The IEA said it identified South Africa as a country that has optimal radiation patterns for solar energy. Through a roadmap, the IEA said it would help chart a course for the country to generate as much as 42 percent of its electricity from renewable sources like solar power by 2030.
The IEA said it would work closely with the government of South Africa to develop a low-carbon economy.
Globally, the agency said solar energy could eliminate as much as 800 megatons of carbon dioxide globally by 2050.
Paolo Frankl, head of the renewable energy division at the IEA, said using solar energy for heat could help ensure a clean-energy future.
"Given that global energy demand for heat represents almost half of the world's final energy use -- more than the combined global demand for electricity and transport -- solar heat can make a significant contribution in both tackling climate change and strengthening energy security," he said in a statement.