Solar to provide 13% of global electricity by 2030

Costs of solar power development could reduce by up to 59% in the next ten years as countries like the UAE boost photovoltaic demand, IRENA said

Demand for solar power is expected to grow as countries like the UAE drive down development costs, IRENA said. [Representational image]
Demand for solar power is expected to grow as countries like the UAE drive down development costs, IRENA said. [Representational image]

Solar photovolatics (PV) could contribute up to 13% to global electricity by 2030, according to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). 

PV currently contributes 2% to global electricity consumption, but could reach between 1,760GW and 2,500GW by 2030, compared to current figures of 227GW. 

This data was revealed in a study IRENA recently revealed, titled Letting in the Light: How Solar Photovoltaics Will Revolutionise the Electricity System.

Focusing on technology, economics, applications, infrastructure, policy and impacts, the report gives an overview of the global solar PV industry and its prospects for the future.

Solar PV is the most widely owned electricity source in the world in terms of number of installations, and it accounted for 20% of all new power generation capacity in 2015, IRENA's report found.

In the last five years, global installed capacity has grown from 40GW to 227GW.

The UAE set record low solar PV prices of $0.058 per kWh in 2015. In May 2016, a solar PV auction in Dubai attracted a bid of $0.03 per kWh.

In Europe, China, India, South Africa, and US, solar power costs between $0.05 and $0.10 per kWh.

IRENA director general, Adnan Z Amin, said development costs of solar power could see declines of 59% in the next 10 years. 

"This comprehensive overview of the solar industry finds that these cost reductions, in combination with other enabling factors, can create a dramatic expansion of solar power globally," he continued.

"The renewable energy transition is well underway, with solar playing a central role."

"World electricity demand is expected to grow by more than 50 per cent by 2030, mostly in developing and emerging economies," Amin said.

"To meet this demand while also realising global development and sustainability goals, governments must implement policies that enable solar to achieve its full potential." 

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