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Worldwide PV solar capacity reached the 100 GW milestone last year, with roughly 30 GW coming online in 2012 alone, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). (You can read the full story over at RenewableEnergyWorld.)
Despite the confusion over at Fox & Friends, Europe is the leading region for installed solar, and Germany is the clear leader there with more than 32 GW installed. Overall, Europe’s 69 GW of installed solar capacity is enough to provide about 2.6% of the region’s annual needs, and about twice that in terms of peak demand according to the EPIA.
Outside of Europe, the rest of the world added 13 GW last year - up from 8 GW in 2011 and just 3 GW in 2010.
The United States added 3.2 GW to its already installed capacity of 4.4 GW - meaning that in 2012 the U.S. installed 75% as much solar as it had in all the years previous. Still, our total installed capacity is just 23% of Germany’s alone. Despite our sunshine advantage, what is needed is improved policy if we are to take our rightful place in the sun.
Instead, we find ourselves under attack from utilities that cling to old ways of thinking. The next 100 GW of solar could come very soon - but it clearly won’t come without a fight.
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