The world is facing a challenge of depleting energy resources. Green technology is now the talk of the town to address the energy needs of the world. The alternative energy resources are being taken into consideration and arrangements are being made to utilize the untapped energy resources. Solar power offers an attractive and pollution free way of obtaining electricity. Worldwide, huge infrastructure is being built to exploit this form of energy. Germany, China and Japan are world leaders in harnessing the potential of solar energy. A breakthrough is also achieved by America as it has excelled from Germany in installing new solar capacity in year 2013. Germany is the undisputed leader of the solar industry. But the largest solar plant built in Mojave Desert of California belongs to the USA. Germany has dominated the market as it is reducing its dependence on nuclear energy and shifting its energy burden on to solar power.
The race has begun and the industry is going to have a phenomenal rise in coming two decades according to predictions by analysts. The multi-billion solar industry is expanding at an unparalleled rate.
Solar industry has marked a rebound after the recession of 2009 and accelerated growth is seen in the solar sector. Globally, the solar industry is on the rise and it is evident from the fact that the US outpaced major world leaders in this sector. Many countries are coming forward and vowing to increase their electricity production through solar power. The growth rate of the solar industry from 2007-2012 was about 55% a year while in 2009-10 it rose exponentially to 172%.
Solar revolution has started as the most sustainable source of energy. In 2014, global figures would reach to 44.5 gigawatts marking a 20.9% increase in solar installations as compared to 2013. This is equivalent to the electricity generation of about ten nuclear reactors.
China, which has solar manufacturing capacity of over 50%, is developing the sector and the world is going to see it becoming the biggest market of the solar industry in year 2014. It has started investment in South Asia and is enhancing its own capacity at an accelerated rate. China is the largest energy consumer thus the state is supporting photovoltaic projects to meet the growing demands of energy. China is also expediting the development of solar sector to curb pollution.
The Fukushima disaster opened the eyes of the Japanese government and it averted its electricity load on solar plants due to closure of two major nuclear plants. In Japan, the PV market is going to have an unprecedented growth as the Japanese market has reached 5.3 gigawatts in 2013. Japan is going to be the largest market in dollars as electricity prices are high there, even if it stays behind China in enhancing its solar generation capacity.
There is a dark side to this story as China and US have conflicts over the costs of solar panels. Solar industry has seen a phenomenal rise as China heavily subsidized its solar manufacturing industry. It revolutionized the solar power sector and lots of green jobs were created. But US is planning to impose new tariffs on the panels that will result in increased cost. China imports polysilicon, a major ingredient in formation of solar panels, from the USA. This trade dispute is going to benefit only American struggling solar industry which faces grave challenges from cheaper solar power products produced by China but it may cause more harm than good for the global solar industry.
Lastly, it can be said that despite challenges, solar industry has the potential to rise and make earth a greener and pollution free planet.
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