Renewables now provide a quarter of the world's power

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A report released by International Energy Agency (IEA) says India, China and the USA will account for two thirds of global renewable expansion to 2022.

The surge in solar power has come as a result of policies supporting low-carbon energy and cost reductions for solar PV and wind.

The report forecasts out the next five years of renewable energy growth, a short time-frame that is easier to project than some forecasts-like, say, the Energy Information Agency-that are routinely criticized.

Thanks to strong performance of solar PV market, renewable energy accounted for nearly two-thirds of net new power capacity around the world in 2016.

"We see renewables growing by about 1,000 GW by 2022, which equals about half of the current global capacity in coal power, which took 80 years to build", said IEA executive director Fatih Birol.

According to IEA's Renewables 2017 report, after another record year in 2016, renewables will expand by more than 920 GW by 2022, representing an increase of 43%.

Renewables will account for 30% of power generation by that time, up from 24% in 2016, the IEA's report said.

"What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV [systems]", he said in a statement.

"Total solar PV capacity by then would exceed the combined total power capacities of India and Japan today".

This higher forecast is because of increase in predictions of China and India's solar PV additions.

In line with its recent determination to end up a victor in the renewable energy market, China led the way on building solar capacity.

The country has become a leader in renewable energy production, with the United States the second-largest market.

The rise in solar is mainly driven by developments in China, although there are other factors worldwide that help to explain its growth.

The influential Paris-based agency said its recent outlook for Canadian renewables was "less optimistic" than its 2016 projection due to "recent changes in auctions schemes in Ontario and Quebec".

Although coal will still be the largest source of electricity generation in 2022, renewables is on track to close the generation gap with coal by half in just five years. "We expect that solar PV capacity growth will be higher than any other renewable technology through 2022". "Solar power is clearly the most important new clean energy source, with more new capacity added in 2016 than dirty coal", said Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management.