Trends Shaping the World of Solar Power
The rising popularity of solar power sources
Solar power has brought in a new era of renewable power generation. It has become the fastest growing source of energy, leaving behind traditional sources of energy. This development began since 2016 when renewable energy sources accounted for more than two-thirds of the new energy added across the world. Even in this contribution, it was solar power that stole the spotlight with the majority of the renewable contribution coming from this source. Newer developments in the field of solar energy led it overtaking coal-based thermal power sources which were previously the most popular power source in the world. This change came about thanks to falling rates, changing government policies (particularly in China) and the general public awareness.The IEA based in Paris have concluded that solar energy will continue to dominate in the times to come with a global capacity going beyond the total power of India and Japan in the next 5 years. The executive director of IEA, Dr. Fatih Birol has said, “What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar photovoltaics [PV]. We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology up to 2022.” IEA admitted to underestimating solar capabilities and the speed at which renewable energy sources were progressing. The forecast for renewable energy capacity in the world for 2022 has been revised to reflect a higher value. The forecast was driven by the IEA’s expectations from India and China to contribute a third more than expected.
Asia rising, UK to pick up its pace- IEA reports
China continues to be the strongest solar market in the world with USA rated second. The solar market in the USA is still showing healthy signs of growth in spite of Donald Trump’s policies to bring back coal. The IEA, however, has confirmed that due to subsidies in wind and solar, the renewable energy sector will not be affected by the uncertainties brought in by the president. India is getting ready to be the next big player in the solar energy market. With development projects such as integrating solar farms with major grids underway, the country is set to nearly double its renewable energy capacity by 2022. This would mean that India would overtake the EU in terms of their solar energy capacity.
Despite the recent unveiling of the first subsidy-free solar farm in the UK, things are not looking promising in terms of solar power in Britain. The IEA has revised its UK forecast to a lower value between 2017 to 2022. The number of the solar forecasts to be implemented by the country is only a fifth of the number installed in the last five years.
According to the IEA, renewable energy sources, especially solar, will be twice the size of gas and coal markets over the next 5 years. Renewable resources may become cheaper than traditional fuels. However, this does not mean that they will become competitive elements in the market or make it easy for the investments to flow.