The numbers of people using solar energy have increased dramatically in 2012 and can be attributed to the sharp decrease in the cost of solar photovoltaic panels. Globally, sales increased by 1% – which brought in global revenue for green energy products to $249bn.
The findings were part of the Clean Energy Trends 2013 report, which was released on Tuesday. The reasons for prices reducing greatly are due to the sectors rapid expansion, doubling capacity every one to two years. New solar panel installations expanded to 31GW in 2012 but revenues decreased by approximately a fifth to $12bn.
Meanwhile back at the turn of the century revenues from solar panels only sat around the $2bn mark and reached ‘grid parity’ meaning that they cost the same as fossil fuel energy sources by 2020. The cost of solar has already dropped from $7.50 to $2.50 and is estimated to meet $1.50 in the next few years.
Renewable energy has also seen an increase in its market share of new energy investments increase from a little over 1% in 2001 to almost 20% in 2012. Natural gas investment in the US is currently wavering behind wind investment, with wind capacity being increased by 45GW and in total renewable energies now making up almost half of generating capacity in the US.
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