Solar energy could quadruple in five years

The world’s solar power generating capacity could grow by between 200 and 400% over the next five years if there is political will, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA)

At a conference in Italy, the secretary general of the EPIA, Reinhold Buttgereit, said that Germany, the world’s biggest PV (photovoltaic solar energy) market, is likely to be the main global driver of growth in capacity this year, followed by China, the United States and Japan.

Across the world several major projects are planned. In the US, up to 601 large-scale solar installations are due to be in place by 2015, which could result in a national total of 17 gigawatts of solar capacity. Nearly two-thirds of this is set to come from projects in California, which aims to produce 33% of its energy from renewables by 2020.

In Dubai, a multi-billion dollar solar park covering 48 sq km is expected to produce 1,000 MW of energy by 2030, increasing the contribution of solar to the country’s total energy supply from less than 1% to 5%. It is part of the country’s strategy to reduce its carbon emissions 30% by 2030.