Solar Power is the fastest-growing energy source in the world. Today, almost every country is producing solar energy. The majority of the global solar power is coming from China, India and the US, with the Middle East coming strong.
In the past five years, solar panels systems have nearly quadrupled, going up to nearly 400GW by the end of last year. Solar energy contributed 20% of global power growth in 2018.
In Malaysia, by the year 2025, 20% of its energy will be from renewable sources. The renewable sources include biomass (99MW), biogas (59MW) and hydro (42MW) with solar energy being the biggest contributor -- 75% (375MW) of the total.
The solar industry in Malaysia is expanding and is becoming an attractive investment for renewable developers. An example of this is the construction of the largest solar power farm in Sepang, Selangor, which uses 230,000 solar panels, installed in 98 hectares of land.
But where are the biggest solar power plants?
With more solar projects planned across the world, the “largest solar plant” changes continuously. Here are the largest solar plants in the world today.
Noor Complex Solar Power Plant is located in the Sahara Desert and it is the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant. The Solar Plant capacity is of 580 megawatt, and by 2020, it is expected to provide electricity for over 1 million people, once completed.
Kamuthi Solar Power Plant is located in India. Covering 2,500 acres and consisting of 2.5 million solar panels, the plant is able to power 750,000 people. The solar plant has a total generation capacity of 648MW. Every day, the robotic system that is charged by its own solar panels cleans the plant.
Solar Star is located in Rosamond, California, US. and the site area is 13 square kilometres. This solar plant has 1.7 million solar panels that can supply electricity to 255,000 homes. Solar Star is responsible for nearly 17% of California’s electricity supply.
Longyangxia Dam Solar Park is located in the city of Cixi in eastern Zhejiang in China. It has installed 300 hectares of solar panels above a fish farm. The solar plant has enough power to supply electricity for 100,000 houses and it generates 220-gigawatt hours of electricity a year.
Covering 5,932.32 acres in the Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park has the capacity to generate 1,000MW. More than four million solar panels were installed in the solar power plant, each with a capacity of 315W of 320W.
The site can generate more than 8 million kWh of electricity on sunny days, meeting the entire demand of the Kurnool district.
Enel Villanueva solar plant is located in Coahuila, Mexico. It has over 2.3 million solar panels and is able to produce more than 1,7000GWh per year.
Datong Solar Power Plant is located in China and it can be the largest solar plant in the world once completed. The solar plant has generated a total of 870 million watts of electricity power, which is equivalent to more than 120 million watts per month.
Tengger Desert Solar Park is by far the world’s largest solar array. It is located in Zhongwei, Ningxia and 1547MW of solar power was installed.
The Tengger Desert covers about 36,700 km and the solar park itself occupies 1,200 Km (3.2%) of land.
The solar energy in Malaysia plays an important role in the energy mix, mainly because the sun shines all year around. In fact, this energy is much more affordable than 10 years ago.
As the solar industry in Malaysia is well established, there is a reliable and low-cost supply chain for solar project developers. Steady growth is expected; projected figure is fixed at 8.5% for an annual average growth rate between 2019 and 2027.