Solar energy could meet up to 13% of global power needs by 2030

Solar energy could meet up to 13% of global power needs by 2030
Updated 22 June 2016

Solar energy could meet up to 13% of global power needs by 2030

Solar energy could meet up to 13% of global power needs by 2030

MUNICH: The share of global electricity generated by solar photovoltaics (PV) could increase from 2 percent today to as much as 13 percent by 2030, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Released at InterSolar Europe, Letting in the Light: How Solar Photovoltaics Will Revolutionize the Electricity System finds the solar industry is poised for massive expansion, driven primarily by cost reductions.
It estimates that solar PV capacity could reach between 1,760 and 2,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, up from 227 GW today.
“Recent analysis from IRENA finds that cost reductions for solar and wind will continue into the future, with further declines of up to 59 percent possible for solar PV in the next 10 years,” said IRENA, director-general Adnan Z. Amin.
“This comprehensive overview of the solar industry finds that these cost reductions, in combination with other enabling factors, can create a dramatic expansion of solar power globally. The renewable energy transition is well underway, with solar playing a central role.”
Focusing on technology, economics, applications, infrastructure, policy and impacts, the report gives an overview of the global solar PV industry and its prospects for the future. It includes data and statistics on:
• Capacity: Solar PV is the most widely owned electricity source in the world in terms of number of installations, and its uptake is accelerating. It accounted for 20 percent of all new power generation capacity in 2015. In the last five years, global installed capacity has grown from 40 GW to 227 GW. By comparison, the entire generation capacity of Africa is 175 GW.
• Costs: Solar PV regularly costs just 5 to 10 US cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in Europe, China, India, South Africa and the United States. In 2015, record low prices were set in the United Arab Emirates (5.84 cents/kWh), Peru (4.8 cents/kWh) and Mexico (4.8 cents/kWh). In May 2016, a solar PV auction in Dubai attracted a bid of 3 cents/kWh. These record lows indicate a continued trend and potential for further cost reduction.
• Investment: Solar PV now represents more than half of all investment in the renewable energy sector. In 2015, global investment reached USD 67 billion for rooftop solar PV, USD 92 billion for utility-scale systems, and USD 267 million for off-grid applications.
• Jobs: The solar PV value chain today employs 2.8 million people in manufacturing, installation and maintenance, the largest number of any renewable energy.
• Environment: Solar PV generation has already reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 300 million tons per year. This can increase to up to three gigatons of CO2 per year in 2030.
“World electricity demand is expected to grow by more than 50 percent by 2030, mostly in developing and emerging economies,” said Amin.
“To meet this demand while also realizing global development and sustainability goals, governments must implement policies that enable solar to achieve its full potential.”