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Solar – the greatest market opportunity world has seen

By November 18, 2014CIH LTD News


The head of one of the world’s leading solar PV manufacturers and developers, SunPower’s Tom Werner, predicts that solar will be a $US5 trillion industry within 20 years, and represents one of the greatest ever opportunities in the history of markets.

“We’ve just scratched the surface of this opportunity,” Werner told analysts at the company’s day-long annual briefing in San Jose overnight. “I’ve been doing this for eleven years, and I’ve realised we’re just beginning.”

Werner’s comments follow fast on the heals of the joint US-China pact on climate change. While the details of the agreement have been dismissed by Republicans in the US as a “war on coal”, and the Murdoch media globally as little more than talk, analysis shows otherwise.

China, for instance, is expected to install 1,000GW (that’s one million megawatts) of solar, wind and other renewables by 2030 to meet its part of the agreement, which could even be ratcheted higher by the time all parties get together in Paris next year.

scmp coalThat’s the equivalent of 1.3GW a week of clean energy installed in China for the next 15 years – the clean and emissions free equivalent of a large coal-fired power station a week.

Climate Progress reports on Fox News hyperventilating over the US-China deal – one of its leading commentators and claimed the day before there was no point US acting until it had signed such a deal, so it didn’t know what to say when it happened. It was interesting to note the former Murdoch publication, the South China Morning Post declaring an “end to the coal boom” in its coverage of the agreement. It is, after all, a media outlet a lot closer to the action than the remaining Murdoch stable.

Below are two key graphs from Werner’s presentation. the first is the where the solar industry is now and where it has come from.

It is barely a scratch of the surface of the global electricity industry, at less than one per cent of total electricity demand, but it’s impact is already clear – particularly in developed countries where it is displacing fossil fuels, and in developing countries, where it is offering a cheaper, unsubsidised alternative.

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