Solar energy is fastest growing source of power

In this file photo from Aug. 17, 2017, solar tech Joshua Valdez, left, and senior plant manager Tim Wisdom walk past solar panels at a Pacific Gas and Electric Solar Plant, in Dixon, Calif. he International Energy Agency said Wednesday that the rise was due to a boom in photovoltaic panel installations, particularly in China, thanks to a drop in costs and greater support from governments. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

PARIS (AP) — A report shows that solar energy was the fastest-growing source of power last year, accounting for almost two-thirds of net new capacity globally.
The International Energy Agency said Wednesday that the rise was due to a boom in photovoltaic panel installations, particularly in China, thanks to a drop in costs and greater support from governments.

It is the first time that solar energy growth surpasses any other fuel as a source of power. Coal, in particular, had continued to grow in recent years despite global targets to reduce carbon emissions.

The IEA said solar panels capacity grew 50 percent last year, with China accounting for almost half the expansion. The country has become a leader in renewable energy production, with the United States the second-largest market.