Energy Matters provide a range of solar power, wind power, and other sustainable energy solutions for the home and business.
In this article, Energy Matters have outlined the increase in demand for solar power. They are as follows:
While it may seem that solar power is experiencing an overnight success, it is been a long time coming – it is been over 30 years since solar power crept quietly onto the general market.
For the follow couple of decades, solar power was attractive to many but just simply out the question due to the expense. That has all changed in the last few years, spurred on by improvements in technology, streamlining of manufacturing and solar power rebates, grants and incentives offered by many governments.
In 2006, industry demand increased by 41% against 2005, then by 55% in 2007 - even in the midst of a severe shortage of silicon.
Over 10 gigawatts of photovoltaics have been installed around the world since the 1970s, half of that being installed in the last 3 years.
As PV modules (solar panels) are durable, many of the installations performed in the 1970's are still cranking out electricity today.
The turning point for the solar energy industry was back in 2004, when grid-connected solar power systems demand began to surge, helped along by the success of the German feed-in-tariff scheme.
The USA was the sales leader of PV modules up until 1999, when Japan took the lead until 2007, when it slipped into third place behind Europe and the rest of the world, primarily China.
In 2007, 90% solar panel modules sold in the USA were used in grid-connected applications. In Europe, during the same year, grid connect accounted for 70% of the market. In 2007, thin-film made up 11% of overall shipments, mainly going into the growing grid-connected sector.
China looks set to become the world's largest manufacturer of PV cells given their massive strides made in quality and price competitiveness. Even domestic brands made in other countries are starting to source solar cells from China and assembling the panels locally.
With the spectre of climate change, instability of the oil markets, supply of silicon seeming to be secure for the immediate future and new companies entering into the PV market every day, the solar industry is definitely in a boom phase.
There are now even risks of an oversupply of solar modules and no doubt some PV manufacturing companies will fail as a result, however from the consumer side of things this is very good news as the price of solar panels should continue to drop due to the increased competition.