The solar energy industry has seen an extremely rapid development in the past decade. In 2019 alone, we saw over 140 GW of new photovoltaic (PV) power generation capacity installed, leading to the total global PV power generation capacity of 583.5 GW (580.1 GW on-grid and 3.4 GW of off-grid ) at the end of 2019. This means more than one fifth of renewable energy in the world today is generated by PV technology.However, whilst it is only in recent years that we have witnessed a dramatic improvement of the technical and economic feasibilities of PV power generation, it should be remembered that such improvement is an achievement enabled by nearly two centuries of technical and commercial development.
Insights: solar power
As countries around the world strive to curb climate change, it becomes increasingly clear that radical innovative energy solutions are needed if we are to stand any chance of achieving net zero emissions. A team of engineers at the University of Queensland may have provided one such solution in the field of quantum dot solar cell technology, achieving a near 25% improvement, and a world record, for the conversion of solar energy into electricity using quantum dots. Inventor, and Australian Research Council laureate, Lianzhou Wang, explains that the improvement “is effectively the difference between quantum dot solar cell technology being an exciting prospect and being commercially viable”.
Wind and solar will provide 50% of global power by 2050, but this may still not be enough to meet the 2 degree climate change target.
The 2019 New Energy Outlook (NEO) report suggests that, in at least two thirds of the world, wind or solar already represents the least expensive option for adding new power-generating capacity.We discuss the report’s findings, and take look at what is being done here in the UK to meet the challenges posed by the report.
The increasing number of patent applications for renewable energy generation offers hope for climate change.
A new study led by the Australian National University could lead to cheaper and more efficient solar technology. According to the study, the current photovoltaic (PV) cell market is dominated by silicon based technology, which is nearing its theoretical efficiency limit.