Published on February 12th, 2013 | by Cynthia Shahan5
World Solar PV Capacity Surpasses 100 Gigawatts In 2012
This bright news below brings the message that people are changing, things are changing. From a statement released in Brussels yesterday we find that the world’s cumulative solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity capacity surpassed 100 gigawatts (GW) in 2012, achieving just over 101 GW. This is according to new market figures from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). “A landmark year,” EPIA called it. Indeed!
Wonderful to find that it’s not just speeches and pleas for change, that there is change in the works. The sun is the source of energy the world is harnessing without depletion or toxicity to a greater and greater extent. And 2012 was another strong year for the solar industry (following a very strong in in 2011). More than 30 GW of PV were connected to the electricity grid in 2012, EPIA added. And there was a sort of balancing out in where that solar power was installed. Non-European markets increased their installations and accounted for more than 13 GW of the worldwide total.
Harnessing the Power of the Sun
“This global capacity to harness the power of the sun produces as much electricity energy in a year as 16 coal power plants or nuclear reactors of 1 GW each. Each year, the world’s PV installations reduce CO2 emissions by 53 million tons,” EPIA wrote.
The surpassing of the 100-GW mark occurred in yet another year of strong global PV development, with an estimated 30 GW connected to the grid and made operational in 2012 – roughly the same as the record-setting level of 2011. These results are preliminary, and the 30 GW figure could be increased by an additional 1 or 2 GW when final numbers come in. Final results for the year will be published in May, in EPIA’s annual “Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-2017.”
We are seeing the doable, absolutely necessary changes that I am sure Connie Hedegaard is counting a happiness, along with CleanTechnica, the rest of Europe, and our whole small planet. We seek more efforts such as this to be the norm.
“No one would have predicted even 10 years ago that we would see more than 100 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity in the world by 2012,” said EPIA President Winfried Hoffmann. “The photovoltaic industry clearly faces challenges but the results of 2012 show there is a strong global market for our technology. Even in tough economic times and despite growing regulatory uncertainty, we have nearly managed to repeat the record year of 2011.”
Here’s to Jumping to Speed of Light with Renewable Energy
As noted above, outside of Europe (the solar leader to date), there was important solar growth. The year showed an important “shift towards a more global PV market,” EPIA wrote, “with 13 GW of PV installations occurring outside of Europe (compared to just under 8 GW in 2011) and nearly 17 GW in Europe (compared to nearly 23 GW in 2011). The top three European PV markets in 2012 were Germany (with 7.6 GW), Italy (3.3 GW) and France (1.2 GW). The top three non-European markets were China (with at least 3.5 GW and possibly as much as 4.5 GW), the U.S. (3.2 GW) and Japan (2.5 GW).”
Added Hoffmann, “The key going forward will be to address these new market challenges and continue policies that help PV technology to grow sustainably, continuing its evolution to a mainstream electricity source.”
It seems that everyone is jumping to speed up with this, and unlike other types of energy, there are no serious downsides to solar. The speed of light is the kind of pace and change we do need. Light is light is light, and who does not need more light?