Solar could power the world in 50 years

Solar generators may produce the majority of the world’s power within 50 years according to an International Energy Agency analyst. Cedric Philibert of the IEA’s renewable energy believes photovoltaics will […]

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By Sumit Bose

Solar generators may produce the majority of the world’s power within 50 years according to an International Energy Agency analyst. Cedric Philibert of the IEA’s renewable energy believes photovoltaics will overtake all other forms of energy to become our principle power source.

He told Bloomberg news: “Photovoltaic and concentrated solar power together can become the major source of electricity. You’ll have a lot more electricity than today but most of it will be produced by solar-electric technologies.”

Surprisingly, Philibert predicts a wholly renewable future with photovoltaic and solar-thermal plants meeting most of the world’s demand for electricity by 2060 with wind, hydropower and biomass plants supplying much of the remaining generation.

His comments have naturally been welcomed by the UK solar industry. Howard Johns, Chairman of the Solar Trade Association said:”This news follows many reports this year predicting solar is set to achieve a major cost breakthrough with sustained investment today, including in the UK where Ernst and Young predict solar could reach grid parity by 2017. The STA urge the UK government to take notice of mounting evidence about the potential of solar and to urgently reconsider their faulty assumptions that solar is a technology that is too expensive to deploy in the UK.”

Mr Philibert’s comments seem to contradict previous IEA predictions which suggested solar making up just 21% of world power by 2050.