Solar power will continue increase over coming decades

Solar power could provide nearly 10 percent of the world's electrical needs by 2050, according to projections by Global Information.

With the increased efficiency in solar power technologies and the rise in number of solar projects, the researchers estimate 9.6 percent of global electricity will be provided by the renewable resource. Another 1.7 percent will come from backup fuels like fossil fuels and biomass.

Specifically in the United States, the number of solar installed capacity has nearly doubled this year compared to last. Between January and September, 936 megawatts of solar power were installed. In all of 2011, 525 MW were installed, SmartPlanet reported.

Throughout September, 100 percent of new electricity coming on to the U.S. power grid were from either solar or wind projects, according to the article. A total of 18 solar projects totaling 133 MW were installed during the month.

In China, the government is planning to require every province to construct solar photovoltaic plants that will generate more than 15 gigawatts of electricity, which is enough to power 5 million homes in the United States, the Atlantic reported. Beijing also plans to expand its solar capacity from 21 GW in 2015 to 50 GW in 2020.

PennEnergy's Research area offers details on the solar energy market outlook.

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