China Beat US in Offshore Wind, Europe Still Trounces Everyone Else in Solar Power

solar power spain photo

photo: Adam Tinworth via flickr

Two new illustrations about how the US has stiff competition around the world in renewable energy: New York Times reports on how China has beaten the United States in building the first major offshore wind farm outside of Europe; SmartPlanet highlights a report showing that Europe was responsible for 80% of new solar PV systems installed in the world last year.Europe Has 73% of World's Installed Solar PV
The ninth annual Photovoltaics Status Report shows that in total some 7.4 gigawatts of new solar PV installations were done globally in 2009 (a different, higher figure than reports on the same subject earlier this year), with 5.8 GW of those occurring in Europe. Furthermore, of the world's total PV capacity of 22 GW, nearly 73% of that was also in Europe.

Germany continued to dominate the European solar market, with 3.8 GW added in 2009.

Globally the solar power new installation rankings in 2009 (same as previous reports) were: Germany (3.8 GW), Italy (0.73 GW), Japan (0.48 GW), United States (0.46 GW).

China Builds 102 MW Wind Farm Near Shanghai
Even though Cape Wind just got the final permitting approvals required for construction to begin, and if it's done quickly enough it may be able to live up to its long-lived moniker of being the nation's first offshore wind farm (it does have competitors, even if not so well-publicized), China's already beaten out the United States in building a utility-scale offshore wind farm.

Distributing power for the past two months, the 102 MW Donghai Bridge Wind Farm consists of 34, 3 MW turbines, and was built by Sinovel Wind Group. The $337 million project, located 5-8 miles off the coast will eventually generate enough power for 200,000 average Shanghai households when the second phase of the project is completed. Official government estimates show that the wind farm will displace the power from 100,000 tons of coal annually.

A further four wind farms are being planned for the waters near Shanghai.

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More on Offshore Wind Power:
Offshore Wind Farms to Power 1/5th of Europe by 2030
Offshore Wind Power in Great Lakes Touted as Untapped Resource
Court Ruling Means Cape Wind Has All Permits Allowing Construction to Begin
More on Solar Power:
Ginormous Sahara Solar Power Project to Produce First Electricity in 2015
Solar Power Explosion in Spain: 3.1 Gigawatts Installed in 2008
6.4 Gigawatts More Solar Power Installed Last Year - Germany Still Leads. US in Fourth

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