Telegraph’s Latest Renewable Puff Piece

By Paul Homewood



h/t Patsy Lacey


Yet another renewable energy puff piece from the Telegraph!



It’s behind a paywall as usual, but Reuters also cover the story:

Solar output is expected to lead a surge in renewable power supply in the next decade, the International Energy Agency said, with renewables seen accounting for 80% of growth in global electricity generation under current conditions.

In its annual World Energy Outlook on Tuesday, the IEA said in its central scenario – which reflects policy intentions and targets already announced – renewables are expected to overtake coal as the primary means of producing electricity by 2025.

The combined share of solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind in global generation will rise to almost 30% in 2030 from 8% in 2019, it said, with solar PV capacity growing by an average 12% a year.

"I see solar becoming the new king of the world’s electricity markets," IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said. "Based on today’s policy settings, it is on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022."

Maturing technology and support mechanisms have cut financing costs for major solar PV projects, the IEA said, helping to bring down output costs overall. Solar PV is now cheaper than new coal- or gas-fired power plants in most countries, it said.

Power generation from renewables is the only major source of energy that continued to grow in 2020, the Paris-based agency added.

A more ambitious scenario, including for instance the adoption of net-zero emissions targets by 2050, would see PV electricity generation perform more strongly still, the report said.

Despite the increase in solar and wind power, carbon emissions are projected to pick up in 2021 after a 2.4 gigatonne (Gt) drop in 2020, and to exceed 2019 levels in 2027 before growing to 36 Gt in 2030, it added.

The IEA said gaps remain in many cases between long-term ambitions and specific near-term plans to curb emissions.

Integrating new wind and solar power will depend on adequate investment in all parts of the system, including distribution networks, the report added.

But revenue shortfalls – potentially arising from lower-than-expected demand, non-payment of bills, or the detoriating finances of utilities in developing economies – could make power grids a weak link.


In reality solar power is still tiny in global terms, producing just 1% of the world’s energy, and there is little sign of this changing:




It is of course highly possible that the COVID crisis will dampen energy demand for years to come, putting the squeeze on investment in new generation projects.  As such, the tiny amounts of solar power likely to come forward may look bigger in relative terms.

As ever, the bellwether is China, where new build solar installations have been steadily declining since 2017, due partly to withdrawal of subsidies, but also because intermittent solar power is of little value.




So far this year, 11.1 GW of solar PV has been added, bringing total capacity up to 215 GW. Annualised, this would equate to an increase of about 10%. It is quite likely that China’s solar capacity could double by 2030, but this would still only enough to generate 6% of China’s power, even if demand remained the same as now.


It is a pity the Telegraph’s reporter did not have the gumption to point out any of these facts.


October 13, 2020 at 08:45AM

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