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News 24 October 2023

The momentum of the solar energy transition

The world may have reached a “global irreversible solar tipping point”


A recent article published in Nature Communications reveals that solar energy, as Earth's most abundant energy resource, is experiencing rapid economic improvement due to increasing investments. The study employed various modelling techniques to determine the potential dominance of different zero-carbon power sources on a global scale. It has been found that, as a result of technological trajectories initiated by previous policies, a global solar energy tipping point may have already been reached. This implies that solar energy could gradually assume a dominant position in global electricity markets without the need for additional climate policies. Nevertheless, uncertainties persist regarding grid stability in a renewables-centric power system, financial accessibility in less developed economies, supply chain capacity, and resistance from regions facing employment losses. Policies aimed at addressing these obstacles may prove more effective in expediting the transition to clean energy than price-based instruments.