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Thursday, September 5, 2013


A quick glance at the top table to the right shows that wind, biofuels, solar and geothermal, combined, are only 2% of the global energy being consumed.  The U.S. is not much different from the world.  So you might surmise that renewables are almost insignificant.

How wrong you would be!  In an article by Chris Meehan (above) of SolarReviews:

The percentage was 49, with all solar, wind, geo and waste heat/water sources being included. Added to the U.S. grid were 13,100 megawatts of wind power and 3,300 MW of solar PV.  A sum of $44.2 billion was invested in 2012.  True, 2011 saw $65.4 billion in renewable projects, but 2012 ranks #2 throughout history.  

Solar grew 34%,  as prices dropped 20% from Q4 2011 to Q4 2012.  Regarding the future, 10,500 MW of power purchase agreements are in place.  Further, the ten largest solar PV projects in construction, worldwide, are in the U.S, the biggest being the Topaz Solar Farm (above in San Luis Obispo) of First Solar, a Cadmium Telluride system at 550 MW.  Solar thermal is also an option, and the Ivanpah project (below), to come on-line in 2015 in the Mojave Desert, is rated at 392 MW.

The second largest wind farm in the world is located at Tehachapi Pass, the Alta Wind Energy Center's 1,320 MW facility.  One of the final two segments will be added this year and, the final chunk in 2019.

However, the Gansu (below, red on map) Wind Farm of China is the largest wind park, 5000 MW, with a goal of 20,000 MW in 2020.


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