Michael Phelps’ eight gold medals a precursor as USA goes for solar gold

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

The landmark announcement of PG&E yesterday to purchase power from facilities that will have a combined capacity of 800MW got me thinking about who is really going for gold among solar power generation centres around the world.

The hypothesis:
“The top sporting nations in the world also offer the best prospects for the implementation of solar energy in the mainstream.”

 

  Gold Medals by day 6 MWP Installed
China 23
USA 14 173
Germany 8 515
South Korea 6 35
Italy 6 36
Australia 5  
Japan 5 16
     
Spain 1 547

With some information from my good friend Denis Lenardic over at www.pvresources.com we can start to put together a picture of solar power generation at large-scale utilities around the world.

The top five current (I am writing this after day six look so out for updates at the end of the Olympics) gold medal leaders at the Beijing Olympics are all strong solar players. China is leading with 22 gold medals and has one of the fastest-growing manufacturing infrastructures for solar power generation but sadly almost 96% of production goes off-shore and is not installed locally.

(Chinese PV manufacturer Suntech installed the solar panels for the Beijing Olympic stadium, nicknamed the ‘birdsnest’.)

The USA currently has around 174.3MWp installed and the announcements from PG&E, Sunpower and OptiSolar today will almost double that capacity over the next four years. Coupled with the Sun Edison/First Solar roof top project, this sets the scene for the USA to dominate the market in the coming years.

Third on the medal tally for gold at Beijing is Germany and they currently have 515MWp installed in large-scale plants (defined as projects with capacity of 200KWp or more). With currently the largest consumer market and biggest manufacturing base, Germany is one of the leading countries.

The comparisons get more interesting with 4 and 5 on the medal tally being Korea with 35.5MWp installed and Italy with 36.8MWp.

Sixth on the medal tally at Beijing is Australia, that has recently announced plans to produce a 250MWp plant.

Japan comes in seventh on the gold medal tally and has 16.5MWp of power stations installed with a manufacturing base slightly smaller than Germany and a large installed base of consumer modules but small growth prospects after the removal of government subsidies two years ago.

Of course the anomaly is Spain; they are a solar powerhouse with 547.8MWp of installed power generation but have failed to get more then 1 silver and 1 bronze so far in Beijing. All eyes will be on Valencia next month as we take part in the 23rd EU PVsec and more importantly see the affects of the reduction in the Spanish government support of the solar industry.

With big businesses like PG&E and Sun Edison in California, not to mention the big man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, backing solar, it seems that the USA can eclipse Spain in the solar rankings to achieve the top position. Whether or not the USA Olympic team can overcome the Chinese in Beijing is another story entirely.

By David Owen

 
Picture courtesy of Denis Lenardic @ www.pvresources.com

7 June 2022
The Renewable Energy Trading Summit is the only event in Europe dedicated to renewable energy trading and will bring together renewable power asset owners, investors, exchanges, intermediaries and large energy buyers to discover the future of power sales. This unique event is designed specifically for the most senior players and will provide an excellent forum for business deals, networking and learning. The energy transition is gathering pace with renewable energy attracting increasing sums of capital each year. Solar and wind deployment is increasing annually and governments are ever-more reliant on the renewables sector to stimulate moribund economies. Retirement of fossil fuel assets continues in the background. However, without subsidies and uncertainty around PPAs, renewable asset owners are heading into the wholesale markets to trade power but are they ready for the volatility in revenue this will entail?
9 June 2022
The proliferation of solar PV and other renewables is a cornerstone of the emerging new power system and, as a result, the solar industry has entered its fastest-growth period. This has become typified by surging demand for high-power PV modules that both produce more power and are more efficient than their predecessors. Providing a significant boost to power outputs, large-format modules have become a popular choice for customers the world over. Outdoor testing of modules is now providing empirical evidence of the benefits large-format modules produce, providing a crucial benchmark and invaluable data for customers to evaluate their module selection and procurement processes. In this PV Tech webinar, experts from TÜV Rheinland, CPVT and Trina Solar will discuss how to ensure science based and precision testing under field conditions, how empirical data is collected and analysed during TÜV Rheinland and CPVT’s outdoor testing, the empirical data behind a 670W module’s ultra-high power, and more.
14 June 2022
Join us in Napa to unlock the key to reliable PV module supply to the U.S. market in 2022 & 2023. We'll also be gathering the main players in the US solar market for some wine tasting!
15 June 2022
Consumers are turning to residential renewables in significant numbers, driven by a desire to be environmentally conscious and a wave of high power prices. But turning green requires easy-to-use and, above all, safe technologies that meet expectations. Huawei is committed to building efficient, safe, reliable and grid-supporting smart PV plants that also provide smart services to consumers, and its Residential Solution has been tailored to meet consumer demand. This webinar will demonstrate the full suite of technologies offered within the Huawei Residential Solution, including a smart energy controller, smart AC charger, and AI-powered energy storage solution, and detail how it can place power back in the consumer’s hands.
22 June 2022
The 11th edition of the Large Scale Solar Summit is coming to the US after 10 sell-out years in Europe! Designed as a meeting place for deal-making, we will not only discuss the most up to date topics and technologies but will also provide varied networking platforms so that developers, EPCs, manufacturers, asset owners, and investors can connect with possible clients and partners. In a year expected to break records for the solar market, join us in Texas to meet with the top players in the industry and expand your network as business booms.
19 July 2022
As New South Wales is gearing up to become a renewable energy superpower, an exciting clean energy event is coming to Sydney. Energy Next is a free-to-attend industry event focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy management technologies, which will be held from 19-20 July 2022 at the ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour. Organised by the same people behind the country’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will bring a quality exhibition and technical session series to NSW. Energy Next will also host the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Masterclass with a program developed for solar designers and installers. Across two days, Energy Next will provide an extensive exhibition, workshops and networking opportunities for those working in the renewable energy industry to meet with leading suppliers, discover the latest technologies and gain an understanding of how to successfully launch new clean energy projects.

Read Next

May 27, 2022
Solar O&M solutions provider Ecoppia is navigating ongoing component shortages while expending its operations into new geographies and ramping up production of its latest PV panel cleaning robot.
May 27, 2022
The CEO of US solar and energy storage developer Borrego has said the company’s project development business will be less capital constrained under the new ownership of investment firm ECP, following a deal announced earlier this week to spin off and sell the unit.
May 26, 2022
US solar and energy storage developer Borrego will spin off and sell its development business, including its more than 8.4GW PV project pipeline, to investment firm ECP.
May 26, 2022
Danish developer Better Energy has partnered with Finish solar company Forus to develop more than 1GW of solar PV in Finland.
May 26, 2022
Leading solar manufacturers have implored governments to implement tax credits and other financial incentives to stimulate domestic PV manufacturing.
May 26, 2022
Spanish utility Iberdrola will invest €3 billion (US$3.2 billion) in green hydrogen, the company’s chairman, Ignacio Galán, has announced as he called for a stable European framework to boost investment in the technology.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
June 7, 2022
Leonardo Royal London City, London, UK
Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
June 22, 2022
Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol, Austin, Texas