The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released its Renewables 2019 market forecast, detailing analysis on renewable energy and technologies. In the report, industry trends show that the world’s total renewable-based power capacity will grow by 50% in 5 years, increasing by 1.2 terawatts. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems shall account for 60% of that increase.
Established in 1974, under the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), the IEA is an intergovernmental organization that acts as a policy advisor to its 30 member countries on matters concerning reliable, affordable and clean energy. It was formed following the 1973 – 1974 oil crisis to help members respond to energy supply disruptions. Since then, the IEA’s mandate has expanded to include the promotion of sound energy policy and the fostering of multinational energy cooperation. Today, the IEA’s mission focuses on energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and worldwide engagement.
Because of its eco-conscious stance for efficiency and for reduced impact on the environment, the IEA has been a strong proponent for renewable energy. Renewable energy, after all, helps in mitigating climate change and creating a more sustainable energy future.
Solar, wind and hydropower projects have been rolling out at their fastest rate in recent years. And, they are projected to experience increased growth rates in years to come.
“This is a pivotal time for renewable energy,” says Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “Technologies such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind are at the heart of transformations taking place across the global energy system. Their increasing deployment is crucial for efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution and expand energy access.”
Three major challenges face the renewable energy sector, which are “policy and regulatory uncertainty, high investment risks and system integration of wind and solar PV,” the IEA report states. “Important policy and tariff reforms are needed to ensure that distributed PV’s growth is sustainable.”
Cost reductions coupled with government policy efforts can drive growth in the renewable energy market, all of which can be fully aligned with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The IEA’s forecast of the changing energy landscape means that utilities and infrastructure will likely need to adapt quickly, too.
“Renewables are already the world’s second largest source of electricity,” adds Birol. “But their deployment still needs to accelerate if we are to achieve long-term climate, air quality and energy access goals.”
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