Central subsidies may have been cut back but the domestic market rebounded quickly and overseas shipments soared on the back of rising production volumes and ever cheaper module prices.
The world again saw more than $300 billion of clean energy investment in 2018, according to BloombergNEF, and although wind narrowed the gap on solar, plunging module prices skewed the figures as PV capacity additions rose 10 GW.
A Californian company which provides PV power to maternity clinics in the developing world was an award winner alongside British pay-as-you-go electricity provider BBOXX. And a school in Tajikistan which aims to go fully solar powered secured a cool $100,000 towards that ambition.
The UK cities of Bristol and Plymouth and the county of Devon will get £1.9 million to develop energy efficiency, sustainability, and clean energy projects. Bristol in 2014 received a £50 million grant to accelerate its plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. Devon has ambitious plans of becoming 80% carbon neutral by the same date.
Togo, Mauritius and Guyana will all receive backing for solar projects in the latest round of funding from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development-IRENA Project Facility.
IRENA says technologies for 3D rooftop footprint generation and solar irradiation modelling are becoming increasingly cheap, making them suitable for deployment anywhere in the world. Developing cities across Africa and Asia could access such technical resources to plan rooftop PV development.
With 4.3 GW of utility-scale solar and 3.9 of distributed generation predicted, the figures collated from federal sources don’t take account of the huge capacity of solar projects waiting in the interconnection queues of seven grid operators.
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