Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into usable energy. Solar photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal electricity and solar heating and cooling are all forms of solar technologies.
'The New King of Electricity'
Research by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) indicates 2020 as a record year for wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) markets.
Power generation in 2050 is expected to triple from today’s levels to accommodate growing energy demand. Although wind and solar dominate the power generation mix at present, solar PV installed capacity is expected to reach almost 7,750 GW.
The International Energy Association (IEA) attributes solar leading the way to the sharp decrease in cost of renewables over the past decade. Solar projects now offer some of the lowest cost electricity ever seen, making solar the ‘new king of electricity’ (IEA)
Solar farms, for reasons of topology, are frequently located some distance from the nearest grid injection point. Given the importance of maximising the amount of available renewable energy in the mix, it makes sense to use the most efficient cable possible to export power from the solar farm to the grid. Enertechnos’s CTS cable with lower losses than conventional cable can help to deliver more clean energy and to improve the return on investment of solar projects.
Solar PV net capacity additions by country and region, 2015-2022 (GW)
Source: International Energy Association (IEA), 2020
Approximately 120 GW of additional global PV installations is expected in 2022.
In 2020, the total installed solar PV additions in China and the US combined would have accounted for more than half of global new installations, according to IEA’s forecast. PV installation is expected to speed up across 2020-2022 in Europe and the US.
The IEA predicts a substantial increase during 2023-2025, owing to faster recovery of distributed of PV applications as the global economy is to improve.
Europe can be 60% powered by solar by 2050
The solar industry in Europe predicts carbon neutrality is entirely possible within the continent by 2050. A central component of the study is that from 2030, solar power will become the central pillar of the energy system with its share of electrical generation growing to 60% in Europe by 2050.
Comparison: Growth of Capacity Mix in 2019 and 2050
Capacity Mix in 2019 (%)
Source: Bloomberg NEF
Estimated Capacity Mix 2050 (%)
Source: Bloomberg NEF
Source: Bloomberg NEF, 2020
The clean-power transition into 2050…
The clean-power transition looks promising for Europe, with both PV and wind accounting for 74% of electricity in 2050, according to a Bloomberg NEF report. For certain European countries, such as Germany, this figure will be more like 80%.
The report forecasts solar PV as thriving in southern European countries, such as Portugal and Spain, in the next 9 years, with over 30% of energy coming from PV in 2030.