Worldwide employment in the solar sector rising to nearly 4 million jobs in 2020

IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) and ILO’s (International Labour Organization) most recent renewable energy jobs report (Renewable Energy and Jobs, Annual Review 2021) claims that globally there were 12 million renewable energy jobs in 2020, having grown from 11.5 million in 2019, and this happened despite the pandemic. Jobs were led by solar PV technology.

European solar module production more climate-friendly

In a recent report of 23.09.2021, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Fraunhofer ISE) have found that silicon photovoltaic modules manufactured in the European Union produce ca. 40% less CO2 than solar panels fabricated in China. Using a life cycle analysis, Fraunhofer ISE compared the CO2 footprints of mono-crystalline solar panels of European and Chinese manufacturers. The researchers also discovered that glass-glass modules provide an additional ca. 7.5% to 12.5% of emissions reduction compared to PV modules with back-sheet films, independently of their production location.

Solar power generation hits record peak in the European Union in summer 2021

For the first time, solar panels generated ten percent of EU-27 electricity during their peak months of June and July with 39 TWh this year, up from 28 TWh in the reference period in 2018. The EU saw solar generation increase by 5.1 TWh between June-July 2020 and 2021, a larger year-on-year change than in 2020 (+3.1 TWh) or 2019 (+2.6 TWh), according to an analysis by UK based energy think tank Ember.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF): 455 GW of new photovoltaic capacity would have to be installed annually to achieve 2050 climate targets

BNEF’s New Energy Outlook 2021 (NEO 2021) estimates massive deployment of solar PV among other commercially available abatement technologies by 2030, to be on track for net-zero emissions by 2050.
Route to net-zero emissions for the world by 2050 still remains uncertain, but it is not impossible since there are solutions, even though quite ambitious ones considering the fact it would require very well coordinated efforts - on a global level - to get there. BNEF recommends some such measures in its new report titled New Energy Outlook 2021.

International Renewable Energy Agency: Costs for new photovoltaic and wind power plants below those for new fossil power plants

The competitiveness of PV (photovoltaic) and wind technologies has improved dramatically over the past decade. The cost of solar power generation fell by 85% over the past decade, Irena found. Between 2019 and 2020, the cost of solar PV dropped by 7%, and solar thermal by as much as 16%.

Solar Sector: Corporate funding up 21% in 2021Q1

Financing activities in the PV sector started strong in 2021 with Q1 numbers rising substantially year-over-year, according to the latest update of Mercom Capital Group's report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the global solar sector. Total corporate funding, including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing into the solar sector in Q1/2021, reached a total of $8.1 billion in 36 deals, a 21 percent increase compared to $6.7 billion raised in 43 deals in Q4 2020. Solar assets continue to be in great demand with almost 15 GW of projects acquired in Q1/2021, according to Mercom capital Group.

Spanish PV association urges to limit the capacity of new solar farms

Spain should limit the size of new photovoltaic projects and also better distribute the plants in the country. Instead, smaller projects of one to ten megawatts should be supported, which would then also be located closer to the consumers, demands the Spanish National Association of Solar Power Producers ANPIER (Asociación Nacional de Productores de Energía Fotovoltaica).

Agrivoltaics, new sustainable solutions at the local level

An experimental research program was setup in Europe by the Italian Enel Group for finding the best farming and animal husbandry solutions in order to integrate with large photovoltaic power plants seamlessly. Enel Green Power, Enel’s business line dedicated to renewable energy sources (RES), has launched the experimental agrivoltaics program simultaneously in Spain, Italy and Greece. The company has teamed up with partners from research and industry, startups and also non-profit organizations.

Colorful solar panels by applying the technique of Morpho butterfly

Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Fraunhofer ISE), Freiburg, Germany, has developed a process to produce solar panels with a homogeneous and brightly colored surface. The colored components could be integrated almost invisibly into facades or roofs.