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Solar Photovoltaic Projects: In the Mainstream Power Market – book review

Solar Photovoltaic Projects: In the Mainstream Power Market, written by renewables energy pioneer Philip Wolfe, is an excellent introduction to the solar photovoltaic project development and power markets sector. Mr. Wolfe’s multi-decadal experience in the solar sector first founding BP Solar in the 1970s and then later working with various renewable energy finance initiatives, brings a wealth of knowledge ground-truthed by stories of what has worked and what has failed.

Solar Photovoltaic Projects: In the Mainstream Power Market includes environmental-specific analysis related to how to structure projects, siting of projects, management of projects, and technical aspects of system design. What is also highly useful in this book is the presentation of five hypothetical case studies. These case studies are discussed throughout each section in the book. The case studies are relevant to project development in Sub-Saharan Africa, India, the USA, and Europe. This results in making pertinent points more readily available. The case studies provide an excellent way for novices and experts to understand key project criteria.

One theme mentioned often throughout the book that I found quite interesting was preventative maintenance. For example, often herbaceous understory plants grow up between solar panels and then shade the panels decreasing performance. Hence, in the Gut Erlasee Solar Park in Germany, sheep are used to graze between solar panels to improve solar panel performance. As a result, the sheep are the preventative maintenance.

As global solar installation has recently passed 100 GW (Looking bright: solar power passes 100 gigawatts worldwide), for those interested in learning how to develop a large-scale solar photovoltaic project and its related environmental impacts, Solar Photovoltaic Projects: In the Mainstream Power Market is the best book and most-easily assessable book available.

How to order:

Solar Photovoltaic Projects: In the Mainstream Power Market

Publisher: Routledge

Author: Philip Wolfe

Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, LEED AP, is a natural resource scientist and financial consultant.

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