World-wide demand for energy is at an all-time high and we are all starting to feel the effects. Existing energy infrastructure is crumbling under the pressure of demand and the impact of fossil fuels on our environment is becoming more and more profound.
Fortunately, in a world that requires change our leaders are starting to step up and invest in renewable resources such as solar power. Originally, the move away from fossil fuels was projected to take up to 50 years, but a rapid development in technology has halved this timeframe. Solar power has developed from a niche market to a viable alternative to fossil fuels and at every level of society people are embracing the change. Read on to find out more about which countries are leading the renewable revolution and what Australia is doing to help the push towards more environmentally sustainable means of energy production.
THE NEW WORLD LEADERS IN SOLAR POWER
Solar power is truly taking both the developing and the developed world by storm and the global leaders may surprise you.
In first place is Germany, which has 38.2 GW of solar power installed in 2014 and is the leading market for solar power in the World.
In second place is China, which has 28.3 GW of solar installed.
Between 2010 and 2014 Germany increased its solar power by 8% and China increased its solar power by 55%. Australia increased its solar power by 30%.
Other countries such as Japan, USA and Italy are the next round of the top ten with between 18GW and 23GW each installed. France, Spain and Australia are the next group with 4GW – 6GW installed. Australian passed the 5GW mark in April 2016.
India, Denmark and Mexico are also investing heavily into solar power plants and steadily moving further away from their reliance on fossil fuels.
Around the world there are other positive signs too. In Middle Eastern countries such as Jordan, a rapid shift towards renewable energy has begun. Similarly, in Norway, the world’s largest superannuation fund has recently dissociated itself of all fossil fuel investments.
Here is how different countries rate for solar power installed and then solar power production as a percentage of their total power production:
South Korea 2.4
Solar Percentage of Total Power Production 2014
- Norway – 98.47%
- Denmark – 50.73%
- Italy – 32.67%
- Spain – 30.99%
- Germany – 24.38%
- China – 21.05%
- Mexico – 15.73%
- India – 15.20%
- Australia – 13.47%
- USA – 12.56%
- Jordan – 0.44%
THE GROWTH OF SOLAR POWER IN AUSTRALIA
Although Australia sits ninth in the top ten solar power generating countries, we are well positioned to be a world leader in solar power production. Apart from our magnificent climate and vast plains, the use of solar power has been steadily gaining momentum in Australia and there is ample proof of a move away from traditional energy sources.
Top 10 PV countries in 2015 (MW)
- China – 43,530
- Germany – 39,700
- Japan – 34,410
- United States – 25,620
- Italy – 18,920
- United Kingdom – 8,780
- France – 6,580
- Spain – 5,400
- Australia – 5,070
- 10. India – 5,050
Signalling the start of this shift, several large mining companies in NSW and Queensland have sold 7 mines in the last 12 months. In November 2012 the Australian Federal Government released an Energy White Paper that projected by 2035 solar energy will provide 17 percent of Australia’s energy needs. This figure was projected to rise to 29 percent by 2050 and with recent breakthrough in the industry could rise higher still.
With 4276 MW of solar power produced in Australia in 2015 and 100MW of rooftop solar added in the first months of 2016, it is clear that in the future Australia will be at the forefront of the solar power revolution.
As the momentum for change continues to grow, the question is, where do you stand? You too can benefit from having a solar power system installed in your home or business, in the Hunter Valley and Newcastle.
To find out how and which solar energy systems can work for your home or business; speak to the specialists at HCB Solar today.