Tag Archives: renewable

7 Impressive Solar Energy Facts (+ charts)

7 impressive solar energy facts (+ charts)

by author:Zachary Shahan

How solar power has changed over the last 10 years

Solar power is in a tremendously different place today than it was in 10 years ago. Below are a handful of impressive stats about solar power’s growth, as well as some general stats about solar energy potential that are also quite noteworthy.

1. Even yearly energy potential from sunshine dwarfs total energy potential from any other source.

The annual energy potential from solar energy is 23,000 TWy. Energy potential from total recoverable reserves of coal is 900 TWy. For petroleum, it’s 240 TWy; and for natural gas, it’s 215 TWy. Wind energy’s yearly energy potential is 25–70 TWy.

[Source: A Fundamental Look at Energy Reserves for the Planet]

2. Approximately 66% of installed world solar PV power capacity has been installed in the past 2½ years.

Furthermore, total installed capacity is projected to double in the coming 2½ years.

[Source: GTM Research]

3. Global solar PV power capacity grew from about 2.2 GW in 2002 to 100 GW in 2012.

From 2007 to 2012, it grew 10 times over, from 10 GW to 100 GW.

[Source: Renewables 2013 Global Status Report]

4. There are now about 1.36 million jobs in the global solar PV industry.

There are also about 892,000 in the solar heating & cooling industry.

[Source: Renewables 2013 Global Status Report]

5. Germany accounted for nearly one third of global solar PV capacity at the end of 2012.

Italy (16%) and Germany (32%) combined accounted for nearly half of global solar PV capacity.

[Source: Renewables 2013 Global Status Report]

6. The price of solar PV panels dropped about 100 times over from 1977 to 2012.

Since 2008, the price of solar PV panels has dropped about 80%.

[Data Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance / Chart Source: Cost of Solar/Unknown]

7. The sunshine hitting Texas in one month contains more energy than all the oil and gas ever pumped out of the state.

Nonetheless, New Jersey has about 10 times more solar PV power capacity installed than the entire state of Texas.

[Data Source: SEIA / Image Source: 1Sun4All.com]

Those are some of the most impressive solar energy facts and charts I’ve seen, but please let us know if there are some big ones you think I’m missing.

Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Zachary Shahan, editor of CleanTechnica and Planetsave. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of ABB or its employees.

Solar PV providing light and power to Los Angeles; Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach Graffiti Art Walls

Solar PV lighting system with Battery Back-up, Venice Beach, CA

If you’re paying attention to the skyline then you’ve seen solar pv arrays being used to provide clean, renewable energy popping up everywhere.  Many homeowners and business owners have made the switch from fossil fuels to solar power, but even the smallest of energy users (see photo left) are also making the move.

Solar Energy can be used anywhere on Earth the sun shines.  We use it to provide energy in remote locations where the ‘grid’ cannot reach as well as in ‘grid’ connected areas to help offset some of the utility company electrical demands.  A solar electric system in conjunction with battery back-up can produce clean, renewable energy throughout the day which can be distributed anytime, even during the utility companies peak charge times to save the most.  The solar lighting system installed at the Venice Beach Art Walls includes a battery back-up system at each light which allows the entire area to shine all night completely off the electrical grid.

Solar PV Array at Santa Monica Pier, California

Keep traveling a little farther north along the bike path and you’ll find the Santa Monica Pier.  Take a closer look (see pic below) and you’ll see a solar PV array helping push the roller coaster and ferris wheel along.  This solar system does not cover all the power required to run the Santa Monica Pier, however one of the many benefits of a solar system is it’s easily expandable.  As us about our proposal to take the Santa Monica Pier completely off the utility grid…

Feel free to email, or comment below should you have questions or opportunities to discuss.

Thanks for spreading the word,

Jimi Holt