The long-standing prediction on technology dominating renewable energy in the near future is beginning to materialize. According to recent report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar is the fastest growing source of power in 2016 and will remain so in years to come. The Paris-based institution (IEA) underestimated the speed at which green energy was growing and are expecting that photovoltaic (PV) solar will dominate other renewable energy sources by 2022.
Almost 165 gigawatts of renewables came online in 2016, of which the expansion was majorly influenced by China and the precipitous fall in prices. For a country with desperate concern for air pollution and environmental degeneration, China has the largest market for solar and was responsible for half the solar panels installed. In the words of Paolo Frankl, head of the IEA’s renewable energy division, “The solar PV story is a Chinese story.”
Behind China, the US and India are also major advocates of global clean-energy expansion. Together, the three countries make up two-thirds of the renewable energy expansion worldwide. Despite Donald Trump’s promise to restore coal, America still remains the second fastest growing market for solar.
The future of renewable energy is bright, with PV likely to represent the largest chunk of additional renewable energy, far beyond hydro and wind. India is on the right path to experience a solar boom over the next five years with the country’s clean energy capacity predicted to double by 2022. China’s bid to regulate and suppress the dangers of a polluted environment can be traced to the country’s 13th five-year plan to 2020. China has already exceeded its 2020 PV target and its 2019 wind target.
China’s share in the global Solar PV market has hit a tremendous high, with Chinese technology companies holding a record 60% of the annual global solar manufacturing capacity. Consequently, any shift in policy development in China would affect supply, demand, and prices of PV globally. Even with the pace at which solar is growing, accelerating solar PV growth, especially in China, rests upon addressing key issue like grid integration.
China is constantly modifying its renewable energy policies in order to sustain the progress of clean energy expansion worldwide. With the recent trend in the fall of auction prices for solar and wind, the average cost of new built projects still heads in the opposite direction. Auctions have been employed as a reliable means of reducing costs. The competitive price is estimated to reduce the average costs in years to come.