Growth of Renewables Is Being Underestimated, Reports Say

While renewable energy sources still provide a small portion of the world’s power needs, several new reports suggest the global community may be

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Global solar generation
Global solar consumption, 2001-2011
underestimating the growth potential for the green energy sector. The Washington Post cited studies showing that global solar generation nearly doubled in 2011, with consumers using more than 55 terawatt-hours of solar power, compared with about 30 terawatt-hours in 2010. According to one analyst, solar energy has the potential to provide nearly 10 percent of global electricity by 2018 if current trends continue, although growth in recent years has been largely driven by a decline in solar panel prices and government subsidies in the U.S., China, and Germany. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has projected a slower growth for renewables, although the IEA previously underestimated the expansion of alternative energy.