According to the International Energy Agency, the world is on track to invest more than $1 billion a day in solar energy by 2023, significantly eclipsing what it currently invests in oil and gas. The IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, said on Wednesday that solar energy has become “the new king of the world’s energy markets” and is set to become the most important source of electricity generation by 2050.
This milestone is a result of the continuing rapid decrease in the cost of solar energy. According to the IEA, solar already accounts for 65 percent of all new electricity generation worldwide. This investment in solar energy is expected to create up to 42 million jobs by 2050 and help the world reach the Paris Agreement targets.
However, the IEA points out that these ambitions could be stymied if policy makers fail to create the right framework. “We need new policies to help people, particularly those in developing countries, to find the best and most cost-effective routes to reliably access the clean energy of the future.” said Birol. “Providing easier access to finance, removing barriers to market entry and deploying digital technologies can help drive the transition for all.”
These targets are possible and predictable, but require decisive action in order to be achieved. Investment in solar energy has already changed the trajectory of the world’s energy future but if governments, industry and investors seize opportunities, the potential is there to create a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy future.