Solar could be the largest source of electricity in the world by 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.
Its new report predicts solar photovoltaic systems to produce up to 16% of the world’s electricity and solar thermal electricity (STE) to provide another 11% by mid-century.
Combined, they could also cut more than six billion tonnes of carbon emissions every year – more than the current energy-related CO2 emissions from the US.
The report said PV expansion would be led by China, followed by the US while STE could also grow in the US along with Africa, India and the Middle East.
Maria van der Hoeven, IEA Executive Director said: “The rapid cost decrease of photovoltaic modules and systems in the last few years has opened new perspectives for using solar energy as a major source of electricity in the coming years and decades.
“However, both technologies are very capital intensive: almost all expenditures are made upfront. Lowering the cost of capital is thus of primary importance for achieving the vision in these roadmaps.”
Around 137GW of solar capacity was installed across the globe last year.