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Science News: The Fall of Coal and the Rise of Solar Energy

According to a report by the renowned photovoltaic magazine “PV Magazine,” the European solar industry is set to undergo a significant transformation in 2022. This will shape the new landscape of energy future on the European continent. The European Commission, under its REPowerEU plan, has formulated ambitious solar energy targets to reduce dependence on Russian natural gas. The goal is to reach a total solar power capacity of 415 GW by 2025 and 750 GW within the next decade, doubling its capacity within eight years, which is unprecedented for Europe.

Changes in policies have also led to an increase in risk premiums, particularly for projects supported by commercial solar energy and power purchase agreements (PPAs). The rapid increase in overall electricity prices in Europe in the past two years has resulted in record-breaking growth in distributed solar energy capacity. The EU market has seen nearly 15 GW of residential installations and a rise in commercial and industrial additions to 13 GW.

Therefore, the REPowerEU plan is placing its bets on rooftop solar power generation due to its modular characteristics and the immense untapped potential in this field. The projected target for rooftop solar energy in Europe is an annual capacity increase of 52 GW to 58 GW by 2025. Considering the expected decline in retail electricity prices and solar panel component costs, it seems that this ambitious target has a chance of being achieved.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, according to a report by CBS News, a decade ago, coal accounted for 40% of the United States’ national electricity generation. However, with the rise of renewable clean energy and the retirement of coal-fired power plants, the solar and wind energy generation in the United States has surpassed coal for the first time in the first five months of this year. This historic record-breaking situation represents a significant shift in the national energy landscape of the United States. Solar and wind energy development has taken the lead over coal-fired power generation, proving the decrease in renewable energy technology costs and the improvement in efficiency.

EIA estimates that coal-fired power generation in the United States this year will be lower than any year in this century. As power suppliers continue to increase renewable energy production, coal production is expected to continue declining in the next 18 months.

The declining cost of solar panels and policy incentives have made solar energy an increasingly attractive choice for power generation. With the allocation of billions of dollars for expanding clean energy through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, it is expected to further expand the market share of solar energy in the United States.

Of course, the growth of solar energy is not without its challenges. Connecting new solar power plants to the national grid has proven to be a time-consuming process. On average, it takes about five years from the application for grid connection to the start of commercial operation for solar projects that were grid-connected in 2022.

Despite these challenges, the future of solar power generation appears promising in both Europe and America. The United States has thousands of projects with a capacity of 1,350 GW waiting for grid connection, and Europe aims to double its solar power generation capacity within eight years. These ambitious yet achievable policy goals make solar energy a central player in the future of global clean energy.

Science News: The Fall of Coal and the Rise of Solar Energy Please help me to make an illustration that is suitable for the article and published on the Facebook post according to the picture I provided
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Science News: The Fall of Coal and the Rise of Solar Energy 螢幕擷取畫面 2023 06 30 092321
Science News: The Fall of Coal and the Rise of Solar Energy 螢幕擷取畫面 2023 06 30 092201

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