New Projects, Renewables, Solar

IRENA report: Latin America, Caribbean on brink of solar surge

Latin America and the Caribbean could grow their installed solar capacity by a factor of 40 by 2050, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows. Annual investments exceeding $7 billion would see the region’s solar PV capacity rise from 7 GW currently to more than 280 GW by mid-century, according to IRNEA. Solar energy growth is mainly concentrated in Asia, North America and Europe, but that market growth could shift to other areas.

By that time, solar PV would represent the second-largest power source behind wind, generating a quarter of the world’s power, according to the report. In total, global solar power capacity would rise from 480 GW in 2018 to over 8,000 GW by 2050, growing by nearly 9 percent every year.

“Solar PV and other renewables sources represent the most effective and ready solution for addressing growing energy demand and limiting carbon emission at the same time,” said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Renewables are practical, affordable and climate-safe. ”

If accompanied by supportive policies, the transformation driven by renewables such as solar can bring substantial socioeconomic benefits, IRENA’s new report contends. The global solar industry has the potential to employ over 18 million people by 2050, four times more than the 4.4 million jobs today.

Over the last decade, installed capacity of off-grid solar PV has grown more than tenfold, from roughly 0.25 GW in 2008 to almost 3 GW in 2018 around the world.

Similarly, the deployment of rooftop solar PV systems has increased extensively, which today makes solar PV in some markets more attractive than buying electricity from the grid. The competitiveness of distributed solar power is clearly raising deployment in large markets, including Brazil, China, Germany and Mexico.

The full report “Future of Solar Photovoltaic. Deployment, investment, technology, grid integration and socio-economic aspects” can be found here

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POWERGEN International, happening next week in New Orleans, will feature numerous sessions on solar in our Wind and Solar Knowledge Hub.