On average, the energy from the Sun delivers 3.8649 kWh/m2/day on the Earth's surface. There are, however, large variations in the solar irradiation from region to region, making some much more suited for solar energy power generation than others. High levels of solar radiation are evident around the Mediterranean, Middle East, Asia Pacific the Southwest part of the United States.
To date, a number of different technologies have been developed to take advantage of solar energy. Photovoltaic (PV) technology is the leading technology for electricity production, and involves the direct conversion into electricity through the use of solar cells. Other technologies collect the thermal energy from the sun and utilize it directly, like solar thermal systems, used for heating hot water.
With respect to power generation, PV has been the most rapidly growing renewable energy technology in the world. Total installed PV generation capacity has increased from approximately 1.4 GW at the beginning of 2000 to 91 GW in 2012, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). IEA forecasts that cumulative, grid-connected capacity, will grow up to 230 GW in 2017.
For more information about the solar industry please visit the different web sites listed below:
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