State of Solar Power Energy

Part
01
of three
Part
01

State of Solar Power Energy

The global solar energy industry has experienced significant recent growth and is forecast to continue its high-growth trajectory through 2022.

Recent Market Growth

  • As of 2018, the global solar energy market reached the milestone of 405 GW.
  • Notably, this represented a 29.3% or 98.9 GW increase from the prior year.
  • However, this also represented a slight slowdown in the global growth rate for solar energy market, after the industry grew by 49% in 2016.
  • With that said, the overall growth of the solar power energy industry has been tremendous over the past decade, with 89% of the world's global solar energy capacity being installed in just the last seven years.

China, the US and India Drive the Market

  • China continues to outpace all other countries with its investments in solar energy, with the country installing 52.8 GW or 53% of all new global solar capacity in 2017.
  • China's growth in solar energy was followed by the US and India, which installed an additionally 10.6 GW and 9.6 GW of capacity, respectively, during the same year.
  • Meanwhile, Turkey represents the fastest growing market for solar power energy, with a growth rate of 213% between 2016 and 2017.

Strong Forecasted Growth

  • Going forward, the solar power energy industry is expected to continue to expand rapidly, with industry experts estimating that global solar capacity will "triple by 2022."
  • According to the World Economic Forum and International Energy Association (IEA), this growth is the equivalent of adding 70,000 new solar panels per hour.
  • Consistent with recent history, China is expected to add approximately 40% of the world's new solar panels through 2022, due to both air quality goals in the region, as well as given the fact that the country currently manufactures two-thirds of solar panels worldwide.

Usage of Solar Energy in Homes

  • The projected solar power energy industry for homes in many ways appears to mirror the growth and regional trends of the larger global market.
  • Overall, the recent and forecasted growth in the residential segment is being driven by the falling prices of solar panels and the emergence of solar photovoltaic (PV) options.
  • Notably, the market for global residential PV systems is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% between 2018 and 2022.
  • China and the rest of Asia Pacific are currently the leaders in this form of residential solar energy with 57% of the market, and are expected to remain dominant through 2022.
  • Meanwhile, the US residential market for solar energy is also expanding rapidly, with six consecutive quarters of growth through the end of 2018.
  • In particular, the fourth quarter of 2018 represented the largest quarter for residential solar power expansion in two years in America.
  • Notably, this addition of 315,000 new solar-powered households in the fourth quarter of 2018 added to the existing two million homes in the US that already had solar technology.

Somewhat Mixed Enviromental Impact

  • Meanwhile, the continued expansion of the global solar power energy industry has proven both beneficial and challenging for the environment.
  • Most notably, solar power avoids the use of fossil fuels, and thereby reduces air pollution and helps slow the planet's current climate change trajectory.
  • Based on the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, the use of solar power in a US home is the equivalent of avoiding 12,500 pounds of carbon dioxide, avoiding the use of over 8,000 pounds of coal or driving approximately 18,000 miles less.
  • Additionally, solar panels and PV cells don't require water to generate electricity, whereas traditional electricity uses "thousands of liters of water" per year.
  • With that said, concentrating solar thermal plants (CSP) generally use between 600 and 650 gallons of water per megawatt-hour of electrical production, and are therefore less sustainable than other forms of solar power technology.
  • Additionally, hazardous materials are involved in the production of many solar energy products and, unlike other forms of renewable energy, large solar installations cannot co-exist with agricultural and other land uses.
  • Finally, industry experts are growing increasingly concerned over the environmental waste associated with solar power, noting that solar panel waste grew to 250 thousand metric tonnes globally as of 2016.
  • Overall, it remains unclear whether solar energy will have a net positive or neutral environmental impact.


Part
02
of three
Part
02

State of Solar Power Energy 1

Most media conversation in relation to the rapid shutdown of solar energy is about Tigo's rapid shut down solution and other companies coming up with their own solutions. In the last 2 years, 28 articles in relation to the rapid shutdown of solar energy were published online.

Rapid Shutdown of Solar Energy Conversation Statistics

  • There are 3 news articles on the rapid shutdown of solar energy in 2020.
  • There were 28 news articles on the rapid shutdown of solar energy in the last 24 months according to Millie, a market intelligence website.
  • Google news shows 2 articles on the rapid shutdown of solar energy in 2020.
  • Out of the 58 mentions, 40 was from Youtube and 8 from Facebook.

Rapid Shutdown of Solar Energy Conversation Analysis

  • Most of the articles centered on Tigo's rapid shutdown solution, its collaboration with other companies like Yaskawa, Solar for rapid shut down solutions.
  • According to social animal, the top or most viral article regarding the rapid shutdown of solar energy is " Tigo's Rapid Shutdown Solutions featured in Solar Energy International's Safety Installation Training".
  • The top article regarding the rapid shutdown of solar energy was about Tigo a pioneer of the smart modular Flex MLPE platform, exhibiting its rapid shut down solutions at the Solar Energy International (SEI) safety training in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 2019.
  • Solar Power World published an article on the 13th of January 2020 detailing how rapid shutdown installers can build compliant systems, the necessity of a rapid shutdown function and 3 ways to satisfy the national electric code.
  • An article published by Globe Newswire on the 14th of January 2020 describes 5 things to know when buying a solar system. This was directed at homeowners seeking blackout protections in the face of power shutdowns.
  • Another article published by solar power world on the 9th of January 2020 says more companies like APsystems and Schneider Electric have produced their own shutdown devices.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

State of Solar Power Energy 2

While recent media conversation around environment safety and security has been significant in volume and received high levels of engagement, related social media discussion has been limited.

Environment Safety

Traditional Media

  • The traditional media conversation over the past 24 months related to environment safety is significant both in terms of the volume of content published as well as the engagement on related articles.
  • While a Google News search provided only the top 359 articles on the subject, a more complete analysis by market intelligence organization Millie reported that 92,327 articles were published on environment safety during the last 24 months.
  • Additionally, approximately 1,875 articles on the subject from the last 12 months received notable levels of engagement, according to media researcher Buzz Sumo.
  • Most significantly, a New York Times article published in May of 2019 regarding America's recent relaxation of offshore-drilling safety rules received approximately 42.4 thousand engagements, primarily from Facebook (41 thousand engagements).
  • Similarly, a piece published in Scientific American the month prior that covered the environmental safety impacts of pesticides received 13.8 thousand engagements, also primarily from Facebook (13.4 thousand engagements).
  • Two other widely discussed articles on the subject of environment safety were articles by NPR (February of 2019) and Fox News (October of 2019), which separately discussed environment safety within the context of global bird populations, and received total engagements of 12.9 thousand and 3.5 thousand, respectively.

Social Media

  • In contrast with traditional media, however, discussion of environment safety on social media has been more limited.
  • For example, social media analytics website Social Searcher identified only 553 distinct mentions of environment safety across social media channels.
  • Notably, these mentions were almost entirely positive (39%) or neutral (53%), rather than negative (8%).
  • Meanwhile, a separate analysis of Twitter activity by North Carolina State University's Tweet Sentiment Visualization App corroborated these findings, showing only 200 recent mentions of environment safety, which were almost entirely positive or neutral in tone.

Web Searches

  • Meanwhile, a Google Trends analysis of web searches for environment safety over the past 24 months highlighted that Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, the UK and Kenya were the most active and interested in the subject of environment safety online.
  • In particular, the most popular searches were for World Environment Day, Environment Day and health and safety legislation.


Environment Security

Traditional Media

  • The traditional media conversation over the past 24 months related to environment security is even more significant in volume and engagement.
  • While a Google News search provided only the top 359 articles on the subject, a more complete analysis by Millie reported that 238,935 articles were published on environment security during the last 24 months.
  • Additionally, approximately 2,345 articles on the subject from the last 12 months received notable levels of engagement, according to Buzz Sumo.
  • Most significantly, a Forbes article published in March of 2019 regarding the Trump administration's request for the UK to reduce its environmental standards in support of a trade deal received approximately 78 thousand engagements, primary from Facebook (77.1 thousand engagements).
  • Similarly, a piece published by the World Economic Forum that same month that covered the security impacts of climate change received 17.7 thousand engagements, also primarily from Facebook (17.3 thousand engagements).
  • Two other widely discussed articles on the subject of environment security were pieces by the BBC (September of 2019) and National Post (also September of 2019), that offered a different take on environment security, by reporting that Canada's environment minister now requires a security detail given the social conflict spurred by discussion of climate change.
  • These articles received total engagements of 4.3 thousand and 3.4 thousand, respectively.

Social Media

  • Similar to the discussion of environment safety on social media, discussion of environment security on such channels has been more limited.
  • For example, Social Searcher identified only 606 distinct mentions of environment security.
  • Notably, these mentions were almost entirely positive (35%) or neutral (54%), rather than negative (11%).
  • Meanwhile, a separate analysis of Twitter activity by North Carolina State University's Tweet Sentiment Visualization App corroborated these findings, showing only 148 mentions of environment security, which were almost entirely positive or neutral in tone.

Web Searches

  • Meanwhile, a Google Trends analysis of web searches for environment security over the past 24 months highlighted that Nigeria, South Africa, the Philippines, Pakistan and Australia were the most active and interested in the subject of environment security online.
  • In particular, some of the most popular related topics were regulatory compliance and disasters.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01