Solar energy is fastest growing source of power

FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, an array of solar panels absorb the power of the sun, in northwestern China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region. A U.N.-backed report released Thursday March 24, 2016, says global investments in solar, wind and other sources of renewable energy reached a record $286 billion last year, and the developing world accounted for the majority of investment for the first time. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, FILE)

Solar energy was the fastest-growing source of power last year, accounting for almost two-thirds of net new capacity globally

PARIS — 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.

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