In its first ever major report on renewables, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated that global renewable power generation will increase by over 40 percent over the next five years.

The report acknowledges the challenging global economic environment facing the market, yet still predicts that global power generation from solar and other sources will hit almost 6,400TWh by 2017.

Importantly, the IEA’s report predicts that non-OECD countries will account for two-thirds of the predicted growth. For example, China is expected to account for almost 40 percent of all new global renewable electricity generation.

The IEA believes that supportive policy and frameworks have laid the foundation for the predicted explosive growth, which will be driven by a global surge in power demand.

“Renewable energy is expanding rapidly as technologies mature, with deployment transitioning from support-driven markets to new and potentially more competitive segments in many countries,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said during today's launch.

“Given the emergence of a portfolio of renewable sources as a crucial pillar of the global energy mix, market stakeholders need a clear understanding of the major drivers and barriers to renewable deployment. Based on these factors, this report forecasts global renewable development and, in so doing, provides a key benchmark for both public and private decision makers.”

The IEA recognises the current turmoil enveloping some parts of the renewable industry as significant supply chain restructuring and supportive policies are altered. This is most pronounced in the solar market, where many OECD countries are passing through cuts to the levels of subsidy paid out to the technology. Despite the short-term challenges facing the market, the IEA are confident that the renewables market will overcome them to become a more mature and robust sector.

The full IEA report, entitled ‘Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2012’, can be found here.