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Substantial Increase In Solar Power Market Worldwide In 2016

You may be interested to read that last year there was a significant increase in the solar power market globally according to SolarPower Europe. However, this was not the case in Europe and that is disappointing to hear.

In 2016, the worldwide increase in solar power demand went up by in the region of 49%. Back in 2015, the amount of solar power was 51.2 GW but by the end of 2016 that figure had grown to 76.1 GW. We are sure that you will agree that is a very big increase.

In 2016, solar power capacity increased more in China than any other country

China made the biggest increase in solar capacity in 2016 of any country

In Europe, the amount of solar power that was connected to the grid in 2015 amounted to 8.6 GW. However, in 2016, the amount had only gone up by 6.9 GW. That is a drop of around 20% – a significant figure.

It was China that increased its solar power capacity by the most in 2016. It rose by 34.2 GW that equates to a rise of in excess of 125% when compared to 2015. China easily outperformed the USA in this respect that added 14 GW of solar power capacity last year compared to 7.3 GW in 2015.

The share of the solar market around the world at the end of 2016 was made up of: –

China 45%
USA 19%
Japan 11%
Rest of World 10%
Europe 9%
India 6%

As you can see, China is way ahead of any other country around the world. China is also a major producer and exporter of solar photovoltaic panels. Japan is not all that far behind the USA.

In 2016, solar panel installations in the UK eased off in comparison to the previous year. It will be interesting to see what happens in this respect in the UK this year. Will we see China have as successful a year in 2017 as it did in 2016? We will keep you updated in this respect.

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Amazon Having Solar Panels Installed

Many of you both here in the UK and overseas will use the services of Amazon that is a very large, global e-commerce retailer. You may be interested to read that it is supportive of renewable energy and is having solar panels installed on a number of its buildings.

solar photovoltaic panels are being fitted to a number of Amazon's buildings

Amazon is having solar panels installed on a number of its buildings.

Of course, we have commented on previous occasions about companies that have solar photovoltaic panels fitted to the roofs of some of their buildings. For instance, we mentioned Sainsbury’s having solar panels fitted to a number of their stores.

Amazon is forecasting that by the end of 2017 the solar panels that it has had installed on a number of its buildings in North America will provide power totalling as much as 41 megawatts. By the end of 2020 it hopes to have solar photovoltaic panels fitted on a minimum of 50 of its buildings.

In addition to using solar power, Amazon Web Services (AWS) also uses wind to provide renewable energy and it forecasts that by the end of this year renewable energy will provide 50% of its annual power requirements. We are sure that you will agree this would be an excellent achievement.

Obviously we need to see more projects like this come on board as, collectively, they will no doubt help countries around the world move towards meeting their renewable energy and carbon emission targets by the end of 2020. Here in the UK, as at 31st January 2017, solar PV capacity amounted to 11,642 MW made up of 904,089 solar powered installations. In the 12 months to the end of January 2017 capacity increased by 1,774 MW with this being an 18% rise.

As at the end of January 2017, small scale solar panel installations of between 0 to 4kW totalled 2,466 MW with this equating to 21% of all capacity. Large scale installation exceeding 5 MW generated capacity of 5,525 MW with this being 47% of all capacity.

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Ambulance Powered By Solar Energy In Bangladesh

There have been many occasions when we have reported on solar panels being used in a variety of situations such as built into rucksacks so that the energy produced can be used by walkers to charge mobile phones. Well, some people in Bangladesh, in particular those living in rural areas, may be benefiting from solar powered three wheeled ambulances later this year.

A three wheeled ambulance powered by the use of solar panels should be able to drive along many narrow country lanes in Bangladesh

The three-wheeled ambulance should be able to go along some narrow country lanes in rural Bangladesh.

Presently, trials are taking place of this vehicle that has been produced collectively by a Bangladesh manufacturer of vehicles called Beevatech, a government organization and BRAC university that is located in Dhaka.

At the moment, there are some people who live in rural areas who have to be transported to hospital to receive medical attention in rickshaw vans that are actually pulled by hand so they are quite slow to get to their destination. The solar powered ambulance can travel for up to 30 miles at a speed of between 9 to 12 mph. As a result, it is possible that people will be able to receive medical attention quicker that could save lives.

The three-wheeled ambulance is much smaller than a conventional one and therefore is able to get about on a lot more of the narrow lanes. However, it is still going to be very well equipped.

A normal ambulance can cost in the region of $30,000 whereas it is forecast that one of these solar powered ones could be priced at between $1,900 to $2,500. So, as you can see, there is a significant difference in cost meaning that they are much more affordable.

Solar panels charge the four batteries of 12 volts each so that the ambulance can be used to get to sick people during the night but during the daytime the four solar panels located on the roof of the ambulance provide the power for the ambulance. It takes anything between 3 to 4 hours to fully charge the batteries.

We will continue to keep our readers informed about any other interesting projects involving solar photovoltaic panels.

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Installed Solar Capacity In China Increased Significantly In 2016

In the past we have made reference to China producing solar panels for installation around the world and having solar panels fitted in their own country. You may be interested to note that last year the installed solar capacity in China increased by a huge amount.

are we going to find that over the next few years more of these roofs on properties in China will have solar panels fitted to them?

Will we see more of these roofs on properties in China with solar panels on them in the future?

Apparently, according to the National Energy Administration (NEA), the amount of installed solar capacity rose by 34.54 gigawatts in the twelve months to the end of 2016 with this being more than twice what was installed in 2015 when around 15 gigawatts of solar capacity was fitted. This took the total amount of installed solar capacity to 77.42 gigawatts.

China is a huge producer of solar photovoltaic panels no doubt providing employment for many people thus providing a significant benefit to the country. In addition, the export of solar panels to many countries around the world will no doubt also be of tremendous benefit to China.

In a recent news post we referred to the high amount of smog that a number of places in China suffered from and that the installation of solar panels may go some way towards improving the environment for its residents. Let us hope that China continues to increase its solar capacity each year going forward.

So, how does the above % increase in China in the space of 12 months compare with the UK? Well, here in the UK, the cumulative installed solar PV capacity was 9.66 gigawatts as at the end of 2015. As at the end of 2016 the figure was 11.457 gigawatts. So last year there was an increase of around 19%. In percentage terms this is much lower than in China. Let us hope that the situation here in the UK changes and a better set of results are produced in 2017.

We will continue to keep our readers updated with interesting news about the solar power industry.

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Huge Solar Farm Completed In China

A number of locations in China suffer with smog with many residents going about wearing masks so it is pleasing to hear that an extremely large solar farm has been constructed in the country. Of course, China is also well known for being a major producer of solar panels that are sold in numerous locations around the world.

China has built an extremely large solar farm called Longyangxia Dam Solar Park .

A very large solar panel farm has been completed in China.

The solar farm is called Longyangxia Dam Solar Park and is situated in Qinghai on the Tibetan Plateau that is a province in China. The power that it can produce is huge – 850MW. The plant was built in two phases with the first one being in 2013. It is in a desolate area of the country.

The solar panels cover an area of around 23 square kilometers that we are sure you will agree is a huge area. Apparently, there are almost 4 million solar panels on site that are capable of producing energy to as many as 200,000 homes.

It will be interesting to see if, over the next few years, China’s increased use of solar panels to produce energy results in a reduction in the level of smog being seen in the country. No doubt, residents in affected parts of China would welcome seeing this happen and, hopefully, there will be health benefits in this respect.

Of course, we have previously made reference in other posts to a number of other large solar panel projects in various parts of the world. Presumably, if countries around the world are to meet their renewable energy and carbon emission targets, it is developments like the one mentioned above that are also going to be a big help. However, we must not forget that all solar photovoltaic panel installations such as on the roofs of commercial premises as well as on residential properties will assist in the targets hopefully being met. We will keep you informed about other interesting solar power schemes.

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Eco Homes In Wales Utilise Solar Power

It is interesting to hear of a new housing development called Pentre Solar in Glanrhyd that is a village in Wales that have been built to be eco-friendly including the use of solar panels on the roofs of six properties.

The Pentre Solar eco housing development was opened by Lesley Griffths

Lesley Griffiths opened the Pentre Solar eco housing development.

The homes have been constructed by Western Solar Ltd in such a way that hopefully they should prove to be very energy efficient and should also provide a benefit to the environment. The housing development was opened a few days ago by Lesley Griffiths who is the cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs at the Welsh Assembly.

The 6 properties were built using locally sourced timber and have their cavity walls insulated using paper that has been recycled. It is also pleasing to hear that the properties were constructed using local tradespeople thus providing another benefit to the area.

Some of the homes are to be made available to people on the council waiting list requiring social housing so they should quickly be occupied. With a large shortage of housing in the UK these properties will no doubt be welcomed by those taking up residence in them especially bearing in mind that due to them being so eco-friendly the occupants’ fuel bills should be significantly lower than what you would find in a traditionally built home.

It is being forecast that the solar panels will produce more energy than is needed for each home with the surplus being sold back to the National Grid.

Solar panels are widely used not only here in the UK but in other countries around the world as they are seen as a financially viable source of renewable energy. Solar panels also should lower carbon emissions in comparison to some other ways of generating energy to be used in homes and business premises. It will be interesting to see if the above development proves to be a success and, if so, if there will be other similar developments erected here in the UK. We will endeavor to keep you updated in this respect.

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Solar Panel Road Built In France

Apparently, a solar panel road has been constructed in a village in Normandy in France that is around 1km in length. It is possibly the first time that solar panels have been used in this way.

solar photovoltaic panels have been used on around 1km of road in Normandy in France

Solar panels have been used on a road in France.

Some 2,880 solar photovoltaic panels have been utilized in the scheme and are capable of producing in the region of 280 MWh of electricity on an annual basis. The village where the solar panel road has been built is called Tourouvre-au-Perche that has over 3,000 people living in it.

The “Wattway” road is to be tested over a period of two years with a view to establishing if it is capable of providing sufficient energy to provide power for the village’s street lights. It is believed the scheme has cost in the region of 5 million Euros.

Presumably the amount of energy generated will fluctuate throughout the day with one reason for this being due to the volume of cars that use that stretch of the road as, when a vehicle is going over a solar panel, presumably it will not generate any energy.

A company called Colas is responsible for the project and apparently it is involved in many other solar panel road schemes. It will be interesting to see if this project is a success as, if it is, there are no doubt many, many miles of roads that could be used in that way both in France and in other parts of the world.

We have mentioned about many different uses of solar panels such as being fitted to rucksacks to be used by walkers to generate a small amount of energy that could be utilized to help charge a mobile phone or being used on a shack in a shanty town in South Africa to provide energy for the occupants use. We will keep our readers updated about any other interesting solar panel schemes.

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How Is The UK Deployment Of Solar Photovoltaics Progressing?

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy produces a report/figures on a monthly basis about the deployment of solar photovoltaics here in the UK. We thought that we would share with our readers some of the statistics covering up to October 2016, although do bear in mind that the figures are provisional at this stage.

It is important that as many solar panael installations are completed in the UK as this will assist the UK in trying to meet its renewable energy and carbon emission targets

Solar photovoltaic panel installations will play a part in helping the UK as it endeavours to achieve its carbon emission and renewable energy targets.

It is interesting that there have been 894,424 solar panel installations with a total solar PV capacity of 11,319 MW since the start of such installations up to the 31st October 2016. In the 12 months to that date, capacity has grown by 2,536 MW with this being an increase of 29%.

Only 8.3 MW of Solar PV capacity and 2,426 installations had been confirmed for the month of October 2016 presumably up to around when the figures became available/production of the report about the 24th November 2016. Of that capacity, 58% related to small-scale installations of 0 kW to 4 kW.

So far, since solar panels first started to be installed up to the 31st October 2016, 2,446 MW of capacity has been produced by small-scale installations of 0 kW to 4 kW. This equates to 22% of total capacity. Large-scale solar panel installations that exceed 5 kW accounted for 5,466 MW of capacity with this equating to 48% of total capacity over the same period.

There is no doubt that, following changes made by the Government to the Feed in Tariff scheme some time ago, there has been a reduction in the number of solar photovoltaic panel installations here in the UK. There have also been a significant number of job losses within the solar panel industry.

It will be interesting to see if any schemes are introduced to increase the number of solar panel installations here in the UK in the short term. Such installations play a significant part in the amount of renewable energy that is being used as the UK seeks to achieve its renewable energy and carbon emission targets.

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Solar Panels Provide Almost All Power On Remote Island

Ta’u is a remote island thousands of miles off the west side of USA in American Samoa. There are almost 600 inhabitants who have relied on boats delivering over 100,000 gallons of diesel each year to be used in generators to provide electricity.

Well, you may be interested to read that the island has recently had solar panels installed on the island by SolarCity with Tesla providing 60 powerpacks to store the energy to be used by both domestic households and businesses. The solar photovoltaic panels will provide solar capacity of 1.4 megawatts that is almost enough to provide power for the whole of the island. These powerpacks are capable of storing a lot of energy that means that it can be used throughout the night thus providing energy 24/7.

Solar panels will provide the remote island of Ta'u with energy

The remote island of Ta’u

This will mean that the islanders will no longer be dependent upon the weather being good enough to allow boats to drop off diesel on the island. Presumably, residents will welcome not having to worry about not having enough electricity available to use in the future to power various things.

There are probably many other remote islands around the world that may benefit from having the likes of a solar farm located on them. There is also the benefit of lower carbon emissions when compared with having to provide power by generators fuelled by diesel.

It was no doubt a complex project especially having to transport all the solar panels and powerpacks by sea as well as bring in staff to do the work that took quite some time to complete.

The above is just one of many interesting solar power projects that we have made reference to over the years. Of course, we will continue to keep our readers up to date with any other similar solar panel developments both here in the UK and the rest of the world.

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Solar Panels To Be Installed At 5,000 Total Service Stations

Total S.A is an extremely large international gas and oil company whose headquarters are in France. It has announced that over a period of 5 years it is to install solar photovoltaic panels at 5,000 of its service stations around the world. Apparently, some 800 of those service stations are located in France.

5,000 Total service stations worldwide are to have solar photovoltaic panels installed over the next 5 years

Total is to have solar panels installed at 5,000 of its service stations around the world in the next 5 years.

It is estimated that the cost of installing these solar panels that will be provided by an affiliate company called SunPower that are based in California, USA will be in the region of $300 million. So, as you can see, this is an extremely large solar power project.

These solar panels may be able to produce 200MW capacity of electricity. That is sufficient to provide around 200,000 people with electricity.

It is estimated that Total’s electricity bill will reduce by around $40 million every year. It is also forecast that its carbon emission usage will drop by some 100 million tonnes a year.

There are many businesses that have made the decision in recent years to install solar panels with a view to lowering their electricity bills and reducing carbon emissions and there may well be many other companies that do so in the coming months and years. For instance, Sainsbury’s has installed solar panels on a number of its stores around the UK.

The UK as well as other countries around the world is keen to lower carbon emissions and have targets in place to do so. Renewable energy that includes things like solar power and wind power will no doubt play a significant part in helping the country meet those targets.

In addition to businesses having solar panels fitted here in the UK, they are also being installed on a number of peoples’ homes as residents look to try to save money on their electricity bills and also do their bit towards lowering carbon emissions.

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