the report explores four pathways for the global energy demand recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and renewable energy sources are seen playing starring roles in all scenarios, with solar taking the center stage (https://balkangreenenergynews.com/iea-solar-pv-to-become-king-of-power-supply-in-decade-ahead/).
In its central scenario – the STEPS (Stated Policies Scenario), which reflects policy intentions and targets already announced – renewables are expected to overtake coal as the primary means of producing electricity by 2025 (https://www.reuters.com/article/iea-energy-renewables/solar-the-new-king-of-electricity-as-renewables-make-up-bigger-slice-of-supply-iea-idUSKBN26Y0EX).
The significance of this report is further elevated by the fact that the IEA in the past, has tended to downplay the role of renewables (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/iea-crowns-renewables-new-king-of-world-electricity-markets-as-oil-demand-will-flatten-by-2030-11602731687).
Moreover, in the short-term, the Outlook expects global energy demand to fall by 5% in 2020 as a result of Covid-19. While oil demand takes the hardest hit, net renewable generation slightly rose over the same period (https://www.power-technology.com/news/world-energy-outlook-iea-covid-19-energy-industry-decarbonisation-transition-strategy/).
The IEA report further stated that the coronavirus pandemic will cut global carbon emissions to a decade low this year but rising long-term demand for fossil fuels in those developing nations means the world is on course to miss landmark climate targets absent more policy changes.
Also, although renewables are expected to overtake coal as the primary means of producing electricity in the world by 2025, the IEA stated that fossil-fuel demand can’t be entirely counted out in large part because developing nations still want oil and gas.