The “Power Transition Trends 2020” report dated 1st September 2020 revealed Photovolatics alone accounted for 45% of the power plants built worldwide with 118 GW installed. It was the first choice in a third of the 138 countries in the report, including India, Italy, Australia, Namibia, the United States of America, Chile and a host of others.
The global capacity of solar power plants installed worldwide is currently 651 GW. This makes it the fourth largest energy source in the world, ahead of wind with 644 GW and behind coal with 2,089 GW, gas with 1,812 GW and hydropower with 1,160 GW. Solar also provided 2.7% of the total energy consumed in the world in 2019 compared to 0.16% a decade ago.
Also, in the year under review, 39 GW of coal-fired power plants were built worldwide compare to 19 GW built in 2018. Electricity production from coal decreased by 3% compared to the previous year due to the use of an alternative source of energy. The average utilisation rate of coal-fired power plants fell from 57% in 2018 to 50% in 2019.
An analyst at BNEF and lead author of the report, Luiza Demôro said “The sharp decline in the costs of solar equipment, primarily solar modules, has made this technology widely available to businesses and networks. Photovoltaics are now ubiquitous and a global phenomenon.”
The manager America at BNEF, Ethan Zindler said, “Richer countries are quickly getting rid of old and inefficient coal-fired power plants, because these cannot compete with new renewable or gas projects. But in less developed nations, particularly in South and Southeast Asia, newer, more efficient coal-fired power plants are coming into operation, often with financial support from Japanese or Chinese creditors.”