Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Power

Solar To Be Primary Energy Source By 2050? IEA Says Yes

Solar will be the industrial world’s primary energy source by the year 2050, according to a recent report from the International Energy Agency — presented at EU PVSEC’s closing event.


By the middle of the century, the report argues, solar energy technologies — whether photovoltaics, CSP, solar thermal, or others — will make up more than 50% of the total electricity produced in the world. A big portion of that will — again, according to the report — be from photovoltaics, which will make up more than 16% of the world’s electricity production.

The prediction is part of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) most recent Energy Technology Perspectives report. Much of the IEA’s recent change of opinion on the potential of solar technology is reportedly down to the recent, relatively fast cost-reductions in the commercial forms of the technology.

Though, one can’t help but wonder if the current state of the fossil fuel industry plays into the change of heart as well. There’s no denying that oil and natural gas extraction is becoming more and more costly for most of the major players in the industry as the most easily recoverable deposits are becoming depleted, leaving a growing portion of the fossil fuel pie coming from relatively costly forms — such as deep-sea oil and tar sands.

The IEA’s Renewable Energy Division Head, Paolo Frankl, recently explained the new prediction, commenting: “This figure represents a big increase on previous roadmaps because things have changed so quickly. Based on its competitive advantage in distributed applications, PV is unbeatable by any generation technology, distributed or not.”

As an interesting final note, the report unsurprisingly predicts that China will remain the world’s largest solar PV market through 2050 — making up an estimated/predicted 37% of total installed global PV capacity.

Image Credit: EU PVSEC

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

As Sheikh Zaki Yamani, a former Saudi oil minister, once said, “The stone age came to an end not for a lack of stones,...

Clean Power

The global energy crisis has given renewable energy a historic boost, with the world on track to add as much renewable energy in the...

Clean Power

The latest report from the IEA claims solar and wind power will surge in the next five years and become the dominant source of...


Lithuania is the first nation in the world to adopt the LA100 renewable energy model developed by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory for...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.