Renewable Energy Capacity to Grow 50% Worldwide by 2024, IEA Says

The faster-than-expected growth is largely thanks to a resurgence in solar power.

A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that solar, wind, and hydropower energy is growing at its fastest rate in four years.

The report predicts that solar power will be at the forefront of a surge in clean energy projects that will see the capacity of renewables grow by 50 percent over the next five years.

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Dramatic growth in renewables

The capacity of renewable-based power will rise 1.2 terawatts (TW) by 2024, the IEA report says. This is the equivalent of the total installed power capacity of the U.S currently.

The growth is driven by falling technology costs and government policy, an IEA statement says. Solar power will be responsible for almost 60 percent of this growth, while onshore wind will account for 25 percent.

Renewable energy's total share of power generation, meanwhile, is expected to rise to 30 percent in 2024 — a 4 percent rise over today's 26 percent share.

Climate and energy access goals

“Renewables are already the world’s second-largest source of electricity, but their deployment still needs to accelerate if we are to achieve long-term climate, air quality, and energy access goals,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said in a press release.

“As costs continue to fall, we have a growing incentive to ramp up the deployment of solar PV,” he added.

Solar PV generation costs are predicted to fall 15 percent to 35 percent by 2024, making the technology a more attractive proposition, the IEA said.

The report does warn that regulation needs to catch up with the increasing demand and capacity for renewable energy in order to prevent it from disrupting electricity markets.

These measures are, of course, being implemented in order to move away from our damaging dependence on fossil fuels. While the IEA's report is good news for climate activists, a lot of work is still needed.

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