Renewable energy moved past coal in 2015 to become the biggest source of global electricity capacity, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.
Last year “marked a turning point for renewables” the body said, with clean sources of energy representing over 50 percent of the planet’s new power capacity, hitting 153 gigawatts, a 15 percent increase in electricity capacity on the year before.
The IEA said that in 2015 around 500,000 solar panels were installed every day, while in China – which was responsible for 40 percent of all increases in renewable capacity – two wind turbines were installed every hour.
In its latest renewables forecast, the IEA said that the next five years would see this growth continue, with 30,000 solar panels and 2.5 wind turbines installed per hour. Renewables would see their share of electricity generation grow from 23 percent in 2015 to 28 percent in 2021.
Technological developments, extra competition and better policy support in key markets were seen as the key drivers behind renewables’ growth. Climate change was another factor, as well as the desire of governments to slash dangerous air pollution and improve energy security.