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IEA Boosts Renewable Energy Forecast, but Trump Tax Plan Might Hurt Industry

IEA Boosts Renewable Energy Forecast, but Trump Tax Plan Might Hurt Industry

Solar energy was the fastest-growing source of electric power previous year, a new report said on Wednesday, amid the "birth of a new era" for the reneweable energy sector.

The IEA said renewables will continue to show strong growth over the coming years with electricity capacity set to increase by more than almost 1,000 gigawatts (GW), or 43 per cent, by 2022.

"The solar PV story is a Chinese story", said Paolo Frankl, head of the IEA's renewable energy division.

Despite the United States now being the second largest solar energy creator, analysts hinted that USA federal policy could hamper growth in solar capacity.

"What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV [systems]", he said in a statement.

China has already exceeded its current five year plan for solar and 2017 is set to be another record year of installations.

"Three countries - China, India and the United States - will account for two-thirds of global renewable expansion by 2022", the IEA said.




Solar capacity increased by 50% past year, with China accounting for nearly half of the global expansion.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said that, by 2022, renewables in general will equal about half the global capacity for coal power and its solar energy in particular that's leading the way. "This marks a turning point and underpins our more optimistic solar PV forecast".

The IEA addressed the proposed tax plan, saying "the current uncertainty over proposed federal tax reforms, worldwide trade, and energy policies could have implications for the relative economics of renewables and alter their expansion over the forecast period".

Solar PV and wind together represent 90 percent of India's capacity growth as auctions yielded some of the world's lowest prices for both technologies. By 2022, renewables would account for 30 per cent of power generation, up from 24 per cent in 2016.

The stunning growth trajectories reflected in the IEA report show how quickly the transition to renewables can be underway when aggressive policies cut through the barriers to growth.

The International Energy Agency's annual outlook for renewable energy, released Wednesday, projects Canada's renewable capacity to grow by nine gigawatts between 2017 and 2022, down from last year's report that projected capacity would grow by 13GW.

Although coal will still be the largest source of electricity generation in 2022, renewables is on track to close the generation gap with coal by half in just five years.

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