New research suggests that the world may have reached a “tipping point” where solar power is on track to become the dominant source of energy before 2050. The study, based on a data-driven model, predicts the rise of solar photovoltaics (PV) as the primary power source, even without ambitious climate policies. However, it identifies four key barriers to this transition: the need for stable power grids, financing solar projects in developing economies, capacity in supply chains for critical minerals, and political resistance from regions that could lose jobs in declining industries.
The study recommends that policies addressing these barriers may be more effective than carbon taxes in accelerating the shift to clean energy. The research is part of the Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition (EEIST) project funded by the UK government and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).