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Energy aplenty from solar PV

By Dave Armstrong - 24 Jun 2014 9:2:43 GMT
Energy aplenty from solar PV

In the leading solar energy nation, it's possible to fill up your car in Hamburg with half solar energy/half wind power! Electric car charging image; Credit: © Shutterstock

In Europe, PV manufacturers are optimistic that solar power will now grow by 20% pa. Mexico has been doubling its PV capacity and Japan has more than doubled solar energy resources. To record the league tables of "solarity," we've compiled a (very) rough list from - The Earth Policy Institute:

Germany 36.0GW

Europe (inclusive) 81.0 GW

China 18.3GW

Italy 17.6GW

USA 12.0 GW

UK 4.7GW

Canada 1.2 GW

Japan 13.6GW

Australia 3.3GW

India 2.3GW

South Korea 1.5GW

Thailand 0.7GW

Brazil 0.7GW this year

Mexico 240MW this year

These figures mirror the great amounts of energy absorbed during June this year, as the cloud cover in Europe disappeared and the summer sun provided the necessary. France, Italy, Denmark, the UK and Germany all reported solar as supplying record amounts of their electricity demand. The solar industry doubled capacity last year in many parts of Europe, even though households have lost government incentive schemes recently in many countries. This downward trend meant that new installations dropped by early 40%!

Elsewhere, with California's natural lead, the US is finally taking to solar power. 4,800 MW were added in 2013, increasing capacity by 65%. Although half of this was in California, Arizona, North Carolina, New Jersey and Massachusetts also shone a little brighter. On the same continent, Mexico nearly doubled capacity and Canada built an extra 440MW.

In Australia, the sun demands 25% of homes use solar power in some states with the country overall having one in 7 homes with PV capacity. South Africa's industrial base means they dominate n Africa, but the Chinese have been building a 4GW "park" in Ghana and Nigeria is beginning the installation of 3GW by 2019.

China added at least 11.3GW in 2013, transforming the table by overtaking Italy .The far west has most installations, meaning the transmission of electricity to urban centres is a problem there. However, with a lead in wind power generation, Chinese systems look likely to take over the renewable energy market in th near future. It seems that Asia is the future, despite Europe's early lead. Japan of course has dumped nuclear power and is another rising star, with a 60% increase last year. Similar boosts to the electricity grid were added by South Korea (40%) and Thailand's Lopburi Solar Farm (part of an 80% annual boost.)

PV leads energy technologies as providing the 40 gigawatts installed worldwide That 30% increase in one year should mean the loss of some fossil fuel development as similar increases create a cleaner- and a cooler - world.