By Simon Evans Renewable sources of electricity are set for rapid growth over the next five years, which could see them match the output of the world’s coal-fired power stations for the first time ever. This would mean renewables matching coal as the joint-largest contributors to the global electricity mix in 2024, according to Carbon Brief analysis of new forecasts in the International Energy Agency (IEA) Renewables 2019 report. The analysis is based on the IEA’s "accelerated case," in which the combined capacity of hydro , wind , solar and biomass increases by more than 60% over the next five years. Even in its "base case," renewable capacity is set to expand by nearly 50%, the IEA forecasts. Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, writes in a foreword to the report that "thanks to falling costs, technologies such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind are at the heart of transformations taking place across the global energy system." He adds: "Their increasing deployment is crucial for efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution and expand energy access." The IEA’s base-case renewable forecasts have historically underestimated the pace of growth. Yet even in its accelerated case, the extra electricity […]

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