Generating power from sunlight bouncing off the ground, working at night, even helping to grow strawberries: solar panel technology is evolving fast as costs plummet for a key segment of the world’s energy transition.

The International Energy Agency says solar will have to scale up significantly this decade to meet the Paris climate target of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The good news is that costs have fallen dramatically.

In a report on solutions earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said solar unit costs had dropped 85 percent between 2010 and 2019, while wind fell 55 percent.

"There’s some claim that it’s the cheapest way humans have ever been able to make electricity at scale," said Gregory Nemet, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a lead author on that report.

Experts hope the high fossil fuel prices and fears over energy security caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will accelerate the uptake of renewables.

Momentum gathered pace on Sunday with the ambitious US climate bill, which earmarks $370 billion in efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

An analysis by experts at Princeton University estimates the bill could see five times the rate of solar additions in 2025 as there were in 2020.

Nemet said solar alone could plausibly make up half of the world’s electricity system by mid-century, although he cautioned against looking for "silver bullets".