Solar panels now replace nearly all gas-fired power generation and will make up a quarter of all new power generation by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency.
Solar panels and related technologies have become increasingly attractive to countries such as China and India because of their low cost and large potential for use, said Mark Pecoraro, chief executive of solar power systems consultancy, The Pecora Group.
China is set to double its installed solar power capacity to 4.5GW by 2030, while India and South Korea each have more than 5GW.
The technology is now more affordable than gas-powered power generation, and can generate as much as 20 times the amount of energy that conventional power plants can.
While China and Japan are leading the world in solar power, India and Pakistan have recently shown they are more energy-efficient.
As countries invest in renewable energy, the number of households with rooftop solar power will likely double in the next decade, according a new report from the National Energy Commission.
India, the world’s biggest solar power market, is expected to be the world leader in installed solar capacity by 2026, followed by China and the US.
Renewable energy will account for more than 60 per cent of the world energy mix by 2035, up from 37 per cent in 2020, according the NEC.
By 2035 nearly half of the electricity generated in the world will come from renewables.
In Australia, solar power generated about $3 billion in the first nine months of this year, compared with $2.2 billion in 2013, according an NEC report.
Australia’s total installed capacity will rise to about 1.8GW by 2032, up 20 per cent from the current level of 2.1GW.
Australia has been an early adopter of solar, with a goal of installing more than 500MW by 2042.