The agency’s REthinking Energy report claims that renewables are about 250 times less carbon-intensive than coal and around 120-times less than the cleanest fossil fuel and natural gas.

Electricity demand is expected to more than double in the coming years as the worldwide population is estimated to reach 8 billion by 2030.

The burning of fossil fuels to produce energy currently accounts for over 40% of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

IRENA director-general Adnan Amin said: "A convergence of social, economic and environmental forces are transforming the global energy system as we know it.

"But if we continue on the path we are currently on and fuel our growing economies with outmoded ways of thinking and acting, we will not be able avoid the most serious impacts of climate change.

"The good news is that renewable energy provides a viable and affordable solution to address climate change today. And while the outlook for renewable power is bright, we need to rethink the mechanisms which have, up to this point, brought renewables into the mainstream and prepare for the next stage of this global transformation."

The report said that demand is fundamentally changing, as individuals, governments and businesses seek a cleaner, more diverse and secure energy mix.