Solar beats coal for the first time in history

By on May 25, 2017

According to the International Energy Agency last week, solar power now accounts for more power capacity than coal for the first time ever.

The entire report is pretty interesting, but here are some key takeaways:

  • Over half a million solar panels were installed every day around the world last year.
  • China installed the equivalent of two wind turbines every hour last year.
  • In all – over half the new power capacity installed last year – 153,000 megawatts – was renewable-sourced, which is a 15% increase from what is was in 2015. Three quarters of that came from solar or wind.

For those of you who are curious as to what ‘capacity’ means – it’s basically what a given power plant can produce. While actual generation has remained lower due to things like the unpredictability of the weather, itself; that gap is also closing rapidly.

According to the IEA, they expect renewables could be as high as 28%of the marketplace within the next six years – and credited stronger policy backing in the US, China, India and Mexico as the reasoning behind that.

The last major factor in the growth of renewables? The cost to acquire it. In fact, the IEA says the cost of Solar should fall by nearly a quarter in the next few months, with onshore wind dropping to the tune of about 15%. Putting that altogether means less capital costs to the customer and that installation can break even with lower load rates faster. Translated to you-speak – you’ll break even and come out ahead faster than you ever have before.

With continued support from many of the world’s leading economies – diversifying energy supplies has become a priority issue among the global community, which only bodes well for solar customers heading forward.