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Published on February 9th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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Solar Power Capacity Increased 54% in 2011

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February 9th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
 
 
solar power increasing

Reaching about 28 gigawatts (GW), solar power capacity increased about 54% in 2011, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Germany and Italy led the way.

“Photovoltaic installations rose to between 26.5 and 29.4 gigawatts last year, compared with 18.2 gigawatts during 2010,” Marc Roca of Bloomberg wrote.

“The year was on the high side of even bullish estimates,” Jenny Chase of London-based BNEF wrote. “We think 2012 will be about flat, as European markets have overshot targets and spending caps and plan to rein back severely.”

Of course, a tremendous drop in solar panel prices combined with strong solar power policies in a handful of European countries led the surge.

“New spending on solar energy jumped 36 percent to $136.6 billion in 2011, outpacing the $74.9 billion put into wind power, and represented almost half of all renewable energy investment worldwide” in 2011.

No one expects 2012 to be such a good year, but who knows what’s actually in store? India is in the midst of a strong cleantech (especially solar) surge, as are several other Asian countries. And, despite policy uncertainty in the U.S., innovative companies are propelling the technology onto more roofs while utility-scale projects are also on the way.

Source: Bloomberg
Solar panels via shutterstock

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Pingback: Australian Tindo Solar panels aim to take on Chinese giants

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    I remember everyone said that 2011 will be quite a flat year because of lesser demand.

    Well, it turned out pretty much the opposite, although it is true that this year was probably fuelled by the drastic cuts at panel prices.

    Producers probably cannot cut prices in 2012 like in 2011 because they are already at the thin line of profitability (Chinese producers are in fact accused of dumping)

    Naturally, if new or improved technologies make their way into production, that may lower prices .

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