Solar farms changing minds, landscape in Catawba

Tripled Manufacturing Capacity Leads to 100 MW Supply Agreement

Shell says solar to be #1 source of energy

By  on 4 March 2013


The solar manufacturing industry is now a highly competitive industry. Solar module companies that can’t compete are dropping like  icicles on a warm spring day. Shell dropped out of the solar module race in 2006, giving its solar business to SolarWorld.

Nonetheless, Shell is still quite bullish on solar energy in the long term. In one of the two future energy scenarios it just released (the New Lens Scenarios), it projected that solar would become the largest source of energy by 2070.

Solar industry enthusiasts (which I assume most of you are) know that solar power has grown tremendously in the past several years — to be specific, from about 1 gigawatt (GW) in 2000 to about 102 GW at the end of 2012.

It is still a small piece of the energy or even electricity pie, but it’s growing fast. And, most importantly, it looks like it will have a very bright future.

In both of Shell’s new scenarios, which are led by Jeremy Bentham (Vice President Business Environment and Head of Shell Scenarios), the company sees global CO2 emissions dropping to zero by 2100, but through very different means.

In the first, its projection is that solar will account for 37.7% of primary energy use by 2100. The company is also bullish on natural gas, electric vehicles, hydrogen (as a transportation fuel source and resource for electricity storage), biofuels, and wind power (compared to other energy sources). But there’s much more to the story than these simple statements.

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