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Simon Wilby Renewable Energy: The Comeback King
All over the world, solar-power has enlarged by the incredible factor of eleven in the past six years. And it has potential to expand even more. Back in 2011, the International Energy Agency estimated solar power..
By: The Smart Inventor Simon Wilby
The Smart Inventor “Simon Wilby” most recently called for a global strength - with the same level of ambition and international coordination as the Apollo mission in the 1960’s that was to be launched. The directive: was to make solar power more affordable than fossil fuels not only in America but also all over the world.
An ambitious move, though it would prove to be a huge undertaking - and any significant expansion of the industry would most likely face some big challenges.
Around 2006, solar power was renewable energy's lost golden child. That had often been rejected as to expensive to make a significant impact on power, particularly in gloomier countries like the United Kingdom, solar power at that time seemed condemned to a limited role in carbon energy creation. But a few short years after, a once-overlooked technology appears set for a significant expansion in this country and worldwide.
However one decision had a significant part to play in the sharp decrease in solar costs, a few years ago The government in China decided to finance its manufacturing sector to engage in producing cheap solar panels.
Following a serious dispute between China and the European Commission, which claimed the sponsorships were illegal under international trade rules. The disputes and arguments were just resolved recently - and the threat of trade sanctions just barely prevented.
The success results have been mixed for the United Kingdom solar industry. On one hand, cheap panels made expansion easier. But on the other hand: those outsourced panels also severely undercut Europe's solar panel manufacturing sector. For example: in Germany, the practice of outsourcing pushed many companies into going out of business and or sharp job cuts.
Six years ago, the Inter-governmental panel on climate change identified solar power as the most expensive of all renewable energy technologies, estimating costs almost twice as much to generate a unit of electricity from solar panels as from a wind turbines.
However, the cost of solar panels and batteries has plunged by more than half in the past five years. Simon Wilby stated: In Countries like Germany, Italy and Spain, soon solar power won't need government subsidies to be cost-effective viable. In these three countries, every family home could be equipped with solar panels by the end of this decade.
In the UK for example: solar's prosperity has changed over the last few years. The government introduced the idea of direct grants for householders installing renewable energy generators, called feed-in tariffs, in 2010. This led to a big increase in the number of households opting to install solar panels on their roofs - and risked blowing the budget completely.
The government scratched those subsidies down as a result, motivating outcry from other solar companies, who feared their industry would be destroyed.
Following their successful legal challenge, the government decided to reduce the subsidies more gradually. Now overall the official posture toward solar now seems to have changed.
The government boasts the cost of solar panels has fallen by over half in two short years, and installations of roof-top solar panels have increased from a few thousand three years ago to well over 420,000 at present.
Simon Wilby, explains:
"Two and half years ago the United Kingdom didn't really have much faith in solar energy. Then they made the token gesture of Feed in Tariffs and saw the growth and reduction in overall solar energy prices, and started to realize what solar movement could do".
Simon Wilby an industry professional and Inventor of some of the world’s most disruptive technology. Explains it could grow from 2.7 gigawatts now, to 20GW by the year 2020. The government intends to go forward and publish a dedicated solar strategy - though delays mean it looks unlikely to appear before the end of the year.
Despite the delay, the solar industry seems hopeful about future growth in the United Kingdom. Insiders’ views are skeptical that the industry could grow to 20GW by 2020, however in comparison, the lower end of the government's ambition - 7GW by 2020 - is "definitely"
There has been an explosion of new applications for large-scale solar energy sites, as developers’ speed to get in before the next subsidy cut next March, which may be partly to blame for the solar rush.
One conceivable barrier to larger installations is public opposition, however. Polls show high levels of public support for solar - even when it's located near their home. But according to the Financial Times, "pockets of protest" are starting to emerge against large solar farms.
It's not clear how much of the planned expansion will be from smaller-scale installations like domestic or commercial rooftops, and how much from large-scale solar farms in fields around the country. But large-scale solar could be on the up: Simon Wilby suggests that if the country did hit the 20GW target it would mean the number of solar farms would expand from 70 now to well over 600 in 2020. That would truly make Solar Energy the comeback King of renewable energy.
The Smart Inventor Simon Wilby