Looking bright: solar power passes 100 gigawatts worldwide

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
February 12, 2013



Solar power on Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Photo by: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Nadine Y. Barclay.
Solar power on Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Photo by: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Nadine Y. Barclay.

The world's installed solar capacity hit 101 gigawatts last year, according to new data from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). Last year alone, saw nearly 30 gigawatts of solar power added around the world.

"No one would have predicted even 10 years ago that we would see more than 100 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity in the world by 2012," Winfried Hoffman the President of the EPIA said.

Despite regulatory uncertainty, Europe remains the leader in solar. Last year it installed nearly 17 gigawatts, though down from almost 23 gigawatts in 2011. Outside of Europe, China installed 3.5 gigawatts, the U.S. 3.2 gigawatts, and Japan 2.5 gigawatts. Booming solar outside of Europe was cause for celebration.

"The photovoltaic industry clearly faces challenges but the results of 2012 show there is a strong global market for our technology," said Hoffman. "Even in tough economic times and despite growing regulatory uncertainty, we have nearly managed to repeat the record year of 2011."

Currently, Germany is the world leader in total installed solar energy, followed by Italy, China, the U.S., and Japan.













Related articles

New wind power cheaper than coal or gas in Australia

(02/08/2013) Electricity supplied from a new wind farm is cheaper than that from a new gas or coal-fired power plant in Australia, reports a new analysis published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.


Solar cells cross new threshold

(03/08/2012) Imagine powering your cell phone by leaving it on the window sill. Sounds like science fiction? Actually, this might soon turn into reality. Scientists have been exploring the potential of solar energy for decades. One of the cheapest ways to turn solar energy into electricity is by creating solar cells from organic polymers, which are easily manipulated by scientists. However, such cells are not efficient at converting sunlight to electricity. But now, researchers at UCLA’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering have come up with a new type of solar cell that sets the record in changing sunlight into power.


Germany proves the promise of renewable energy: hits 20 percent renewables

(09/06/2011) As many people in the United States question whether renewable energy is a viable alternative to fossil fuels, Germany now derives 20.8 percent of its electricity from renewable sources—a 15 percent increase since 2000, reports Der Spiegel. In contrast, the United States generates only 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, 6 percent of which comes from hydroelectric power, which some environmentalists see as unacceptably damaging.


Clean energy investments rise 630% in 7 years

(03/29/2011) According to a report by the US Pew Environment Group global clean energy investments, which do not include nuclear power, jumped 630% since 2004. The report detailing 2010 clean energy investments found that China remains the global leader in clean energy, while the US fell from 2nd to 3rd. This is the second year in a row that the US fell: in 2009 it lost first place to China. In all $243 billion were invested in clean energy in 2010.







CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (February 12, 2013).

Looking bright: solar power passes 100 gigawatts worldwide.

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0212-hance-solar-100.html