Solar power production is ‘at a low point’, says Bloomberg
BYLINE: Sep 07, 2019 09:08:59Solar power generation is falling at its lowest level in three years, while the number of solar plants being built is down at the lowest rate in three decades, according to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Group (BNEFG).
The data on Thursday also show solar power is set to reach its lowest generation levels since 2003 and it is expected to remain that way through 2020.
Solar power has been at its highest level since 2003, when China had around one-third of the world’s installed solar power capacity.
Solar is now seen as a renewable energy source by about 30% of the global population, according the World Bank.
Solar is currently the fastest growing renewable energy industry, but is not expected to reach the same levels of output as coal, gas or nuclear power until 2025, according BNEFG.
It also found solar has been on a downward trend in the past decade, as China has reduced subsidies to renewables, reducing the cost of solar panels.
China is also aiming to reduce its emissions, which have increased over the past few years.
But despite a steep drop in power generation over the last decade, BNE FG expects solar to continue growing as it is a cheap source of electricity and it has not been able to cut its energy costs.
“China is already one of the largest producers of renewable energy, with a significant amount of the country’s electricity coming from renewables,” BNEfg’s chief Asia economist Robert Hall said in a statement.
“However, solar power production has been slowing for some time, and its share of global energy production has decreased since 2015.”
In the past year, BNEPFG has forecast solar will increase its share in global power generation by more than 10% by 2020, while other renewables are expected to grow by around 6%.
Solar energy production is still growing by about 6% annually.
But BNEfgt says the current levels of solar power in China have been too low to support the nation’s transition to a renewable power system, which is the basis of China’s new national energy plan.
“The solar energy share in the world is about 20%, but in China, the share is only about 1.5%, making solar energy an inefficient source of energy,” BNepfg’s Hall said.
“It’s also an inefficient way of delivering power to people because it’s not a reliable source of power, and therefore a source of demand for consumers.”
“That means solar energy generation is likely to remain at a low level through 2020, although this level will not be the same as the low level reached by China.”