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Renewables broke new records in 2016, largely as a result of booming solar photovoltaic deployment in China, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The agency’s Renewables 2017 forecast, published this week, says solar capacity worldwide rose by 50% last year, to 74GW, of which almost a half was in China.
“China has been the leader in manufacturing solar PV equipment for some time,” says IEA renewables head Paolo Frankl, “but this year it was the biggest installer of solar PV worldwide for the first time.” The report attributes China’s surge to “sharp cost reductions and policy support” – the latter driven by concerns over air pollution.
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