10 GW of solar PV capacity installed in 2010


This year will remain as an important milestone in the history of solar power. Indeed to GreenTech Media : ” In 2010, we will cross the threshold of 10 gigawatts of photovoltaic solar installed globally in a single year.”

This is indeed amazing as in 2000 only 170 megawatts were installed. This is 58 times more, which means a 51 percent increase per annum. If we were to continue this trend we would install 580 GW in the year 2020…

Such a thing is unlikely to occur. Specialists believe however that we could install up to 100 GW of capacity in 2020. This is still a note-worthy figure and a bright prospect.

For the occasion GreenTech Media have interviewed a variety of CEOs and specialists of this burgeoning industry. The expressed points of view are enthusiastic as all see this milestone as only the beginning.

Paul Detering, the CEO of Tioga Energy provides a most interesting point of view :

As I thought about 2006 and 2007 (when I got started in solar) and what has happened in the past three years, it all pales in comparison to what must happen if distributed solar PV is to be another transformative, innovation-driven industry like personal computing, mobile communications, the internet, etc.

Yes, 10 gigawatts is a milestone. But it is not even the first lap of a long race. The worldwide installed electricity capacity in 2006 was about 4,000 gigawatts.

Today solar is where the Motorola brick was in 1983 — 27 years ago. We must innovate the technology, infrastructure (network) and business systems in the same way the mobile communications industry has, achieving the same relative improvements and getting us to our solar iPhone (or solar Droid)

10 gigawatts represents about $50B of power generating capacity — that is remarkable.  Subsidies in one way, shape or form paid or will pay for about half of that.  We need to take our solar bricks and create solar iPhones (or solar Droids) and wean ourselves off the subsidies.  We need to do that before we get to 100GW or we will never get to the 1,000GW mark.

For more data and opinions, make sure you check out the second part of the article.

Like most analyses I believe this is only the beginning as solar still provides a tiny fraction of the energy needed around the world. But this will change as the annual installed capacity grows.

Two other solar energies – solar thermal and concentrated solar – will also see their capacity explode in the future.

All this reinforces my will to partake professionally to this formidable adventure as millions of green jobs are most likely to be created. ..

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