Energy generation from solar photovoltaic is rapidly expanding. Part of this exponential growth is attributed to government policies that have been implemented around world, promoting incentives and other programs for solar power proliferation. In the last decade, the solar industry has experienced a compounded annual growth rate of 60%. And since 2010, in the US, 32 GW solar capacity has been installed as shown in Fig. 1.
Figure 1: Yearly solar photovoltaic installations in US (SEIA)
Also, there have been numerous climate committees, working diligently to create awareness of global warming and its impact on the environment. This coupled with other factors involved in the
growth of the solar photovoltaic industry, has prompted the industry to expand from just a few MWs a year ago to over 180 GWs at present. These incremental factors include –
- Ease of installation e.g. can be installed on ground or rooftop. Rooftop saves land space. The illustration below depicts the steps involved in having a solar photovoltaic system installed.
- Time of installation of a solar photovoltaic system is 6-12 months compared to traditional power sources such as coal/gas/nuclear/hydro which take 5-6 years to complete .
- The freedom that solar energy offers homeowners, is another important factor involved in the success of the solar photovoltaic industry, in that each homeowner can essentially have his/her own power plant, designed according to their own individual needs. Solar photovoltaic systems help homeowners to gain independence from the utilities, and that’s priceless.
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