Solar Power By Country
Many industrialized nations have installed significant solar power capacity into their grids to supplement or provide an alternative to other sources. Long distance transmission allows remote renewable energy resources to displace fossil fuel consumption. Solar power plants use one of two technologies:
- Arrays of photovoltaic (PV) modules, mounted on buildings or ground mounted 'solar parks'
- Solar thermal energy plants, using concentrated solar energy to make steam. The steam is converted by a turbine to electricity.
Germany is the world's top photovoltaics (PV) installer, with a solar PV capacity as of December 2012 of more than 32.3 gigawatts (GW). The German new solar PV installations increased by about 7.6 GW in 2012, and solar PV provided 18 TWh (billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity in 2011, about 3% of total electricity. Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050. Germany has a goal of producing 35% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% by 2050. Large PV power plants in Germany include Senftenberg Solarpark, Finsterwalde Solar Park, Lieberose Photovoltaic Park, Strasskirchen Solar Park, Waldpolenz Solar Park, and Köthen Solar Park.
The United States has considerable solar power activity and many utility-scale solar power plants. The largest solar power installation in the world is the Solar Energy Generating Systems facility in California, which has a total capacity of 354 megawatts (MW). Nevada Solar One is a solar thermal plant with a 64 MW generating capacity, located near Boulder City, Nevada. The Copper Mountain Solar Facility is a 48 MW photovoltaic solar power facility in Boulder City, Nevada. The DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center is a 25 MW photovoltaic solar power facility in DeSoto County, Florida.
Solar power in the People's Republic of China is one of the biggest industries in mainland China. China has over 400 photovoltaic (PV) companies and produces approximately 23% of the photovoltaic products worldwide.
The development of solar power by country depends on national economic incentives more than insolation.
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