31 Jul '13, 6pm

World Solar Power Topped 100,000 Megawatts in 2012 (Grist)

The world installed 31,100 megawatts of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2012—an all-time annual high that pushed global PV capacity above 100,000 megawatts. There is now enough PV operating to meet the household electricity needs of nearly 70 million people at the European level of use. While PV production has become increasingly concentrated in one country—China—the number of countries installing PV is growing rapidly. In 2006, only a handful of countries could boast solar capacity of 100 megawatts or more. Now 30 countries are on that list, which the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects will more than double by 2018. PV semiconductor materials convert the sun’s rays directly into clean, carbon-free electricity. Traditional solar cells—made of crystalline silicon—are combined into flat panels or “modules.” While residential rooftop systems are measured in kilowatts, lar...

Full article: http://grist.org/article/world-solar-power-topped-100000-...

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World Solar Power Topped 100,000 Megawatts in 2012

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