Large-scale solar power projects are continuously coming to life, while new ones are being announced. In China, two 500MW solar power plants were connected to the grid on the 29th of December and will be managed by the National Energy Administration (NEA).

More importantly, the plants will sell the energy they produce cheaper than the benchmark price for coal power in the country, offering further incentive to the country’s economy to move away from coal. Now the priority is moving towards reinforcing the distribution grid, which can currently not fully cope with the production in large-scale plants in the desert regions of NW China.

In Spain, the 500MW photovoltaic project of Planta Solar Núñez de Balboa has just received environmental approval and awaits approval from the Ministry of Energy. The project is planned to cover an area of 854 hectares in Spain’s southern region of Extremadura. It is expected to produce some 850GWh annually, and is one of a series of large scale projects that have been announced in the country. The 175MW solar plant currently being installed south of Seville, in particular, is being heralded as the first one in Europe to produce solar energy at market prices without receiving subsidies.

Solar power is becoming more affordable than conventional power, and the sector is gaining momentum.

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