A recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found that renewable energy could increase in capacity by up to 50% in the next five years.
The IEA says that the world’s renewable capacity will grow at this rate mainly due to the increase in installations of rooftop solar systems, as well as PV set-ups on commercial and industrial buildings. This will change the way electricity is generated and used.
This latest IEA forecast predicts that the world’s total renewable electricity capacity will grow by 50% between now and 2024, helped along by falling manufacturing costs and by the policies of forward-thinking governments.
Solar is leading the way
The IEA also said that distributed PV will make up almost half of the solar market’s overall growth in the years leading up to 2025, with commercial and industrial installations making up around 75% of new systems over the next five years.
Rooftop solar systems will double in number to around 100 million by 2024 and IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol believes this pace needs to quicken even more if the world is to reach its long-term air quality, climate and energy goals.
Caution is advised
The report does have a few words of caution for us, however. The growth of PV must be well-monitored and controlled, including policy and tariff reforms being implemented. Unmanaged growth could cause more problems in the electricity market than it solves by disrupting grid integration of renewables and upsetting network operator revenues. If established network providers and generators start to push back against renewables, it could impede the necessary progress.
The IEA, says Dr Birol, can advise global governments on the best ways to introduce more renewables so that networks, providers and end-users are all happy. Everyone must recognise that renewables are an emerging technology and that the transition is a smooth and orderly process for all parties involved.