Friday, 3 July 2015

Are YOU a Solar Power Record Breaker?

Do you have solar panels on your roof? Well give yourself a pat on the back; you’re probably going to be part of a record breaking group.

The recent Sunny weather and a surge in solar panel installations means that solar power could provide a record 15% of the UK’s electricity on Friday 3rd of July during the afternoon.

Unfortunately hot weather slightly reduces solar panels’ generating efficiency, but with fresher conditions forecast across much of the UK, the amount of solar in the electricity mix could reach a new peak at 2pm on Friday.

Solar photovoltaic installations have soared recently in the UK, partly due to developers rushing to meet a change in subsidy regime in April 2015. There are now around 700,000 small-scale installations now on the grid, enough to power over 655,000 households, according togovernment figures. Britain is currently installing solar capacity quicker than any other European country.

Globally, another solar milestone was passed recently with installed solar capacity of 200GW now available to meet global demand, according to BSW, the German solar trade association.
“Through technological breakthroughs in mass production the prices for solar electricity could be decreased by 90%,” said David Wedepohl, a BSW spokesman. “In around 30 countries worldwide electricity from your own roof now costs less than what your local provider will charge you per kilowatt hour.”

By 2020, the solar industry will install 135 gigawatts of PV projects all over the world. 

That's a staggering number. It took the industry four decades to reach 100 gigawatts of cumulative capacity globally. In 2020, the world will see more than that installed in a single year, a 36% annual growth rate. The solar photovoltaic industry is mushrooming so fast at the moment that some analysts expect that half the current global total will be being installed every year by 2020.
The cumulative market at that point would be around 700GW, roughly equivalent to the size of all the electrical generating capacity in Europe today, if the predictions by experts prove correct.

That all sounds great doesn’t it? Well it would be if that energy was useable. The biggest cloud on the horizon for solar energy is how to store the tremendous amounts of energy so that it can produced instantaneously for later demand.

You can have the fastest and most desirable sports car in the world, but if you don’t have the road network and the relevant infrastructure to support your personal transport you might as well have a 5 door family hatchback like the rest of us.

So 9 out of10 for the PV panel technology, but a “must try harder" for storage manufacturers.

Postscript: Link to report about record.

Twitter: (@solaricarus)

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