“I think the future for solar energy is bright” — Ken Salazar
Solar energy is one of the promising areas of renewable energy, based on the direct use of solar radiation to generate energy for heating, electricity and water heating. Just a few years ago it was hard to believe that solar energy will be able to compete with the usual sources of energy. Dreams came true.
New records in 2017
This year, some parts of the world have tried to live only on renewable energy sources.
The first was a province of China. The **Qinghai **government conducted a successful experiment on the temporary transition to renewable sources. Thus, people (around 6 million!) was able to live 7 full days, providing the needs due to the energy of the sun, wind and water.
The next world record was put by the state of Costa Rica. The country was able to meet its needs exclusively at the expense of renewables for almost a year! It took 300 days when 100 percent of electricity production was from renewable sources of energy — this is a real achievement for a country of about 5 million people.
Solar power — trend of the year
A record minimum was set for the cost of solar energy in November 2017: Following Saudi Arabia, **Mexico set a tariff equal to 1.77 ¢ / kWh **(by****ENEL Green Power). This price allowed the company to win a tender for the construction of four major projects with a total capacity of 682 MW.
Further drop in prices will be caused by increased efficiency of solar panels. Recently, JinkoSolar once again broke its own record, achieving in laboratory conditions the efficiency of polycrystalline batteries at 23.45%. Compared to the standard efficiency of 16.5%, this improvement is 42%. And this means, 42% less effort will have to spend on their installation, maintenance and placement.
According to the German analytical company Bernreuter Research, the total capacity of solar installations in the world achieved 100 GW in 2017. A huge role in this was played by China, which took the leading position in the construction of solar power stations — their total country capacity reached 52 GW. Further on: the United States (12.5 GW), India (9 GW), Japan (5.8 GW), Germany (2.2 GW) and Brazil (1.3 GW). Australia, Chile, Turkey and South Korea also made their own records.
Record investment volume
With increased global capacity and lower cost of solar energy, interest of the largest corporations has increased significantly:
- Oil corporations began to invest in clean energy.
- BP paid $ 200 million to get a 43% stake in Europe’s largest manufacturer of solar panels. The company will be renamed into Lightsource BP, and representatives of BP will get two seats in management. Thus, BP again returned to business, which left 6 years ago, considering it unprofitable.
- American giants of investment-banking companies Citigroup and JPMorgan both have their intentions to fully use renewable energy sources by 2020.
- Google has announced its 100% transition to RES. Total company investments to clean energy reached $3.5 billion.
In the new 2018 Solar Energy industry will still increase its pace of development. It is generally agreed that a complete transition to renewable energy will take place in 2050.
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