International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol this week launched the organization’s flagship World Energy Outlook 2020 report by declaring: “Solar is the new king of the global electricity markets.”
There were plenty of plaudits for solar and PV projects “which now offer some of the lowest-cost electricity ever seen,” according to the IEA. Cheap finance and ever cheaper materials costs would see solar play a big part in renewable energy contributing 80% of the expected 9% annual growth in global energy demand to 2030 under the organization’s STEPS scenario. Hydro would still dominate but there would be record years of solar deployment every year from 2022 to the end of the decade, according to the IEA.
The likelihood of Covid-19 accelerating the death throes of coal was reflected by expectations that 275 GW of coal-fired power capacity would be shuttered by 2025, including 100 GW in the U.S. and 75 GW in the EU. The 39% of the world’s electricity generated from coal last year is set to fall to 28% by 2030 under the business-as-usual STEPS scenario, or to 15% under the sustainable outlook.‘Solar is the new king of energy markets’ – pv magazine International