The Growth of Solar Energy
How the World is Adopting Solar Energy
Solar energy is reshaping the world we live in, and it is only getting better with advancements in the technology. Large countries such as China and India are making strong moves towards clean energy v.s. traditional coal for power, which up until now was the cheapest yet dirtiest way to get energy.
Places like Jordan are trying to reduce fossil fuel imports, and convert to solar power, last year alone 96% of Jordanian energy came from the import of fossil fuels and cost 10% of their gross domestic product to import those fossil fuels. Currently in a desert that used to have a backdrop filled with sand, there is a brand new 160-megawatt solar park.
Installations like this are the cause of growing excitement for Jordanians, and is leading to more opportunities for work and education. Raed Khader, a driver in Jordan, has convinced his daughter to become one of the first Jordanian women to study for a solar-energy engineering degree.
“It’s amazing. I love it. It’s good to see my country develop its own source of energy.”
Jordan’s’ interest in moving away from fossil fuel becomes more obvious, especially after the Arab spring in 2011 when Egypt cut natural-gas supplies. Although these changes are necessary for Jordan many other countries are making similar moves.
Clean energy is booming across Germany with more traditional rooftop panels, whereas other countries are building parks with several tens of thousands of flexible PV panels that supply power to their national grids, this is similar to the way net metering works in the USA. Last year China became the largest producer of solar energy, surpassing Germany, even though solar power only counts for 3% of their power mix. They are currently looking to complete an installation of 12 gigawatts worth of solar power in the first half of this year.
Not to be outdone, India is also in the race to catch some rays, their plan is to increase their solar-power capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2022. There are several experts that believe that this may be a little over ambitious.
What is fueling all of this growth? According to the International Renewable Energy Agency the biggest factor is that the price to produce solar panels has dropped 80% since 2010. Although others believe that the drop in price is not something that is able to continue without manufacturers cutting some corners.
Solar energy is also in the process of changing the way we travel, back in August the Solar Impulse 2 completed its first 25,000-mile journey across Europe, Asia, and North America. The sun is our most abundant natural resource and many want to harness its power to do so much more.