products by: Mike Chagala

Solar's Global Reach

January 30, 2013

There is a lot of news about solar power advances in the United States. But the solar boom isn't limited to America-there are several clean energy initiatives taking place around the globe as more countries realize the value of solar energy. Here is a look at some of the latest clean energy news happening all over the world:

  • China is forecast to increase its solar power generation from 3.6 million kilowatts last year to up to 21 million gigawatts by 2015, according to the country's Xinhua news agency.
  • Saudi Arabia is investing $100 billion in solar power. According to Forbes.com, the Saudi government is aiming to generate 41,000 megawatts of solar power over the next 20 years. Also, the country's Saline Water Conversion Corporation, which is tasked with turning salt water into fresh water, recently said it would build three solar-powered desalination plants.
  • In Australia, rooftop solar panels may be cheaper than using conventional electricity, and solar and wind power could be less expensive to produce than using coal by the year 2030, according to a report in the Brisbane Times. Over three-quarters of a million homes and commercial buildings in Australia use solar panels.
  • Solar power use in Europe jumped to 21.9 gigawatts in 2011, up from 13.4 GW in 2010, according to a recent report, "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics Until 2016," released by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. Italy and Germany were the top users of solar in the continent.
  • Plans have been announced to build the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in Africa. The $400 million project from Britain-based Blue Energy would be set in Ghana and would provide power to more than 100,000 homes. Construction on the Nzema plant, as it is being called, is slated to begin within a year.
  • India is collaborating with the United States on the new Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS). Made up of solar industry and academic representatives, the institute's goal is to develop low-cost and cutting-edge solar power solutions. The governments of both countries are giving $25 million in funding over five years, with a consortium of businesses contributing another $25 million. Among the organizations involved are the Indian Institute of Science, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in America, General Electric, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Hindustan Petroleum.
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