Solar panel capacity is set to overtake nuclear worldwide for the first time within the next few months, according to expert predictions. The total capacity of nuclear power is currently about 391.5 gigawatts but the total capacity of photovoltaic cells is expected to hit 390 gigawatts by the end of this year with demand growing at up to eight per cent per year, according to GTM Research. While this would be a landmark moment for renewable energy, nuclear still generates much more electricity than solar – nearly 2.5 million gigawatt-hours a year compared to the latter’s 375,000 gigawatt-hours. Stephen Lacy, writing on GTM’s website, said: “It’s still going to be a record-breaking year for new solar capacity additions – yet again.”The 81 gigawatts expected this year are more than double the amount of solar capacity installed in 2014. And it’s 32 times more solar deployed a decade ago. (In the year 2000, global installations totaled 150 megawatts.) While solar accounts for about 1.8 per cent of global electricity generation today, the International Energy Agency has predicted this could rise to 16 per cent by 2050 under a “high-growth scenario”, which would make it the largest source of energy in the world.
Independent 22nd Aug 2017 read more »
Liam Stoker discusses Sadiq Khan’s London environment strategy and why his apparent decision to row back on plans for an independent supplier – at least for the time being – aren’t good news for solar in the capital.
Solar Power Portal 21st Aug 2017 read more »
Scientists have created bacteria covered in tiny semiconductors that generate a potential fuel source from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. The so-called “cyborg” bugs produce acetic acid, a chemical that can then be turned into fuel and plastic. In lab experiments, the bacteria proved much more efficient at harvesting sunlight than plants. The work was presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington. Researchers have been attempting to artificially replicate photosynthesis for many years. In nature, the green pigment chlorophyll is key to this process, helping plants to convert carbon dioxide and water, using sunlight, into oxygen and glucose. But despite the fact that it works, scientists say the process is relatively inefficient. This has also been a big problem with most of the artificial systems developed to date. This new approach seeks to improve that efficiency by essentially aiming to equip bacteria with solar panels.
BBC 22nd Aug 2017 read more »