Solar ‘could account for 13% of world’s power by 2030’

The share of global electricity generated by solar could rise to 13% by 2030. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates solar capacity could hit between 1,760GW and 2,500GW during […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The share of global electricity generated by solar could rise to 13% by 2030.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates solar capacity could hit between 1,760GW and 2,500GW during that period – up from 227GW today.

Reaching that share will require average annual capacity additions to “more than double” for the next 14 years.

IRENA highlights five recommendations that can help achieve the increase: updated policies based on the latest innovations, government support of continued research and development activities, creation of a global standards framework, market structure changes and adoption of smart grids and energy storage technologies.

Its report states solar accounted for 20% of all new power generation capacity last year.

It is said to cost between five to 10 US cents/kWh in Europe, China, India, South Africa and the US.

Last year, record low prices were set in the UAE (5.84 cents/kWh) and Peru and Mexico (both 4.8cents/kWh). In May, a solar auction in Dubai attracted a bid of three cents/kWh.

IRENA adds these record low prices indicate potential for further cost reduction.

Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General said: “Recent analysis from IRENA finds that cost reductions for solar and wind will continue into the future, with further declines of up to 59% possible for solar PV in the next 10 years. The renewable energy transition is well underway, with solar playing a central role.”

Solar generation has reduced CO2 emissions by up to 300 million tonnes per year. That’s forecast to increase to up to three gigatonnes per year by 2030.