Renewables overtake coal as world’s largest source of power

Renewables overtake coal as world’s largest source of power

500,000 solar panels were installed everyday last year as renewable energy overtook coal as the world’s largest source of power capacity.

A record-breaking surge in green electricity saw two wind turbines being installed every hour in countries such as China, according to International Energy Agency figures.

The Paris-based agency said in total 153GW of green electricity was installed through wind and solar projects – more than the total power capacity in Canada.

“We are witnessing a transformation of global power markets led by renewables,” said Fatih Birol, IEA executive director.

Part of the growth was caused by falls in the cost of solar and onshore wind power that Birol said would have been ‘unthinkable’ only five years ago.

Average global generation costs for new onshore wind farms fell by an estimated 30% between 2010 and 2015 while those for big solar panel plants fell by an even steeper two-thirds, an IEA report published on Tuesday showed.

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