"For the first time, solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel, surpassing the net growth in coal", the agency said.
The IEA predicts that in the next five years, growth in renewable generation will be twice as large as that of gas and coal combined.
The IEA said solar panels capacity grew 50 percent previous year, with China accounting for nearly half the expansion.
In mid-2016 the Ontario government suspended the second phase of its Large Renewable Procurement (LPR) program, axing $3.8 billion in planned renewable energy contracts.
"What we are witnessing is the birth of a new era in solar PV [systems]", he said in a statement.
The institution established after the first major oil crisis in 1973 said 165 gigawatts of renewables were completed a year ago, which was two-thirds of the net expansion in electricity supply.
The IEA expects China alone to add 40 per cent of new global renewable capacity. "That is half of the total capacity of coal fired power plants worldwide", said Frankl, "and it has taken 80 years to build all of those".
China's push towards solar energy stems from the country's notoriously poor air quality, and in the country's 13th five-year plan, it announced an intention to increase the share of non-fossil energy to 15% by 2020.
While China today is far and away the global leader in solar generation, a decade ago, the country had just 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed.
This higher forecast is because of increase in predictions of China and India's solar PV additions.
China, India and the USA are set to make up two-thirds of global renewable expansion by 2022. By 2022, renewables would account for 30 per cent of power generation, up from 24 per cent in 2016.
In line with its recent determination to end up a victor in the renewable energy market, China led the way on building solar capacity.
The US and India are also expected to drive renewables growth. "But I have to say, we should not forget the biofuels, which at the end of 2016 represented 96 percent of total renewable transport".
The International Energy Agency's annual outlook for renewable energy, released Wednesday, projects Canada's renewable capacity to grow by nine gigawatts between 2017 and 2022, down from last year's report that projected capacity would grow by 13GW. But even considering the explosive growth of solar and wind, coal will remain the largest source of electricity under the current scenario.