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Clean energy will be the second largest global source of electricity by 2016 after coal, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). At its second annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report, the agency said that by the year 2016 clean energy will overtake natural gas to become the second largest source of energy in the world. Only coal will generate more electricity than clean energy within three years, the IEA projects.
In 2012, global renewable energy generation grew by 8 percent, far exceeding expectations. This rate of growth is predicted to continue, leading to an overall increase of 40 percent over the next five years, and meaning that they will account for 25 percent of the global energy mix by 2018.
The IEA stated that Hydroelectric projects will account for the majority of renewable energy growth, but other sources, such as wind, solar, bioenergy, and geothermal, will see their share of the global energy mix double from 4 percent in 2011 to 8 percent in 2018.
Maria van der Hoeven, executive director, IEA, explained that “as their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation. This is good news for a global energy system that needs to become cleaner and more diversified, but it should not be an excuse for government complacency, especially among OECD countries.”
Non OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries are expected to develop around two-thirds of the total increase in renewable power capacity by 2018, with China leading the way.