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Solar Energy Overtaking Coal As Primary Source Of Energy Among Countries

By J Russ I. , Oct 24, 2016 05:17 AM EDT
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Following the Paris Agreement that primarily focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by countries, more and more funding is being poured into technology that pushes the boundaries of renewable energy. Among those involved with the agreement are India and the United States, with both countries being the two of the three largest places generating greenhouse gasses.

In the past, coal has been the world's leading source of energy and is the go-to resource for the electric power industry. However, solar energy has seen an increased rate of demand due to the effort of governments to reduce carbon emissions and because solar panel cost is dropping at a convenient rate.

Furthermore, the US has a federal tax credit for solar installations making this particular renewable energy appealing to most people. And with congress extending the said credit earlier this year, annual increase for solar generation spiked up to 39 percent, reported Grist.

Solar Energy Taking Over Coal As Primary Source Of Energy In The U.S.

In 2014, the country generated 10 gigawatts of solar power with that number expected to rise to 27 gigawatts. That amount of energy production is enough to provide power to roughly 3.5 million homes.

Recent data revealed that this year the United States' electricity will come from natural gas amounting 35 percent of the country's energy production, while coal will follow behind with a 30 percent number. In 2015, both sources produced 33 percent of the country's electricity.

"Coal is now in many markets the marginal player," said Daniel Cohan, professor of environmental engineering at Rice University. "There's definitely been switching from coal to gas, and many analysts think that the majority of coal power plants are losing money."

India To Take Advantage Of The Benefits That Solar Energy Offers

India, on the hand, is still in the process of transitioning from coal to renewable energy and is currently exploring the tech and market of solar plants. Just recently, the country has updated its National Solar Mission target with a goal of achieving 175 gigawatts of renewable power in 2022, with 100 gigawatts coming from solar energy, reported Truth Dig.

Aside from reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the country is also poised in benefitting from the jobs that renewable energy brings. And this is echoed by Tata Solar Power, one of the pioneers in solar manufacturing in the country.

"This would generate more than 675,000 jobs in the Indian solar industry," said Ajay Goel, former CEO of Tata Power Solar and current chief of new businesses at ReNew Power. "Especially for the 400 million Indians who have no access to electricity, solar power would mean access to clean and affordable energy."

 

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