According to a story by Bloomberg, 2011 was a big year for the installation of photovoltaic panels (solar panels that convert solar energy to electricity) in Europe. In fact, total installation increased 63% to reach 21.9 gigawatts (21,900 million watts).
That number is impressive for two reasons. First, it represents 74% of global installation of PV panels (which, to save you the math, added up to 29.7 gigawatts). Second, it surpassed the combined installation of new wind and gas-powered capacity in Europe (which were each around 9.5 gigawatts).
Such an incredible growth, which was driven by decreasing prices in PV panels and generous feed-in tariffs, is not expected to continue in the foreseeable future. Although prices of panels will continue to fall, European feed-in tariffs are set to gradually decrease (which is what subsidies are meant to do). But, don’t feel too sorry for the European solar energy industry:…
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