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Yazar: Emre Bagci

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While the global solar power installed capacity was recorded as 940 gigawatts at the end of 2021, it rose to “terawatt” level as of May.
According to the “Solar Energy Global Market Outlook” report prepared by SolarPower Europe and announced at the Intersolar Europe Solar Energy Conference and Fair, 200 gigawatts of capacity will be added to the global solar energy installed power rose to “terawatt” level as of May.

Despite the disruptions in the supply chain due to the Covid-19 outbreak, investments in solar energy continued unabated in the last 3 years.

As a new era is entered in the global solar energy market, with the critical threshold being crossed, the said capacity is expected to reach 2.3 terawatts by 2025. In 2012, exceeding 100 gigawatts in solar installed power was considered the critical threshold.

The “age of terawat” has begun in the sun

SolarPower Europe President Aristotelis Chantavas, in his evaluation of the report, stated that the “terawat age” has been entered in the sun and that the 2 terawatt capacity threshold will be reached within 3 years.

Stating that solar energy is the fastest growing and developing resource globally, Chantavas said:

“In 2021, 302 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity has been installed. 168 gigawatts of this is solar energy. The whole world has seen that solar energy is successful in combating climate change and is important in terms of enabling countries to be independent in energy. Solar energy gives us a little bit of energy in today’s world of extraordinary energy prices. It will provide relief.”

SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger also informed that this year’s 39 gigawatts of additional capacity would replace 4.57 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas in the European solar market.

GEM’s website covers all grid-scale solar and wind power plants around the world, while providing data on more than 18,000 operations and planned wind power projects in 144 countries, as well as about 8,000 operations and planned solar projects in 148 countries.

According to the data published by GEM, Turkey ranks 12th among the countries with the most wind power plants with a capacity of 10 MW and above in operation, while it ranks 16th among countries with a solar energy capacity of 20 MW and above.

The Global Wind Power Tracker (GWPT) lists 13,263 wind farms in operation producing 681.4 GW of electricity in 144 countries, and 5,235 potential projects that will generate an additional 882.0 GW of electricity. The countries with the most wind project capacity in operation are:

  • China (261.2 GW)
  • USA (127.3 GW)
  • Germany (39.6 GW)
  • Spain (26.8 GW)
  • India (23.7 GW)

The Global Solar Power Tracker (GSPT) lists 5,190 solar projects in operations generating 298.7 GW in 148 countries, and an additional 3,551 potential projects to generate 474.9 GW. Grid-scale solar accounts for about 65 percent of total global solar capacity, with the remaining 35 percent being residential and commercial facilities. The countries with the largest solar project capacity in operation are:

  • China (103.3 GW)
  • USA (43.4 GW)
  • India (29.0 GW)
  • Vietnam (11.3 GW)
  • Mexico (10.5 GW)

    Ingrid Behrsin, Project Manager for GEM’s Global Wind Energy Tracker, said: “Capturing the full scope of solar and wind farms established worldwide is critical to measuring progress towards the energy transition. With open-access project-level data like this, we are now in a much stronger position to monitor how countries are performing against their self-specified renewable energy targets.” she says.

The world’s first high-altitude floating solar power plant continues to generate power above the lake in the Swiss Alps. This plant produces 50 percent more energy than those whose panels are found in lowland areas.

The solar power plant in Lac des Toules consists of 1,400 panels placed on 36 floating structures made of aluminum and polyethylene plastic fixed to the bottom of the lake.

Production of 800,000 kWh per year

“This pilot project generates 800,000 kWh per year, corresponding to the [needs] of 220 households,” says Maxime Ramstein, Project Manager at Romande Energie.

The mountainous conditions at an altitude of 1,810 meters above sea level make the sun’s rays stronger. The solar power plant is installed in a reservoir and not in a natural lake, which limits its environmental impact.

The technology found in the floating power plant is also an important part of the photovoltaic industry worldwide.

Ramstein also says that the problem of icing caused by cold weather is solved by draining the reserves that are filled due to melting snow in the spring and summer months.

The European Commission aims to make a large-scale solar power breakthrough and stimulate Europe’s solar industry accordingly.

According to the plan, a package of proposals will be published next week in order to reduce the dependency of member states on Russia. “Solar energy and heat are key to gradually end the EU’s dependence on Russian gas,” the draft text states.

Costs of solar panel cells have dropped more than 80 percent over the past decade, but the technology produced only 5 percent of EU electricity in 2020. The share of solar energy in heat production was only 1.5 percent.

With this plan, the “European Solar Roofs Initiative” will be launched against the risk of gas-fired electricity and heating cuts in homes, offices, shops, and factories.

All institutions will be required to take steps within a year

Ilan targets the roofs of institutional buildings of EU and national governments in the first place. These institutions will be required to take steps to use solar panels within a year.

This will force countries to use EU funds, launch support programs for roof panels and install solar in all eligible public buildings by 2025.

Another part of the plan is to bring governments and educational institutions together to focus on developing the competencies and skills of solar industry workers. To do this, create an “EU Solar Industry Alliance” and support manufacturing investments. Use the EU budget and the carbon market “innovation fund” for this support.

There are about 14 planned large-scale solar power generation projects in Europe, but some require billions of euros in financing to get them to market.

Chinese competition hinders the development of industry in Europe

China provided 75 percent of EU solar panel imports in 2020. Despite the EU applying anti-dumping and anti-subsidy controls to solar panels from China between 2013 and 2018, Europe is having a hard time competing with China with its own large-scale factories.

EU Greens MP Michael Bloss urges Brussels to get involved using legal means rather than voluntary schemes:

“Solar energy conversion has never been discussed in concrete terms. For example, new buildings may be legally required to have solar roofs on flat roofs, public buildings and supermarkets in Europe.”

The draft plan will also fine-tune EU law, accelerating the permitting period for renewable energy projects.

The report on the state of the global energy transition, published by the World Economic Forum, shows that as the world faces its most severe energy crisis since the 1970s, urgent action is needed by both the private and public sectors to ensure a flexible transition. According to the Supporting, an Effective Energy Transition 2022 report, countries’ urgency to accelerate a holistic energy transition is reinforced by high fuel prices, commodity scarcity, insufficient progress in meeting climate goals, and slow progress in energy justice and access.

It details critical recommendations for governments, businesses, consumers, and other stakeholders on how to advance the energy transition, based on 10 years of the Energy Transition Index, an annual country benchmarking report produced in collaboration with Accenture.

To accelerate the transition to cleaner energy supply and demand, the report says, more countries must make binding climate commitments, establish long-term visions for local and regional energy systems, attract private sector investors for decarbonization projects, and help consumers and the workforce adapt.

Roberto Bocca, Head of Energy, Materials, and Infrastructure at the World Economic Forum, said: “Countries are at risk of future events that increase the disruption of their energy supply chains when the window to avert the worst consequences of climate change is rapidly closing. While there are difficult decisions to be made to align energy security, sustainability, and affordability imperatives in the short term, now is the time to act.” said.

The report also reveals the structural barriers to balancing energy affordability, security, and availability with sustainability. This is because of the post-pandemic increase in energy demand resulting from the war in Ukraine, fuel supply bottlenecks, inflationary pressures, and combined shocks to the energy system from restructured energy supply chains.

To meet this challenge, countries must pursue diversification on two fronts, not only in the local energy mix in the long run but also in the short run, considering their fuels and energy suppliers. The report states that 11 of 34 countries with advanced economies rely on just three trading partners for more than 70 percent of their fuel imports.

Espen Mehlum, Head of the World Economic Forum’s Energy, Materials and Infrastructure Benchmarking Program, said: “The current energy crisis demonstrates how important energy is to people and the economy. Tackling the structural risks that have become apparent as we build momentum in climate action is now critical. Success will largely depend on policy and investments. Prioritizing energy efficiency and increasing investment in clean energy infrastructure, renewables, clean hydrogen, and new nuclear capacity can strengthen the resilience of the energy system and will be a win-win for reducing emissions.” made the statement.

As of the end of June, China’s solar power plant installed capacity exceeded the 100 GW limit and reached 102 GW.

In China, which has 78,70 MW solar power plants as of the end of 2016, the total installed power reached 102.4 GW with the addition of 24.4 GW in just the first six months of 2017.

The People’s Republic of China, which is the first country to exceed the 100 GW installed power limit in the sun, has the world’s most populous population with 1 billion 386 million but has reached 74 watts per capita SPP installed power.

When we look at the solar energy installed power per capita of countries, Germany continues to lead with 510 watts, followed by Japan with 337 watts per capita. Turkey, on the other hand, ranks 35th in the world with an installed power of 1,579 MW and a 20-watt GES facility per capita.

Scientists who have been working for decades to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and produce low-carbon energy are looking for solutions by creating an “artificial sun” in the world with nuclear fusion experiments.

Scientists are trying to combine hydrogen atoms and create helium by fusion by sending 140,000 amps of electricity to the hydrogen gas cloud. This fusion is the force that holds the sun together.

It is stated that such an experiment will not make the world the new sun of the solar system, but it can pave the way for cheap and clean energy. The challenge for scientists is to find a way to do this safely.

China announced that it is conducting a new experiment

China’s Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences is pursuing methods for nuclear fusion that go beyond just splitting atoms and creating power by combining nuclei. In other words, scientists are trying to “fit the sun in a box.”

With the Advanced Superconducting Tokamak Experiment, scientists at Hefei are trying to create an “artificial sun,” that is, a constant temperature as high as the sun. In this context, a new experiment was carried out.

An investment of nearly $900 million was made for the ring-shaped machines called a tokamak, where these experiments were produced. At extremely high temperatures, the Tokamak boils hydrogen isotopes into plasma and combines them to release energy.

China, which has been conducting fusion research since 1958, emphasizes that international cooperation is more important than the competition at this stage. China is a member of the “giant” nuclear fusion project ITER, which is being built in France. The project under construction in France has a budget of 10 billion euros.

China’s responsibility for this project is to produce the components needed for ITER to hold magnetic and withstand temperatures up to 100 million degrees Celsius. ITER, which plans to produce the first plasma in 2025, plans to build a sample reactor that will produce 500 megawatts of energy with 50 megawatts of power.

A new study has uncovered a new way of applying advanced artificial intelligence to cool buildings using renewable energy.

From the Oman Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Dr. The research study, led by Maryam Zuhair Al Lawati, is published in the journal Scientific Insights. The research discovered an innovative way to apply advanced artificial intelligence techniques and adapt them to cooling buildings in Oman.

According to the Times of Oman report, the technique uses renewable environmental energies through an intelligent system that integrates these technologies through a specific mechanism. The system, designed by artificial intelligence, estimates the volume and amount of cooling required for the building in summer and winter, and the control system operates the heating system according to the building’s needs, according to the estimates.

Dr. Maryam stated that the idea for the research arose because of the importance of utilizing the renewable energies available in Oman. The research also aims to solve the persistent and persistent problem of refrigeration and air conditioning buildings. According to the studies carried out within the scope of the research, the solar energy used to cool the buildings runs the thermal air conditioner that provides energy to cool the building. Heat is reduced by transferring energy to the ground and utilizing land and geothermal energy.

Dr. Maryam explained that the study findings show that Oman’s buildings rely entirely on electrical energy to cool 100 percent, while the study proved that when solar-based thermal energy is introduced, electrical energy use can be reduced from 100 percent to 23.6 percent per year. The research also showed that the role of geothermal energy is small compared to the percentage of solar energy use, while it was stated that solar energy should be used efficiently in this area.

The giant boat named MS Turanor PlanetSolar, manufactured by the Swiss company PlanetSolar uses renewable energy. It also has the distinction of being the largest solar-powered boat.

The Planet Solar boat, built under the leadership of the University of Geneva, has two separate missions. One of them is to instill environmental awareness by using only solar energy. The second is to undertake ocean research by making a world tour.
3 scientists from the University of Geneva have been trying for a long time to make the Planet Solar boat reach its goals. Scientists travel around the world with the Planet Solar boat to examine the great heat exchange currents created by the currents in the oceans in the atmosphere. The boat, which is fully solar-powered, can reach a speed of 10 km per hour.

PRODUCES 127 HP POWER…

The solar panels of Planet Solar, which are 31 meters long and 15 meters wide, cover an area of ​​516 square meters. The electricity obtained from these panels can produce a maximum of 127 horsepower. The engine of the boat, whose panels work with an efficiency of 18.8 percent, consumes an average of 20 KW power per hour. This power indicates that a maximum of 60 passengers can be carried on the boat. Source: Solar powered Planet Solar explores the ocean

Continuing on the route it started from Spain on the highways of Europe, a custom-built caravan called Stella Vita traveled about 2000 kilometers.

There is an important feature that distinguishes Stella Vita, which means “star of life” in Italian, from other caravans. This trailer never took a break to store gas, hydrogen, or electricity. Because Stella Vita gets the fuel it needs from the solar panels on it.

Developed by 22 students at the Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology, “Stella Vita” is defined as a “self-sufficient house on wheels”. Because inside this trailer, there are all the accessories and rooms that should be in a house, such as a kitchen, bathroom, toilet, double bed, and sofa.

A young team named Solar Team Eindhoven 2021 designed the trailer, which was developed with financial assistance from sponsors. The vehicle, whose testing phase was completed in July, received the necessary permits in September to be able to drive in Europe.

Tijn Ter Horst, 21, one of the young members of the team that brought the project to life, said: “Our aim is to inspire the public and the world vehicle market for a “more sustainable life”. We wanted to show people and companies that life is already possible without harming nature.” says.