Solar power on track to be world's largest electricity source by 2050

03. Oktober 2014
The sun could be the world's leading electricity source by mid-century with the amount of new photovoltaic (PV) panel installations soaring at 100MW daily, according to a pair of new reports.

The reports, issued by the International Energy Agency (IEA), stated that by 2050, PV panels could produce 16% of the world's electricity, while solar thermal electricity (STE) is on track to produce 11%. Solar thermal electricity is created by concentrating the sun's rays to produce steam, which then turns a turbine.

Photovoltaic panels capable of producing 137 billion watts (gigawatts) of power have been installed worldwide since the end of 2013, according to the IEA, a Paris-based agency that advises on global energy consumption.

Perhaps just as important, solar power could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 6 billion tons over the next four decades, the reports state.

Rooftop solar panels will account for half of the world's solar PV installations because as a distributed energy source, the technology is "unbeatable," the report said.

In the U.S., solar power capacity for producing electricity has grown six-fold since 2010, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), a federal agency that provides information about the nation's energy production across all markets.

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