Electricity generation from solar PV continues to grow very rapidly. It now supplies over 1% of global electricity consumption and this proportion looks set to continue growing very rapidly over the next decade as costs continue to fall. This growth has been much faster than many predicted. In 2013 and again in 2015 I noted that the IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook (WEO) projections for both wind and solar PV were consistently vastly too low. The repeated gross divergence between forecasts and outturns over so many years makes it hard to conclude anything other than the IEA is showing a wilful disconnection with reality in this respect, though their historical data on the energy sector remains very valuable. If policy is based on misleading projections about the role of different technologies then policy support and effort will likely be misdirected. For example, means of integrating solar PV at very large scale into energy systems look to have been under-researched and under-supported. Other low carbon technologies such as power generation with CCS may have received more attention in comparison to their potential.
Energy Post 16th Oct 2017 read more »