NewEnergyNews: NEW ENERGY RISING

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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

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  • The Transportation Policy Battleground Right Now

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    NEW ENERGY RISING

    Solar Power Leads As Investment In Renewables Reaches Record Highs

    12 June 2012 (Solar Industry)

    “…Overall, the top seven countries for renewable electricity capacity (excluding large hydro) - China, the U.S., Germany, Spain, Italy, India and Japan - accounted for about 70% of total non-hydro renewable capacity worldwide [according to The REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report]. On a per-person basis, Germany ranked first, followed by Spain, Italy, the U.S., Japan, China and India. By region, the EU was home to nearly 37% of global non-hydro renewable capacity at the end of 2011…

    “In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 GW of electric capacity added globally during the year, according to the reports. Wind and solar PV accounted for almost 40% and 30% of new renewable capacity, respectively. By the end of 2011, total renewable power capacity worldwide exceeded 1,360 GW - up 8% over 2010.”

    click to enlarge

    “In the U.S., renewable energy (including large hydro) provided 12.7% of total domestic electricity in 2011, up from 10.2% in 2010 and 9.3% in 2009. Renewable energy sources accounted for about 11.8% of U.S. domestic primary energy production, for the first time surpassing the 11.3% from nuclear power…Competitive challenges intensified sharply, leading to large drops in prices, especially in the solar market. This was a boon to buyers, but not to manufacturers - a number of which went out of business or were forced to restructure, the reports note.

    “Faced with plunging green energy technology prices and economic austerity measures, many governments slashed their renewable subsidies and allowed other support schemes to expire…Manufacturer margins were compressed as the industry continued the shift from a period of undercapacity a few years ago to overcapacity now as growing demand failed to keep up with a surge in supply…The most dramatic price plunge was in PV cells, whose average price fell from $1.50/W in September 2010, to $1.30/W by January 2011 and $0.60/W by the end of the year…[but] the cost of producing power from rooftop PV panels for domestic use is already competitive with the retail (but not the wholesale) daytime electricity price in several countries including Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain, as well as in the state of Hawaii.”

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