Oct 21, 2019

Solar power systems spike in homes, businesses and industrial plants

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Reproduced from IEA’s Renewables 2019 report; Chart: Axios Visuals

IEA's new report sees rapid growth of solar power systems located at homes, businesses and industrial plants. They forecast this distributed capacity reaching 530 GW in five years.

The intrigue: Rooftop solar at homes isn't the main driver. "Contrary to conventional wisdom, distributed [photovoltaic] growth is dominated by commercial and industrial applications rather than residential," IEA notes.

The big picture: This rapid growth is still just a fraction of distributed solar's potential, IEA said.

  • Even reaching 600 GW would represent just 6% of distributed solar's worldwide "technical potential" based on available rooftop area.
  • They see the prospect of "massive expansion" in coming decades, but warn that "major policy and tariff reforms are required to make distributed solar growth sustainable."

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IEA boosts its renewable energy forecast as costs fall

Reproduced from IEA’s Renewables 2019 report; Chart: Axios Visuals

The International Energy Agency's new five-year renewable energy forecast sees faster growth than last year's outlook, but warns that movement toward zero-carbon sources is too slow to confront global warming.

What they found: The agency forecasts that total global renewable power capacity, which was 2,502 gigawatts last year, will increase 50% by 2024, with solar accounting for over half the expansion.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019

Solar power systems are getting bigger, better over time

Reproduced from Barbose, et. al, 2019, "Tracking the Sun"; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new Energy Department report lays out how solar PV systems are getting bigger and better over time.

Why it matters: The Tracking the Sun report underscores how an important part of solar's growth and evolution isn't just the increasing number of systems, but also their design and scale.

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019

Using AI to track solar power

Five cities in California have the nation's highest density of homes with solar panels, while Detroit has the lowest, according to new analysis that uses AI to track solar deployment via high-resolution aerial imagery.

Go deeperArrowOct 30, 2019