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980 Gigawatts of Solar Energy Worldwide Estimated by 2020

The Solar Energy Industries Association has released a report that predicts global solar energy capacity to reach 980 GW by 2020.

Released as part of United Nations talks on climate change in Cancun, Mexico, the report says that the potential growth of solar energy is in the hands of governments as they seek to reduce greenhouse emissions and leave behind dependence on fossil fuels.

According to Bloomberg, the report states that in the next ten years solar projects will cut carbon emissions by 570 million tons, the  "equivalent of shutting down 100 coal-fueled power plants."

The solar industry will use this report to make a case for governments to increase solar incentives as they consider how to curb climate change. In the U.S. alone, investing in solar could pay huge divends both environmentally and financially. The report states 139 GW of U.S. solar power generation would "add 683,0000 jobs and help reduce the cost of electricity to $2.32 a watt from $5.71 today."

“The capital needed to manufacture that much capacity is staggering,” said Nancy Hartsoch, vice president of marketing at SolFocus Inc., a Palo Alto, California-based maker of concentrating photovoltaic panels. “And because solar hasn’t reached grid-parity in most regions, that kind of deployment would require stronger policies than we’ve got in place now.”
Origin Energy, Australia’s largest electricity utility, says the energy industry has underestimated the onset of disruptive technologies such as solar PV systems and battery storage. In comments...
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