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Solar electricity array on the roof of the library of Eastern Mennonite University. (Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons)

Solar electricity array on the roof of the library of Eastern Mennonite University. (Image Credit: WikiMedia Commons)

Deutsche Bank, one of the largest and most influential banks in the world, has released a 175-page report that predicts solar power will become the dominant source of energy in the next 15 years.

With solar comprising only one percent (130 gigawatts) of the 6,000 GW global electricity market, Deutsche Bank reports that the solar industry is not only worth $2 trillion, it is poised to grow ten times over – adding 100 million customers in the process.

“Over the next 5-10 years, we expect new business models to generate a significant amount of economic and shareholder value,” DB analysts write in the report.

As solar grows, it is also slated to displace conventional fossil fuel-generated electricity. This claim is echoed by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, one of the biggest banks in the Middle East, which admits in a recent report that solar’s steadily decreasing price tag has made it more than just a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Even if oil plummeted to $10 per barrel, it still wouldn’t compete with solar.

“Cost is no longer a reason not to proceed with renewables,” the 80-page report states, adding that over the next 20 years, most of the $48 trillion in global power demand will be fulfilled by renewable energies.

Improving technology, government subsidies and growing opportunities for employment have all contributed to the U.S. solar industry growing 21 percent in 2014 – 10 times faster than job growth for the entire U.S. economy. This year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that most of the energy added to the national grid will come from wind, natural gas, solar, nuclear and other renewables.

Solar is currently at grid parity in half of all countries Deutsche Bank surveyed, up to 40 percent below the retail price of electricity in many markets and less than half the retail price in Australia. Deutsche has previously projected that solar will hit grid parity in all U.S. states by 2016.

“Over the next 20 years,” DB analysts write, “we expect the electricity market to double to $US4 trillion and expect the solar industry to increase by a factor of 10. During this timeframe, the solar industry is expected to generate $5 trillion of cumulative revenue.

“By the year 2050, we expect global solar penetration rates to increase to 30 percent. We also see solar penetration rates increasing more rapidly in developing economies. India for example has recently announced targets to reach 100GW of solar capacity by 2022.”

This projection is on par with a 2014 report by the International Energy Agency, which estimated solar to reach 27 percent of global electricity generation by 2050.

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