5 Facts About Solar PV
The fastest-growing source of global renewable energy is showing no sign of slowing in terms of both investment and, indeed, adoption. In a market that enjoys as much annual sunlight as South Africa, isn’t it time we look to properly harness this impressive resource?
Let’s take a closer look at some facts about the making use of solar power:
It’s been around for a while
In 1839, a then 19-year-old French physicist Alexandre Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, the ability to generate energy from the sun’s rays. Later, in 1941, American scientist Russell Ohl working for Bell Laboratories would use this effect to form the basis for the first solar cell. Thirteen years later, Bell Laboratories would unveil the first practical silicon solar cell.
Solar remains the earth’s most abundant energy source
Essentially, there’s enough energy arriving onto the earth’s surface over the period of 1 hour to potentially provide power to the world’s population for 12 months. As we establish more efficient, more affordable ways in which of harnessing this potential, it stands to reason that our reliance on non-renewables like coal and oil will lessen.
The global shift towards solar energy is happening
According to SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Outlook for Solar Power, global solar capacity doubled in the 3-years, since 2018. In April 2022, this capacity in terms of humankind’s ability to harness the earth’s rays was registered at one Terawatt (one million million watts). In 2021, solar accounted for more than half of the renewable energy generated globally – wind generation placing a distant second.
China is leading the way
Bloomberg states that 183 gigawatts of new solar PV was installed globally in 2021. As per the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), China currently has more than 260 000 GWh’s worth of capacity. To put this figure into perspective, despite a concerted drive towards increasing its solar potential over the past few years, the US is currently second on the list at a little more than 116 000 GWh. Japan, India, Germany, Italy and then Australia complete the top 7.
India hosts the largest solar panel plant, though
Despite China leading the way in terms of the capacity, the largest solar panel plant is currently India’s Bhadla Solar Park. Spanning 5 700 hectares, this facility only has a capacity to generate 2.26 gigawatts of power. Temperatures in this region of India fluctuate between 46 and 48-degrees Celsius.
The Rentech brand was established in 2001 as a dedicated provider of renewable energy products and services. Focused on supplying local and selected African markets, our product range includes inverters, lithium batteries, lead-acid batteries, and PV panels of the highest quality. We provide expert advice to assist customers in choosing the best product solutions, appropriate for specific applications and requirements. A focus for Rentech is also providing compliant solar installations for homes and businesses, amongst other applications.
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