The power generation market is seeing increased focus on renewable energy, with renewable power generation becoming one the most crucial ways of achieving the goal of sustainable development for all countries.
In 2012, 772.3 Gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity was installed across the world. Of this capacity, wind and solar PV (Photovoltaic) are the major renewable sources of energy and account for 49.3% of the cumulative renewable power installation in the world.
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electrical power, windmills for mechanical power, wind pumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships.
Large wind farms consist of hundreds of individual wind turbines which are connected to the electric power transmission network. Offshore wind farms can harness more frequent and powerful winds than are available to land-based installations and have less visual impact on the landscape but construction costs are considerably higher.
The cumulative installed capacity of wind power increased from 59.8 GW in 2005 to 283.9 GW in 2012, driven by favourable government policies for renewable energy in countries such as China, the US, Germany, Spain, India and Australia.
The future prospects for the wind energy industry appear to be good, largely due to strong government support. By 2020, the wind power cumulative installed capacity is expected to reach 455.8 GW.
Photovoltaic systems (PV system) use solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. A small PV system may provide energy to a single consumer, or to an isolated device like a lamp or a weather instrument. Large grid-connected PV systems can provide the energy needed by many customers.
The electricity generated can be either stored, used directly (island/standalone plant), or fed into a large electricity grid powered by central generation plants (grid-connected/grid-tied plant), or combined with one or many domestic electricity generators to feed into a small grid (hybrid plant)
The global solar PV cumulative installed capacity accounted for 1.9% of installed capacity in 2012, and increased from 4.5 GW in 2005 to 97.2 GW. The global solar PV market witnessed high growth in 2010 and 2011, with 29.3 GW of installed capacity coming online in these two years compared to the 7.4 GW installed during 2008 and 2009.
Against the backdrop of favourable policy frameworks for the development of the PV market, the global solar PV installed capacity will continue to grow at a CAGR of 15% during the 2013-2020 forecast period to reach 331.2 GW by 2020.
For more information on the power generation market, see the latest research: Power Generation Market
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