IEA Report Says Solar Could Be Largest Source of Electricity by 2050

Calling for "clear, credible and consistent signals from policy makers," the International Energy Agency (IEA) today released two reports saying solar could be the world's largest source of electricity by 2050. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO Rhone Resch welcomed the reports, noting that solar is already the fastest growing renewable energy source in the U.S. and accounted for more than 50 percent of new generation capacity in the first half of 2014.

Washington, DC September 29, 2014


Calling for "clear, credible and consistent signals from policy makers," the International Energy Agency (IEA) today (Sept. 29, 2014) released two reports saying solar could be the world's largest source of electricity by 2050. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO Rhone Resch welcomed the reports, noting that solar is already the fastest growing renewable energy source in the U.S. and accounted for more than 50 percent of new generation capacity in the first half of 2014.

"As these reports show, the future of solar is strong," Resch said. "Today, the solar industry employs 143,000 Americans and pumps nearly $15 billion a year into the nation's economy. By any measurement, policies such as the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), are paying huge dividends for both the U.S. economy and our environment. But, as the IEA noted, we need to maintain and even expand smart public policies in order to give solar a fighting chance against entrenched energy sources, such as fossil fuels – and we urge Congress to heed the IEA's recommendation to create more certainty in the marketplace and secure clean, renewable energy for future generations."

According to the two IEA reports, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems could generate up to 16 percent of the world's electricity by 2050 while concentrating solar power (CSP) plants could provide an additional 11 percent. Combined, these technologies could prevent the emission of more than 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year by 2050 –more than all current energy-related CO2 emissions from the United States or almost all of the direct emissions from the transport sector worldwide today.

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