The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) predicted that solar power will account for 7 percent of all electricity generated worldwide and could reach a production capacity of 1,760 gigawatts by 2030. That’s according to a new report entitled REthinking Energy. In it, IRENA projected that the cost of utility-scale solar power could decrease more than 50 percent by 2025 thanks to innovative battery storage and off-grid technologies, increased investments and revision of renewable energy policies.
“Renewables are gaining ground by nearly every measure. Accelerating the pace of the energy transition and expanding its scope beyond the power sector will not only reduce carbon emissions, it will improve lives, create jobs, achieve development goals, and ensure a cleaner and more prosperous future,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.
As a result of solar costs falling 50 percent since 2010 and the likelihood of it decreasing an additional 60 percent over the next full decade, utility-scale solar facilities are now economically competitive with new fossil fuel power plants, according to the report. IRENA explained that it’s determined that solar capacity and output will grow faster than other renewables due to significant advances in battery storage technology. The report also anticipated that battery storage capacity could increase to 250 gigawatts by 2030 and will drive continued market growth for solar power.
“Achieving universal electricity access by 2030, will require us to boost global power generation—nearly 60 percent of that will have to come from stand-alone and mini-grid solutions,” said Amin. “Meeting this aim with off-grid renewables depends on the right combination of policies, financing, technology and institutional capacity. Making needed changes and accelerating deployment will allow countries to address global issues in sustainability, education, gender equality, health, water and food.”
Currently, off-grid solar and wind energy production provides 90 million people with electricity around the world, according to IRENA. Its report found that such modular solar installations and battery storage technologies are expected to provide electricity to hundreds of millions more. It said off-grid solar and wind producing power solutions can provide almost 60 percent of additional generation needed to give everyone in the world access to electricity, according to IRENA.Tweet