After a surge in renewable electricity generation that exceeded estimates, a 50% expansion in supplies is now expected in the next five years. Much of this will be powered through solar energy, thanks to a resurgence in the technology.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) carried out research that found solar, hydropower and wind projects were being developed at their quickest rate in four years.
By 2024, a fresh dawn for low-cost solar energy is expected, and global capacity is expected to increase by 600 GW. This would represent twice the amount of total capacity currently in Japan. In total, clean energy is expected to increase by 1,200 GW by 2024, which will ultimately equate to the entire of the USA's electricity capacity. The news is particularly good as demand for new renewable projects seemed to stall last year amid rising costs and political uncertainty.
Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA, said that renewable energy was experiencing a pivot as cutting-edge technologies such as the new solar PV systems and wind energy helped to drive forward transformations across the world's entire energy ecosystem. She added that the efforts combined were helping to tackle air pollution reduction, greenhouse gases and fair access to energy across the world in a meaningful way.
The hope is that this clean energy revolution will finally end the world's growing demand for coal and oil within this decade - far ahead of the original predictions put forward by fossil fuel companies.
Today renewable energy represents a quarter of the world's total electricity production, but the IEA believes it will hit a third of production by 2024. This increase will primarily be driven by advances and growing interest once again in solar energy as the underpinning technologies and costs of production plummet.