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Solar Has Entered The 1%

Solar has entered the 1%

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 26) – All IMHO: 

Solar has entered the 1%. It took 40 years to get there, according to Ramez Namm’s blog. But it will not take another 40 years for solar to get to 2%. 

Using Green Tech Media projections, “it will take 3 more years to get the second 1%,” Naam explains. “Then less than 2 years to get the third 1%. And by 2020, solar will be providing almost 4% of global electricity.”  That might not sound like a lot, but it is. That represents massive growth from today’s numbers and IMHO, Solar starts to become something building services designer cannot ignore.
Kudos to Canmet Labs in Hamilton Canada for incorporating 235 solar thermal collectors and the largest (Canadian) installation of solar wall into their LEED Platinum building in 2011. 

As solar prices drop, installation rate rises. As the installation rate rises, the price continues to drop due to the learning curve. GTM expects that by 2020, the world will be installing 135 GW of solar every year, and will have reached a cumulative total of nearly 700 GW of solar, roughly four times the 185 GW installed today.

For context, at the end of 2013, after almost 40 years of effort, the world had a total of 138 GW of solar deployed. We’ll deploy almost that much in a single year in 2020. And the numbers will keep on rising. The growth of the total amount of solar deployed around the world continues to look exponential, with a growth rate over the last 23 years of 38% per year. Over the last three years it’s slowed to a mere 22% per year. All exponentials become S-curves in the long run. But for now, growth remains rapid, and may indeed accelerate once more as solar prices drop and energy storage falls in price. 

​The charts from tell the story;

Sources and acknowledgements for this post: 

  • Earth Policy Institute Bloomberg
  • Greg Guenthner – the Rude Awakening 

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