Solar Energy and the Global Electricity Supply (Solar Energy Course 2020 Part 2 of 12)

Solar Energy and the Global Electricity Supply (Solar Energy Course 2020 Part 2 of 12)


What is the role of solar energy in the global
electricity supply today? What role will it play in the future? Find out in this video. This video is part of iPolytek’s online course
on solar energy. iPolytek, Professional Development Courses
for Engineers. The solar cell has come a long way since it
first appeared on our pocket calculators. Its potential is tremendous, capable of supplying
the world’s demand for energy many times over. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts
that solar photovoltaics will contribute about 16% of the worldwide electricity supply by
2050. Other organizations foresee it playing an
even bigger role. According to Eicke Weber, Director of Germany’s
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems « Between 2030 and 2050, we will see 10-30%
of global energy demand covered by solar PV (photovoltaics). Right now we are in an embryonic
state compared to where we are going in a few decades. » Solar power is produced by converting energy
from sunlight into electricity, either directly using solar cells (photovoltaics or PV), or
indirectly using concentrating solar power (CSP) systems. The solar modules of a PV power plant convert
light into electric current thanks to the photovoltaic effect. A CSP plant uses lenses or mirrors and tracking
systems to focus sunlight onto a fluid. The fluid is heated to a temperature ranging from
250 – 1000 degrees Celcius and used to generate steam. Electricity is produced by a steam turbine. In 2018, the global electricity production
capacity of PV was 505 GigaWatts and CSP was 5.5 GigaWatts In this course, we will focus on photovoltaic
systems. At the end of 2018, photovoltaics accounted
for 2.4% of the world’s electricity production. As shown in this figure, 26.2% of the global
electricity supply came from renewable resources. – 15.8% was from Hydro,
– 5.5% from Wind – 2.4% from Solar PV
– 2.2% from Bio and the remaining 0.4% from Geothermal, CSP
and ocean power. In 2018, solar PV experienced a year of impressive
growth, increasing in capacity by 25% over 2017. New additions surpassed 100 GW for the
first time, bringing the total global capacity to 505 GW. As we see in this figure, China leads the
world by far with a total installed PV capacity of 176 GW. The United States, Japan and Germany
follow in the distance with about 50-60 GW each. About 75% of the world’s new PV capacity was
found in 4 countries, namely, China, the USA, Japan and India. Overall these statistics show us that solar
PV is quickly becoming an important source of electricity on a global scale. So now the question becomes, “Could the entire
world run on solar power?” Find out in our next video! Thanks for watching. See you soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *