August 23, 2017 Read More →

On the Blogs: Researchers See Solar Capacity Reaching 490 Gigawatts This Year, Nearly Matching Nuclear

Solar energy has been on the rise, and based on new data from GTM Research, it could rival nuclear energy in terms of global capacity by the end of 2017.

The data, which is available in the most recent edition of Global Solar Demand Monitor, indicates that solar power will reach a capacity of roughly 390 gigawatts this year. Meanwhile, the latest figures from the Nuclear Energy Institute suggest that the world is currently home to 391.5 gigawatts of nuclear plants.

Solar growth is slowing slightly — following a massive jump from 50.3 gigawatts added in 2015 to 77.8 gigawatts added in 2016, 81.1 gigawatts will likely be added in 2017. However, GTM Research expects that growth will continue at a steady rate, with total global capacity reaching 871 gigawatts by 2022.

Capacity is just one piece of the puzzle, though. Nuclear energy is still well ahead of solar in terms of electricity generated, outputting 2,476,671 gigawatt-hours compared to solar’s 375,000. That being said, the International Energy Agency projects that solar could feasibly become the world’s largest source of energy by 2050 due to its falling cost and increasing convenience.

More: Report Suggests Solar Energy Capacity Will Rival Nuclear Power by the End of 2017

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