NewEnergyNews: The Global Solar Potential Is Terawatts

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    Friday, May 31, 2019

    The Global Solar Potential Is Terawatts

    Terawatt-scale photovoltaics: Transform global energy

    Nancy M. Haegel, Harry Atwater Jr., Teresa Barnes, et al. , 31 May 2019 (Science)

    “…Global installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity exceeded 500 GW at the end of 2018, and an estimated additional 500 GW of PV capacity is projected to be installed by 2022–2023, bringing us into the era of TW-scale PV…[The speed of change in the PV industry toward the TW scale has surprised observers], both in terms of continued dramatic cost decreases and manufacturing-scale increases…Two years ago, we observed that if PV could continue on its historical learning curve, then PV module prices would reach $0.50/W and $0.25/W at a cumulative deployment of 1 and 8 TW, respectively… [but] by the end of 2018, with only 500 GW of PV installed, the global average module selling price was already below $0.25/W…

    In Germany, variable renewable electricity capacity (wind and solar) increased from 45 to 98 GW from 2010 to 2016, translating to an increase in grid penetration from 8 to almost 20%...In California, the fraction of electricity generated in-state from combined utility and residential PV increased from less than 1% in 2010 to ∼18% in 2018…Some research suggested that with current electricity generation operation practices, the value of PV will decrease as PV penetration increases. More recent analysis has identified how changes in operational practices of the existing generation fleet and PV systems themselves could enable much higher levels of PV in the electricity generation system. California is already implementing some of those operational practices, enabling annualized utility-scale PV plant curtailment to stabilize around 1 to 2%...” click here for more

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