America's 2016 solar energy capacity was 4,500 percent higher than government experts predicted 10 years earlier while the nation's wind supply was 350 percent above their forecast, according to a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report released today.
Last year, new solar capacity around the world grew by 50 percent, reaching more than 74 gigawatts, with China accounting for nearly half of that expansion. All three countries are projected to account for two-thirds of global renewable expansion by 2022.
To access our premium content, you or your organisation must have a paid subscription. By then, renewables will account for 30 percent of power generation, up from 24 percent in 2016.
China's push towards solar energy stems from the country's notoriously poor air quality, and in the country's 13th five-year plan, it announced an intention to increase the share of non-fossil energy to 15% by 2020.
For the first time since 1960, the average USA household spent less than 4 percent of its income on all energy in 2016-including gasoline and electricity spending-despite the much larger number of electronic gadgets and appliances we now use.
After success of first wind auction resulted in discovery of record low wind tariff of Rs. 3.46 per kWh in February 2017, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy sanctioned second wind auction Scheme for setting up of 1000 MW ISTS connected Wind Power Projects on 4 May 2017. Solar PV and wind together represent 90 per cent of India's capacity growth as auctions yielded some of the world's lowest prices for both technologies.
China, "the undisputed renewable growth leader", will account for 40% of global renewables growth over the period as it is expected to add more than 360 GW.
"While coal remains the largest source of electricity generation in 2022, renewables close in on its lead".
In power generation, renewable electricity is expected to grow by more than a third by 2022 to over 8,000 terawatt hours, which is equivalent to the total power consumption of China, India and Germany combined, according to the report. With strong support from China, which accounted for almost half of this total, solar photovoltaic growth was faster than any fuel worldwide - passing net growth in coal as the graph below shows. They predict that by 2022, the capacity of renewable electricity should increase by 43 percent.