Solar energy could become a competitive energy source within 20 years, according to a new publication from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The publication, Solar Energy Perspectives, looks at how best to use, combine and promote the major types of solar power, solar heating/cooling, photovoltaic and solar thermal electricity.
Some solar technologies are getting close to competitiveness in some circumstances for some uses, but only a limited number of countries have been supporting the effort.
But the right policies could be extended to any of the world’s sunniest regions, says the IEA, where most of the globe’s population and economic growth is taking place.
“While solar energy resources are abundant, their use currently represents only a tiny fraction of the world’s current energy mix,” says report author Cédric Philibert of the IEA.
“This is changing rapidly and is being driven by action to improve energy diversification and security, mitigate climate change and provide energy access,” he adds.
Solar energy has immense potential, says the IEA, and could reach its full potential by the second part of this century.
“Integrating all solar technologies in a system-oriented policy approach will unlock the potential of solar energy within the broader set of low-carbon technologies,” says Paolo Frankl, head of IEA’s renewable energy division.
For further information:
Deployment of renewables must be speeded up, says IEA (28-Nov)
Global solar photovoltaic installations up 24% to 24 GW in 2011 (17-Nov)
US loan guarantee scheme goes out in a $5 billion blaze of glory (7-Oct)
05 December 2011