Global solar installations jump 50 percent in 2016, IEA says

The amount of solar energy installed on the world’s power grids increased 50 percent year over year in 2016, according to a report by the IEA. Between 70 and 75 gigawatts worth of solar panels came online, with close to half those installations coming in China, where solar capacity more than doubled last year.
Driving the surge is a steady decline on solar technology costs in recent years.  Last year Dubai’s electric utility reported receiving bids on a segment of it’s 5,000 megawatt desert solar farm of less than 3 cents per kilowatt hour – on average a retail electricity customers in the United States pays 12 cents per kilowatt hour.
The solar boom comes as part of a larger shift towards renewable energy, costs fall and governments push low-carbon forms of energy in a global effort to slow the effects of climate change.
Solar, wind, hydropower and other sources combined for a global increase in renewable capacity of 6 percent last year, IEA said. Renewables represented 24 percent of total electricity output, with 70 percent coming from hydropower dams.
"Renewable power is forecast to grow by 36% over 2015-21, making it the fastest-growing source of electricity generation globally," the IEA report reads.