Solar power could supply more than half of global electricity capacity by 2050, says IEA

Press release - 29 September, 2014
Amsterdam, 29 September 2014 - The International Energy Agency has concluded that the various forms of solar power could provide more than half of the world's electricity capacity by 2050, according to a new publication released today. (1) Solar and wind technology already accounted for one-third of all new power plants worldwide built in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

The IEA's in-depth research focused on power generation technologies and their future economic potentials. Solar photovoltaic panels alone could provide around 16% of global power demand with a total installed capacity of 4600 gigawatts (GW).

Commenting on the report, Sven Teske, senior energy expert for Greenpeace International said:

"Greenpeace welcomes the IEA's conclusion that solar energy will be the dominant form of power generation within 35 years. Following last week's UN Climate Summit, it is precisely the kind of good news that everyone concerned about climate change will want to hear.

"The IEA's findings confirms the results of Greenpeace's Energy [R]evolution - a global energy concept that was published in June 2012. (2) Notably, this arrived at the same projection for solar photovoltaics of 4,548 GW by 2050.

"Wind and solar power will continue to dominate the renewable energy market as the cheapest ways of generating power.

"Greenpeace calls on global energy policy makers to accept the reality of renewable energy and adapt the energy market accordingly. Phasing out fossil and nuclear fuels is an environmental and an economic necessity, and not a burden. The stellar economic performance of solar and wind power means that those who back coal-fired power plants seriously risk stranded investments."

For further information:

Sven Teske, Senior Energy expert, Greenpeace International, tel: +49 171 878 7552, e-mail:

Notes to Editors:

(1) "Energy Technology Perspective 2014"

(2) Energy [R]evolution