Global solar capacity increases by 50% in 2016

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The IEA's renewable forecast this year is 12 per cent higher than last year, mostly due to solar PV upward revisions in China, which has accounted for nearly half of the global expansion, and India.

Wind power tariffs in India have dropped to a record low of Rs 2.64 per unit, discovered through the auction for 1,000 MW projects conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), an official statement said on Thursday. "The growth in renewable generation will be twice as large as that of gas and coal combined", said the report. "Overall, weaker electricity demand, overcapacity and limited visibility on forthcoming auction capacity volumes in some markets remain challenges to renewable growth".

However, the IEA has said that despite these encouraging figures, there are uncertainties ahead. "This growth is enough to overtake renewable expansion in the European Union for the first time".

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.

Birol stated the era of expensive renewables is over and the cost of solar energy will reduce.

According to the new report, IEA's renewables growth forecast is 12% higher than projection made in the 2016 report, driven by the realisation of PV installation growth in China and India as well as the US.

"Still, the current uncertainty over proposed federal tax reforms, worldwide trade and energy policies could alter the economic attractiveness of renewables and hamper their growth over our forecast period", the IEA's report read.

Globally, China and India lead renewable capacity growth projections.

The report also provides detailed analysis on the renewable consumption of electric cars and off-grid solar deployment in Africa and developing Asia.

Moreover, the growth of solar PV capacity will be more than other renewable technologies by 2022.

When it comes to power generation, IEA said renewable electricity was seen growing by over a third by 2022, hitting more than 8,000 terawatt/hour.

The government has set a target of generating 175 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2022. "Solar power is clearly the most important new clean energy source, with more new capacity added in 2016 than dirty coal", said Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management.