Solar Power Today

Solar Energy Expansion US, China and Germany

Solar Energy has lagged far behind wind in terms of development because, it has not been as cost effective. Two countries that have forged ahead with success in this area are China and Germany. What is leading to this success? How does the model for sun-a prosumer model differ from other economic models?

Germany leads the world in solar energy production from photovoltaic plants despite not being that sunny. So certainly nations like Australia, China and the United States could follow suit and produce much more.solar-pv-capacity-and-addtitions

solar-potential-map-fox

Germany has followed a model that leaves much of the development cost up to the consumer, who is also the producer, or prosumer. Hence, this can occur more rapidly. It also means the prosumer is part of the key profit takers in the industry. germany-people-powered-2012-003

Energy usage peaks in the daytime and during the summer in many regions, hence solar can be critical in meeting peak loads, which offsets storage issues. In 2013 Germany had several occasions where solar provided more than 50% of all electricity.

Part of the success has been due to the lower cost of emplacing solar panels, which mainly is realized from the more rapid emplacement, lowering labor costs. In th US costs for payoff of solar vary from city to city, due to rebates and tax incentives. The cost in 2012 was $5500 per kwatt, by 2013 it was down to $5000 per kwatt, Germany is close to $2000 per kwatt.

gchart-US-vs-German-solar-cost-2012

In the United States solar power is becoming much more competitive leading to a large growth in capacity, led by California. This has led to increased employment.

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 2.33.55 PM.png

Q2-2015SMI_FactSheet_Fig3

 

ITC-Impact-Factsheet-Fig1_0China is leading the way in solar PV manufacturing today, which is an economic plus. China is also the leader in solar heating, typically with rooftop water heating.
solar pv manufacsoalr heating

How competitive is solar today?

Germany Feed in Tariff

Solar leasing


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/22/2508191/germany-solar-generation-record/
http://climatecrocks.com/2013/10/24/its-about-ownership-why-germany-kicks-butt-in-renewable-energy/
http://climatecrocks.com/2013/02/11/germanys-10-huge-lessons-about-solar-energy/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s