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Renewable energy, led by solar power, could make up 80% of the growth in electricity generation over the next decade, according to a report published, Hanna Ziady reported for CNN Business.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said it is now consistently cheaper to generate electricity by capturing the sun's energy than by burning coal or natural gas in most countries. Solar photovoltaic cells are now one of the cheapest sources of electricity in history thanks to maturing technologies and policies that have reduced the cost of investments, the Paris-based agency said. Electricity costs from large-scale solar photovoltaic installations have fallen from roughly 38 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2010 to a global average of 6.8 cents per kilowatt-hour last year.

"I see solar becoming the new king of the world's electricity markets," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a statement. "Based on today's policy settings, it is on track to set new records for deployment every year after 2022," he added. India is rapidly investing in solar and could become the largest market for utility-scale battery storage by 2040, according to the IEA.

In one scenario explored by the IEA, under which the pandemic is brought under control and global energy demand returns to its pre-crisis level by early 2023, the number of photovoltaic systems grows strongly, boosting solar capacity by an average of 12% a year to 2030. Renewables meet about 80% of the growth in global electricity generation over the same period, overtaking coal by 2025 as the primary means of producing electricity.

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