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Mega solar power. Here are the top 5 largest solar power plants in the world:

Mega solar power. Here are the top 5 largest solar power plants in the world:

    Solar Power

    Below is a quick overview of solar power today. Below the overview, I’ve also added a number of additional solar power resources which are worth exploring if you want to take an even deeper dive into the subject.

    To get rolling, here is a CNBC interview of me talking about why, very generally, solar power is so important, and also talking about its potential to help the world today.

    Secondly, here’s a video about how much the cost of solar has dropped in recent years and what that means, followed by an “About Solar / Why Solar” video that gets into the specifics of the solar energy and overall energy markets a bit more:

    • Solar Power’s Abundance
    • Falling Solar Power Costs
    • Solar Energy Industry Growth
    • Largest Solar Power Projects

    If you’re looking for specific information on solar power technology, that’s not included here, but I’d recommend these resources for more on that:

    mega, solar, power, here
    • How Do Solar Panels, Solar Cells and Solar Energy Work?
    • Solar Thermal Panels, Practical but Not Yet Popular – A Solar Overview
    • Most Efficient Solar Panels — Which Ones?
    • The Solar Power Wikipedia page

    Solar Power Abundance!

    “2009 Estimate of finite and renewable planetary energy reserves (Terawatt-years). Total recoverable reserves are shown for the finite resources. Yearly potential is shown for the renewables.” (Perez Perez, 2015)

    No other energy source compares to the energy potential of sunshine. Looking at the image above, make sure to notice that circles for coal, uranium, petroleum, and natural gas are total recoverable reserves, whereas the renewable energy circles (including the giant yellow solar energy one) are for energy potential per year.

    The bottom line: Solar energy is the most abundant energy source on the planet, by far.

    For a micro-scale example, the solar energy hitting the state of Texas each month is equal to the total amount of energy the Texas oil and gas industry has ever produced.

    Solar Power Costs

    Now, a lot of politicians and people connected to or confused by the fossil fuel industry like to contend that solar power is expensive. Well, to put the matter bluntly: No, it’s not.

    Technology improvements and policies to promote research, development, and installation of solar have resulted in tremendous drops in the cost of solar power over the past several years. Even without taking important health and safety costs (note that a Harvard study concluded in 2011 that the health costs of coal are 500 billion a year in the U.S.), environmental costs, energy security costs, and other social costs into account, solar is already cost-competitive with new electricity from conventional energy options like coal and nuclear energy (if you take into account how long it would take coal or nuclear plants to get built) — see the graphs below.

    Note that the 2012 solar LCOE of 14 cents/kWh is already way out of date, with solar hitting 3–9 cents/kWh in the Middle East, USA, Brazil, and elsewhere.

    Note that the 2012 solar LCOE of 14 cents/kWh is already way out of date, with solar hitting 3–9 cents/kWh in the Middle East, USA, Brazil, and elsewhere.

    mega, solar, power, here

    That’s just an appetizer, of course. For more along these lines, here are a few more stories on solar power costs:

    • True Value of Solar Power
    • Cost of Solar Power Competitive with Coal in Some Places, Dropping Fast
    • Solar Power Graphs to Make You Smile
    • Historic Report: Solar Energy Costs Now Lower than Nuclear Energy
    • Another Low-Solar-Price Record: Saudi Electric Company Lands Solar PPA Under 5¢/kWh
    • Dubai Gets Record-Low Bid Of 2.99¢/kWh For 800 MW Solar PV Project

    Solar Power Industry Growth

    Dropping costs, as well as concerns like global warming and air pollution, have triggered massive growth in the solar energy industry. I’m going to FOCUS on U.S. solar energy industry growth here, but the trends are similar globally and in other major economies, like China, Germany, the UK, Spain, and many other countries.

    One of my favorite solar graphs is this one, which is on the exponential solar power growth we’ve seen in recent years:

    Here’s another one that goes through 2014 and shows the annual growth trend:

    Some more key facts for you:

    • The U.S. solar energy industry now employs ~175,000 people (more than the coal or steel industry).
    • The U.S. solar energy industry has been the fastest-growing industry in the U.S. in recent years. (It has been creating jobs 10 times faster than the U.S. economy as a whole).
    • Over 5,000 businesses (mostly small businesses) support the solar industry in the U.S., creating jobs for Americans in every state.
    • 9 out of 10 Americans think we should be developing and using more solar power.

    Solar is expected to continue booming. In the U.S., it might even double each year up to 2020 (under the right policy scenario):

    Here are some more posts on solar energy industry growth:

    mega, solar, power, here
    • Solar Power Could Produce 50% of Global Electricity, IEA Report Concludes
    • Solar Power Graphs to Make You Smile
    • Renewables = 99% Of New Electricity Capacity In Q1 2016 In USA (CleanTechnica Electricity Reports)
    • US PV Installations Predicted To Pass 8 GW, Say GTM SEIA
    • US Solar PV Installations Surpassed 6 GW In 2014 (Charts)

    What Is a Solar Thermal Power Plant?

    A solar thermal power plant is an electric generation system that collects and concentrates sunlight to produce heat that is then used to create electricity. All solar thermal power systems are made with two primary components: reflectors (or mirrors) that catch and FOCUS sunlight and a receiver. Most solar thermal energy power systems use a heat-transfer fluid that is heated and circulated within the receiver to produce steam. This steam is converted into mechanical energy in a turbine, which in turn cranks a generator that produces electricity. The solar thermal power systems are equipped with a tracking capability that follows the sun as it changes position in the sky, ensuring that the sunlight stays focused on the receiver. There are three main types of solar thermal power systems: linear concentrating systems, solar power towers, and solar dish/engine systems. A solar thermal power plant may also be referred to as a solar photovoltaic power plant.

    So if you are ever asked to define a solar power plant, the gist of it is that solar panels collect sunlight, concentrate its heat, and turn that into electricity through steam power.

    What Is the World’s Largest Solar Power Plant?

    The largest solar power plant in the world is the Bhadla Solar Park, which was completed in 2020. This solar thermal power plant is located in Bhadla in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, India. The Bhadla Solar Park is a 2.25GW solar photovoltaic power plant and the largest solar farm in the world, encompassing nearly 14,000 acres of land. The construction of Bhadla Solar Park cost an estimated 450.4 billion (98.5 billion Indian rupees). What are some Bhadla Solar Park benefits? Solar infrastructure projects such as the Bhadla Solar Park help reduce India’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. In rural areas, solar power provides a much more healthy, safe source of indoor lighting than kerosene. Additionally, solar power plants like the Bhadla Solar Park drive economic growth and job creation in surrounding areas. The renewable energy jobs sector is rapidly developing around the world; in 2020, the growth rate of the world’s renewable energy capacity jumped 45%. Solar power installations increased 23%.

    The region where the Badla Solar Park was constructed is known for its solar-friendly high temperatures and sunny days; in fact, much of India enjoys around 300 sunny days per year, making it an ideal place for solar power plants. Solar power in India is rapidly developing, with many solar photovoltaic power plants being built across the country. As of March 2021, the installed capacity of solar power plants in India was 40 GW, but the National Institute of Solar Energy has assessed that the country’s solar potential is about 748 gigawatts! The National Solar Mission (a major initiative launched by the government of India with active participation from the U.S.) has set a goal of reaching 100 GW of installed solar thermal power plant capacity by 2022.

    What Are the Largest Solar Farms in the World?

    The top twenty biggest solar plants in the world are as follows, ranked by solar energy capacity:

    • Bhadla Solar Park (Rajasthan, India) — 2,245 MW
    • Huanghe Hydropower Golmud Solar Park (Golmud, Qinghai, China) — 2,200 MW
    • Pavagada Solar Park (Karnataka, India) — 2,050 MW
    • Benban Solar Park (Benban, Egypt) — 1,650 MW
    • Tengger Desert Solar Park (Zhongwei, Ningxia, China) — 1,547 MW
    • Noor Abu Dhabi (Sweihan, United Arab Emirates) — 1,177 MW
    • Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (Saih Al-Dahal, United Arab Emirates) — 1,013 MW
    • Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park (Andhra Pradesh, India) — 1,000 MW
    • Datong Solar Power Top Runner Base (Datong City, China) — 1,000 MW
    • NP Kunta (Andhra Pradesh, India) — 978 MW
    • Longyangxia Dam Solar Park (Gonghe County, Qinghai, China) — 850 MW
    • Villanueva Solar Park (Viesca, Coahuila, Mexico) — 828 MW
    • Copper Mountain Solar Facility (Boulder City, Nevada, United States) — 802 MW
    • Mount Signal Solar Farm (Calexico, California, United States) — 794 MW
    • Charanka Solar Park (Patan, Gujarat, India) — 790 MW
    • Rewa Ultra Mega Solar (Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, India) — 750 MW
    • Solar Star (I and II) (Rosamond, California, United States) — 747 MW
    • Kamuthi Solar Power Project (Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, India) — 648 MW
    • Dau Tieng Solar Power Project (Tay Ninh Province, Vietnam) — 600 MW
    • Desert Sunlight Solar Farm (Desert Center, California, United States) — 550 MW

    Of course, size isn’t everything. The best solar power plant in the world is one that provides electricity to those in need while preserving the planet and reducing a country’s reliance on fossil fuels. With solar power initiatives gaining momentum worldwide, it is clear as day that solar power is the future. If you are interested in joining the solar power movement, check out the rebates and incentives available in the United States.

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    Huanghe Hydropower Hainan Solar Park- China

    Location: Qinghai province, China Installed Capacity: 2200 MW

    The Huanghe Hydropower Hainan Solar Park is located in the remote Qinghai province of China. It is the largest solar facility in the country, with an installed solar capacity of 2.2 GW.

    The facility was created by Huanghe Hydropower Development- a state-owned power generation company and required an investment of approximately 2.3 billion dollars. The massive plant boasts a storage capacity of 202.8 megawatts.

    Developed in 5 phases, the plant is spread over an area of 564 acres and became operational in 2020.

    Currently, there are plans to expand the solar capacity of the park to 10 GW.

    Pavagada Solar Park, India

    Location: Karnataka, India Installed Capacity: 2050 MW

    The Pavagada Solar Park is in the Tumkur district of Karnataka, India. The 2.05 GW facility spans an area of 13000 acres and was developed by Karnataka Solar Power Development Corporation (KSPDCL).

    A giant 2 billion dollar investment was made for the construction of the plant. The solar park was commissioned in December 2019.

    Karnataka is considered India’s top solar state, with solar energy constituting approximately 22% of the total power capacity of Karnataka.

    Benban Solar Park, Egypt

    Location: Aswan Governorate, Egypt Installed Capacity: 1650 MW

    Benban solar park is located in Benban village of Aswan governorate, Egypt, and is the largest solar project in Africa. Equipped with 41 solar power plants, the massive complex boasts a solar production capacity of 1.6 GW.

    The development of the project was overseen by the state-owned New and Renewable Authority (NREA) and is in line with the Sustainable Energy Strategy 2035, announced by the Egyptian government.

    The 9000 acres facility was connected to Egypt’s National Grid in 2019, and currently powers over 4,20,000 households.

    Tengger Desert Solar Park, China

    Location: Ningxia, China Installed Capacity: 1547 MW

    The fifth-largest solar power plant in the world is in Ningxia, China. The facility boasts a capacity of 1547 MW and covers 1200 km of the Tengger desert.

    Also referred to as the Great Wall of Solar, the farm is owned by the China National Grid and Zhongwei Power Supply Company. It became operational in 2017 and now fuels more than 6,00,000 homes.

    Governments from across the globe are investing massive amounts of money into expanding their existing solar parks while setting up newer facilities to meet their energy goals. And each of them is vying for the top spot in terms of solar energy capacity.

    We promise to keep you updated if the list changes! Till then share your thoughts on the world’s largest solar power plants in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below.

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