Europe's leading the way in solar

Pete Danko of EarthTechling recently took a look a new report about solar power use Europe is dominating the solar power market, accounting for 70 percent of the worldwide solar capacity:

As of the end of 2011, the Europe Union accounted for 70 percent of the cumulative solar photovoltaic capacity installed worldwide – 51 out of 70 gigawatts – according to a new EU report [PDF].

In addition to accounting for most of the gigawatts of solar power capacity, the capacity is growing:

A division of the Danish Ministry of Affairs said this month that thanks to net metering instituted in 2010, Denmark will reach its 2020 goal of 200 MW capacity this year. The government said that according to major energy companies in the country, the country will have 1 GW of solar installed by 2020 and 3.4 GW by 2030.

In addition, the report notes that in that in Germany and Italy, “the installed PV capacity will exceed 30 percent and 20 percent of the installed thermal power plant capacities respectively. Already on 25 May  2012, more than 22 GW of solar power were on the German grid, covering more than 30 percent of the total electricity demand at noon. Together with the respective wind capacities, wind and solar together will exceed 60 percent and 30 percent respectively.”

This incredible increase in solar power capacity has also increased the number of energy-related companies and the production capacity, even though there have been several bankruptcies taking place in the industry:

“Despite the fact that about three dozen companies declared bankruptcy, stopped production or announced a scale-back or cancellation of their expansion plans for the time being, the number of new entrants into the field, including some large semiconductor or energy-related companies overcompensated this,” the EU analysis says. “At least on paper the expected production capacities are still increasing.”

Europe is the current leader in solar power capacity and shows no evidence of stopping. This could be something to both keep an eye on and follow in the footsteps of.

Read the article here: