Solar power costs will fall by another 60 percent over the next decade giving an already booming market another boost, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) said on Monday.
Solar power is in the midst of boom because of sharp drops in costs and efficiency improvements, pushing global capacity from virtually zero at the start of the century to 300 gigawatt (GW) by the end of 2016, a figure expected to rise again by 2020.
Irena expects 80 to 90 GW of new solar capacity, enough to power more than 8 billion LED light bulbs, to be added globally each year over the next 5 to 6 years, Adnan Amin, the director general of Irena told Reuters, exceeding a forecast of 73 GW from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
“This could easily accelerate as costs decline in the future,” said Amin. “China alone can do 50 GW a year.”
“In the next decade, the cost of (utility scale) solar could fall by 60 percent or more,” he said in Singapore on Monday.
That growth will mark China as the world’s biggest and fastest growing solar market as Beijing relies on renewable power to cut air pollution from coal-fired power plants.