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Clean Power Solar Farms Breach 12 GW mark in under 12 months

Published on February 22nd, 2013 | by Joshua S Hill

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Giant Solar Farm Capacity Doubling Inside 12 Months, Breaking 12 GW



A new update from analyst firm Wiki-Solar has concluded that by the end of February utility-scale solar farms will have reached 12.2 GW of capacity across 488 installations, a figure almost double that of 12 months ago.

Solar Farms Breach 12 GW mark in under 12 months

Top countries for utility-scale (10MW+) solar generation capacity, showing their capacity at the beginning of March 2013
Image Credit: Wiki-Solar

The report found that 6 GW of new utility-scale capacity has been connected worldwide in the last 12 months, with China alone installing nearly 2 GW since last February, pipping Germany as the country for solar power plants.

“The rate of growth is breath-taking”, says industry expert Philip Wolfe. “These figures get out-of-date before they are even published. In the last quarter alone, over 70 utility-scale solar projects totalling 1.5GW were registered under the Clean Development Mechanism.”

The report defined ‘utility-scale’ as any solar farm over the 10 MW barrier, gathering its data from Wiki-Solar’s database of solar projects published on its website and shown on an interactive global map.

The news comes at the same time that First Solar announced that their Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One has achieved a peak generating capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) connected to the electrical grid.

“We expect the USA to overtake Germany this year, too,” said Wolfe. “It has an impressive pipeline of large projects under construction and should go to the top of the table, if these are delivered on time.”

The current line-up has United States in at third, following China and Germany. Filling out the top five are Spain with 64 sites and India, with 44, double the next best contender at number six.

Germany has been at the head of lists like this for several years now, and we reported just a few days ago that Germany was at the head of new wind energy installations for 2012. But with China’s ability to flood the market with industrial products at the drop of a hat, coupled with an ever increasing population and need for electricity generation, it won’t be long before we see China at the top of all of these lists.

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About the Author

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, a liberal left-winger, and believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I work as Associate Editor for the Important Media Network and write for CleanTechnica and Planetsave. I also write for Fantasy Book Review (.co.uk), Amazing Stories, the Stabley Times and Medium.   I love words with a passion, both creating them and reading them.



  • Kent Beuchert

    After researching solar power for several years, largely as a result of a desire
    to install a rooftop solar array, I have come to conclude that practically every benefit claimed for solar energy is an illusion, and its acceptance is based on either ignorance or outright propaganda by the solar industry and its paid supporters.
    For example, on this website are claims of “X GW of solar power,” implying that
    this is equivalent to a conventional power plant of X GW capacity. That is a
    fraudulent claim in a number of ways. A solar farm with a claimed max power output of 1 GW will likely never produce more than 870 MW, and then only when the plant is new,and for a few minutes per day. A nuclear power plant rated at 1600 MW can produce well above that amount for 24 hours per day, at less than half the cost and well below half the carbon emissions generated by the solar panels. A typical Gen 3 nuclear plant would be equivalent to over 10,000 MW of solar power. And it gets much worse – solar energy is harvested when the sun shines, not normally when the demand is greatest. It requires total backup by conventional power generators, which adds enormously to the hidden, side-effect costs of solar, as do the heavy government subsidies. Land use is another negative for solar power,except of rooftop systems, but rooftop systems face another set of cost issues. Apparently, no one has realized that rooftops require re-shingling every 20 years or so.The major cost of a rooftop system is installation costs. Most solar roofs will have to be re-shingled before the solar panels lose most of their effectiveness, which means that most roof system costs will have to include two installations plus one de-installation during their lifespan, perhaps more. That fact totally invalidates any cost analysis that doesn’t take that major cost item into account. I have seen zero such cost analyses that do so – another solar illusion. Another is the wide discrepancy between rated power and actual power. delivered by such a system. By all rights,the court system should be clogged with class action lawsuits against solar providers for gross misrepresentations. Another solar illusion. Fortunately, there are states that
    have pursued an emission-effective and cost effective strategy – South Carolina
    will build three new nuclear reactors and achieve 86% emission-free power
    and not rape the landscape in the process, and their cost of power is already 40% less than California’s, which must import 25% of its power (South Carolina,
    on the other hand, is able to export 20% of its power). And California’s new pumped storage .facilities cost almost as much as an equivalently rated nuclear power plant. They can store only 10 to 15 hours worth of power. They add yet another side effect cost to the already high cost of solar and wind. Another illusion of renewable power. And with Gen 4 nuclear plants online, our “nuclear wastes” can be burned to produce all the power this country needs for the next 1000 years. We have no energy crisis – only a deficit of intelligence. Renewable power such as solar and wind, is simply an environmentally irresponsible and expensive energy strategy. Nor is it as safe as nuclear. How many deaths and injuries will occur when installers fall off one of those “one million” new rooftop solar installations (actually two million)? , In 60 years of nuclear power, no one has been killed as a result of nuclear power in the Western world. Solar power claims of increased safety? Another illusion.

  • anderlan

    If total worldwide solar installation is ~100GWp, then 90% is decentralized!

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