Photovoltaic solar power is possibly one of the most important technologies for the future as it has the potential to provide the world with carbon neutral electricity. However, which country is leading the way in energy efficiency and where is the biggest Solar Power station?
In 2008, the total worldwide energy consumption was 15 terawatts, which is 15 million megawatts. This is a huge amount of energy being used each year, and with China and India growing into ever more developed countries, their energy consumption is increasing too, so we are probably using more energy now than ever before!
The biggest Solar Power station in the world is Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant in Canada, which can generate 97 MWp , producing an impressive 120,000 MWh with its 1.3 million thin film photovoltaic solar panels. If this was a coal-fired plant it would emit 39,000 tonnes of CO2 each year!
So, Canada is leading the way, but it is the European’s who appear to be more keen on running itself efficiently, with the 10 biggest power plants being located in Italy, Germany, Spain and the Ukraine, although Germany has the most solar power plants.
Italy has the second biggest power plant in Montalto di Castro Photovoltaic Power Station. Built between 2009-2010 this giant solar power plant can produce 84.2 MWp, which then generates an amazing 7,000 MWh of energy each year.
Whilst this is impressive, Germany is a country that is setting the standard for all other countries to follow with 12 large solar power stations. The biggest of these is Finsterwalde Solar Park, which generates 80 MWp from its 3 different plants positioned in Brandenburg. These 3 parks at their peak can run 10,500 homes for a year, cutting carbon emissions by 42,800 tonnes!
Despite all this good work going on across the world it still isn’t enough. We would need another 125 Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant’s to cover the 2008 energy consumption, but my predictions are the world now uses more, therefore we would need a few more than 125 power stations. Germany is one of the global leaders for carbon neutral energy, but they have not achieved that status yet, in fact there isn’t a carbon neutral country yet!
It is all good and well sitting here reading about all of this, but what are you doing to lower your carbon footprint? Have you made lifestyle changes or are you installing solar panels? Everything each and every one of us does can make a difference in making our world a greener place.