Solar goes global

Thursday 26th January 2017
Off grid solar power system simplified diagram

Santa Clara-based IDTechEx Research and the German Solar Association of Berlin both report that energy independence of vehicles such as a solar powered piazza van, and country's as China’s NEA (National Energy Agency) stopping construction of 100 coal-fired power plants nominal capacity of over 100GW, in favour of solar systems, combine to create a global solar power takeoff.

A new report from IDTechEx Research, Energy Independent Electric Vehicles Land, Water, Air 2017-2037, reveals how energy independent electric vehicles (EIV) such as solar racers were a curiosity five years ago, too weak to lead to anything generally useful. Then a solar boat and plane went round the world and a solar plane is now being prepared that will rise from earth to 80,000 feet on sun-shine alone. Entirely solar driven golf cars, small buses and passenger boats are on sale. Solar dirigibles for heavy lifting and long distance transport are being prepared for sale and this report reveals details of many solar cars demonstrated for mainstream use from 2020. They generate up to eight times as much electricity as predecessors: learn how and why.

The report is echoed in Europe with the 30 years BSW-Solar, the interest group for the solar and storage industries in Germany and in numerous foreign markets, that has been committed to the goal of achieving a sustainable energy supply with a significant share of PV. The association assists foreign governments around the world in bringing photovoltaics to the market, and facilitates international relations between companies in the energy sector. This mission is also furthered by BSW’s exclusive partnership with Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry, which takes place this year from 31 May to 2 June in Munich.

Boats are being prepared that are entirely powered by electricity from on-board wind turbines and/or solar and/or tide and waves. These and other developments are about to be recognised as the kernel of a business of over $100 billion in EIVs employing multi-mode energy harvesting, extreme powertrain efficiency and other new advances. Investment in these new technologies is de-risked by the fact that they will be useful way beyond EIVs. The leading solar racer company has already spun off five businesses exploiting its discoveries in aerodynamics and the like.

The IDTechEx report shows how EIVs have bigger potential than those navigationally autonomous vehicles that are all the rage right now. Indeed they leverage today'Germans "autonomy" while also transforming the future of land vehicles, boats and aircraft with human drivers. Be first to learn the dramatic winners, losers and benefits to society of all this. The report uses easily understood infograms, graphs and tables to present the discoveries and interpretation by globetrotting multi-lingual, PhD level analysts at IDTechEx. There are even latest inputs in 2017. 47 categories of electric vehicle are forecasted by number and value 2017-2027.

With a profusion of examples and new market research, the report explains why billions of dollars are already being spent on unmanned military and non-military aircraft that will stay aloft for 5-10 years - energy independent. Learn how some solar cars even donate electricity to the grid and others are intended to be mainstream in Germany, Australia, China and elsewhere. An Italian pizza van does all its travel and cooking using unfolding solar plus a telescopic, unfurling wind turbine used when it is stationary. In 2017, companies are already negotiating to license the design for series manufacture. Unmanned solar inflatable wings will carry heavy loads across Canada and there is much more going on with wind, wave, tide and other ambient power grabbed by boats, planes and so on. Readers see the future. For example, discover how remote communities and underdeveloped counties will prosper as a consequence.

Utilities and charging station networks are bypassed. Batteries become less important in EVs. Less battery may be needed - sometimes no battery at all - but the report forecasts multi-billion dollar businesses being created that make the unprecedentedly efficient powertrains, multi-mode energy harvesting, lightweighting and streamlining required.Energy Independent Electric Vehicles Land, Water, Air 2017-2037reveals how that includes new technology of regeneration including the elimination of hot shock absorbers and disk brakes, electricity being produced instead. Learn how smart materials are planned - structural electronics replacing the components-in-a-box approach. The reinvented car, boat and plane await, easier to use, safer, greener, with lower cost of ownership and longer life. Previously impossible missions are identified and the boost to mobile robotics is revealed. Participate and invest before the herd. Here is the knowledge that gives you the power.

German Solar Association, Berlin
Growth of PV technology around the world continues, and the global success story has now reached a further milestone: 300 gigawatts (GWp) of total installed solar power capacity around the world. This was announced by the German Solar Association, on the basis of their own calculations. In 2016 there was a global deployment of solar power systems with an additional nominal capacity of around 70 gigawatts. That amounts to a jump of around 30% in new deployment compared to the previous year 2015. The photovoltaic systems installed in 2016 alone generate around 90TW hours of clean solar power. In mathematical terms, this new capacity would supply 25 million additional households with an annual electricity consumption of 3500 kilowatt hours.

“The utilisation of solar power has really picked up momentum in many countries around the world. As the global thirst for energy increases, more and more governments and investors are committing to clean forms of energy,” explains Carsten Körnig, Chief Executive Officer of the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar). China’s National Energy Agency (NEA), for example, stopped the construction of around 100 coal-fired power plants with a nominal capacity of over 100 gigawatts, while at the same time installing photovoltaic systems with a nominal capacity of around 34 gigawatt peak (GWp) in 2016. This makes the “Middle Kingdom” the largest business market for PV, followed by the United States with around 13 gigawatts and Japan with around 9 gigawatts. A strong photovoltaic market is also developing in India, where forecasts predict growth of 8 to 9 gigawatts for 2017.

“The decision for solar power has long been based on more than environmental concerns alone. Economic considerations are increasingly the primary motivation for making the decision to invest in PV,” as Körnig emphasizes. “The risk of stranded investments in unprofitable coal-fired power plants is increasing, because in the future their enormous climate impact costs will inevitably be priced in to the overall economic equation. Meanwhile, solar power already provides an extremely low-cost alternative.” 

In a current study, the WEF (World Economic Forum) determined that in over 30 countries around the world, PV technology is already so inexpensive that it can be operated profitably without financial support. An increasing number of countries are finding that it is more economical to invest in PV and wind power plants than in coal-fired power plants. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, in a study conducted for Agora Energiewende, arrived at the conclusion back in 2015 that in many parts of the world solar energy will soon be the most inexpensive source of electricity. 


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