Wind power will be the EU’s leading source of electricity soon after 2030, boosted by strong growth both on- and offshore, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The ‘World Energy Outlook 2017’ report said that solar photovoltaics will be the largest source of clean power globally by 2040, fuelled by the markets in China and India.

The total share of renewables generation globally will be 40% by 2040, with the sector capturing two-thirds of investment in power plants in the period, the report added.

“Policies continue to support renewable electricity worldwide, increasingly through competitive auctions rather than feed-in tariffs, and the transformation of the power sector is amplified by millions of households, communities and businesses investing directly in distributed solar PV,” IEA said.

However, the report notes that there will still be a role for fossil fuels in the energy mix in 2040. Oil demand and natural gas use will both grow during the period, IEA said.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said: “Solar is forging ahead in global power markets as it becomes the cheapest source of electricity generation in many places, including China and India.

“Electric vehicles are in the fast lane as a result of government support and declining battery costs but it is far too early to write the obituary of oil, as growth for trucks, aviation, petrochemicals, shipping and aviation keep pushing demand higher.”

WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson said: “The World Energy Outlook shows wind is on track to become Europe’s leading electricity source soon after 2030.

“But to make this happen governments need to give long-term visibility on the policy and regulatory framework, notably via ambitious National Energy & Climate Action Plans that give clarity on post-2020 volumes and auctions.”  

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