Wondering what the largest solar plants in the world are? Photovoltaic energy has become a popular alternative to the power generation by coal power plants or nuclear reactors. A report by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) shows that in 2012, the total capacity of energy produced by Photovoltaic (PV) plants totalled over 100 gigawatts, and it will be increasing over the next year. The main reason for which PV plants are gaining popularity is their impact on the CO2 level of the Earth's atmosphere, and more specifically, the fact that currently all PV plants are saving over 53 millions tons of CO2 each year.
The EPIA also mentions that PV energy is the third most important renewable energy source, the first two positions being held by hydropower and windpower. In this way, companies engaged in PV energy are performing very well and are growing fast. Among the leaders in the field of solar power we can mention: First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), and SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY). But let's take each of them separately.
Photo Credit: Bernd Sieker
First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) has a cumulative production of over seven gigawatts, which represents saving about 4.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. The PV cells made by First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) are based on thin film, which are very efficient especially in high temperatures in sunny regions, which is a slight advantage in front of its competitors.
On the other hand, SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), also has an advantage with its silicon-based cells, which have the highest efficiency in the market. With a history of over 25 years, SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) has been a leader in delivering high-quality and efficient products for electricity-generation through solar radiation.
SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) is specialized in delivering solar products for individual customers like households. Founded in 2006, SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) is younger than its aforementioned peers, and doesn't have such a widespread reach, its products being currently available in 14 states.
However, even though PV energy is very popular among individuals, and many households consider installing PV cells on their rooftops in order to save on energy bills, the technology still has a boatload of potential in an unsaturated market place worldwide. Solar Plaza has compiled a list of the ten largest PV plants in terms of the capacity of energy generated by them.
Let's take a look at the largest solar plants in the world: