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Sunny future for renewables thanks to China

Staff Writer |
Solar energy is to lead the race to new power generation over the coming decades, thanks in large part to China and India, the International Energy Agency said.

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The IEA's annual World Energy Outlook report said that, over the next quarter century, the world's growing energy needs will be met first by renewables, while there are likely to be fewer new plants burning dirty coal.

With UN climate talks underway in Bonn, Germany, the IEA report brings only partially good news regarding the efforts to restrain carbon emissions and limit global warming.

Demand for oil is still expected to grow, despite the rapid arrival of electric vehicles, the IEA said.

And work needs be done to reduce output of methane from the drilling of natural gas, which is expected to become a more popular fuel. The IEA sees the brightest future for solar.

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

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