World Solar Power Passes the 100 Gigawatt Mark
Solar power use is on the rise. Solar energy projects are everywhere, and solar energy costs continue to drop. Marking this continued development of global solar energy is a technical milestone that symbolizes this achievement: the fact that world solar power has already gone past the 100 gigawatt mark last 2012.
CleanTechnica reports that the statement confirming this achievement was released in Brussels, Belgium, earlier this February 2013. Technically, the world cumulative solar PV power has moved forward to 101 gigawatts this past year. This figure was a calculated amount that was based on the new market figures provided by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).
The “landmark year”, as it has been so called, was all in all, a “strong” year for the solar power industry. EPIA reports in the article that 30 gigawatts of PV solar power became connected to the electricity grid in the year 2012 alone. Several other large-scale projects that were completed this 2012, such as the near completion of the largest solar power plant in Abu Dhabi also lend a hand in reaching this achievement. Of course, the development would have also included some of the already known regular factors, for example the continued steady growth of solar energy in renewable energy-active countries like India, Great Britain, and most especially Germany.
Statistically the 100 gigawatt global solar PV capacity, according to the EPIA, can produce as much energy as what would 16 coal power plants or nuclear reactors rated at 1 gigawatt would produce for the entire year. This also means that with that much solar power, there would be a carbon dioxide reduction amount of roughly 53 million tons every year.
A global solar capacity of 100 gigawatts in 2012 was previously thought of as impossible. In fact, it’s even more amazing to consider that 60% of the entire energy capacity was reached within just 2 years (solar energy capacity had also roughly grown by 30 gigawatts last 2011). This proves that the solar PV market, despite the present economic and technological hurdles, can manage to push through and achieve a straight and steady growth pace.
Though there is a generally positive view over the fact that real action has been done for solar PV, some critics may argue that the progress could have been faster. But, as the hopeful one would say, it is still a considerable milestone, something that we can look forward to even grow further exponentially in the next couple of decades.
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