Are countries still investing in solar power systems?

Countries are keen to show they are doing their bit for the environment and one of the most popular ways of doing this is through investment in solar power systems.

Some nations are better positioned than others to take advantage of energy from the sun, but efforts are nevertheless being made to do whatever possible to become more eco-friendly.

This has been revealed through the latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly report, which pointed to a rise in solar PV installations across the globe. It's a trend that is expected to continue for a while yet, showing that demand for renewable power is showing little sign of subsiding.

What the future has in store for solar

According to the report, around 19.5 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic installations are set to be added during the final three months of the year. This is the equivalent of the amount of energy that would be supplied by five large-scale nuclear power plants.

China is expected to be the main driver behind this trend, as its solar power projects will finish the year around 10 per cent higher than they were this time in 2013.

Japan and the US are also forecast to be major providers of solar energy and when paired up with China, will be responsible for around 70 per cent of solar PV deployed.

Solar power in Australia

Australia is one country that's in the enviable position of benefiting from plenty of natural sunlight, which should give it incentive to take advantage of solar panels.

However, there are widespread concerns that proposed changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) could put the solar power industry under threat. This would not only cause problems for Australia's environmental credentials and raise electricity prices, but also lead to widespread job losses.

In fact, the concern is so evident that a campaign was launched by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) last month to ensure solar power workers would be able to keep their jobs.

"The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme has seen the solar industry grow massively over barely more than a decade," said CEC Acting Chief Executive Kane Thornton. "From a base of just a few household solar power systems, now more than two million Australian homes and businesses generate at least some of their own power through the sun."

While Australia might have the capacity to make the most of solar power, there may need to be some changes in policy settings to make sure the sector is able to thrive well into the future.

Posted by Liam Tunney