Solar trends: Coal decline leads Twitter mentions in Q1 2020

27 April 2020 (Last Updated June 19th, 2020 12:50)
Solar trends: Coal decline leads Twitter mentions in Q1 2020

Power Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on solar in Q1 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Coal – 34 mentions

Increasing investments in solar instead of coal for countries like India, ditching the pipelines to build new solar farms in Canada, and renewable energy innovations, were some of the popular topics discussed in Q1 2020. According to Mike Hudema, a climate campaigner, Canada is converting what used to be known as the largest coal plant into a solar farm. Posed to be the largest air polluters for North America, it has been finally demolished to give rise to approximately 200,000 solar panels.

The influencer also tweeted that India is spending more on solar energy than coal for the first time ever. In fact, the country’s renewable energy capacity is growing as fast as doubling in less than three years. With regards to innovation, China has converted its retired coal mine to build tends of thousand of panels to make its largest floating solar farm, tweeted by Dr Thomas Hillig, an  expert specialising in off-grid renewables and micro-grid solutions.

In other news, Assaad Razzouk, a commentator on climate and clean energy, shared an article on how Vietnam’s wind and solar energy goals are rapidly into the 43% share allotted to coal; the reason being cleaner, cheaper, and quicker energy.

2. Sustainability – 31 mentions

Sustainable buildings, the need for energy transition, partnerships encouraging regenerative practices, support for solar advocacy initiatives and policies, and investors rejecting natural gas to clean energy, were some popular topics discussed in this quarter. For example, Arik Ring, an energy engineering expert advocating the need to shift to sustainable energy to preserve the planet and its resources. He tweeted that it isn’t a question anymore, but a must.

With regards to innovation, Mike Hudema, a climate campaigner, tweeted on how a Swiss school is built on sustainable materials, runs on solar, and produces energy enough to power itself as well as 50 homes around it.

In other news, Mark Z Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, discusses how the cost of wind and solar infrastructure has plummeted, with clean-energy advocates having concluded that clinging to gas for too long may derail efforts to reach sustainability targets. As a result, investors are unwilling to pay more for gas utilities than electric ones, the article noted.

3. Climate change – 26 mentions

The potential of education programs on climate change, key investment decisions, staying resistant to fossil fuel companies to thwart renewable energy, efforts to shift climate change beliefs, and solar breakthroughs, were popularly discussed in Q1 2020. For example, Mark Z Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, shared an article on how the battle between clean energy and fossil continues, both trying to influence the legislation addressing climate change.

David Roberts, a marketing consultant to renewable energy startups, also discussed the importance of educational programs on climate change, stating that if implemented at large, the potential reductions in carbon emissions would be the same as other typical mitigation strategies such as electric vehicles and solar panels. While Colombia plants giant corridors of trees to cool the city and fight climate change, tweeted by Mike Hudema, the climate campaigner, Bjorn Haugland, a climate blogger, added that public support mattered manifold in curbing climate change, highlighting that neighbourhood solar panels can change climate change bias.

In other news, Bill McKibben, an author, educator and environmentalist, shared an article on how the ‘lucky country’, Australia, is suffering the early effects of climate change. The enormous kelp forests have been wiped out, and the Great Barrier Reef damaged because of the hot ocean water. The influencer tweeted that Australia being one of the largest exporter of coal, ought to stop building coal mines, and resolve to power its economy with more wind and sun energy.

4. Cleantech – 23 mentions

Innovation, bifacial solar panels, and multi-junction solar cell for terrestrial and space applications, were some popular topics discussed during the quarter. According to Arik Ring, an energy engineering expert, bifacial solar panels help in generating energy from all of sun’s rays and from all angles. Chinese solar module manufacturer JinkoSolar’s p-type PERC and n-type HOT bifacial solar modules, for example, achieved conversion efficiencies of 21.82% and 22.49%, respectively.

The manufacturer was also able to improve the panels’ performance by applying a new anti-reflection coating and advanced metallisation technologies, and article shared by Carl Siegrist, a renewable energy strategis, noted.

In other news, Carl also shared an article on JinkoSolar developing multi-junction solar cell for space and terrestrial applications. JinkoSolar partnered with the Shanghai Institute of Space Power-Sources (SISP) to develop this technology, emphasising that the two will continue to collaborate in technical innovation, providing more efficiency and choices to global customers.

5. Renewable energy – 22 mentions

Innovations, accelerating investments into renewable energy such as wind, solar, and hydro, and energy transition, were popularly discussed in the first quarter of the year. For example, Daniel A Zarrilli, a chief climate policy advisor, tweeted on banning new fossil fuel infrastructure and accelerating investments in wind, solar, and hydro energy.

Likewise, Mike Hudema, a climate campaigner, shared an article on all new homes in California being built with solar panels, along with zero emission public buses, and also massive batteries that can provide twenty-four hour renewable energy.

In other news, Arik Ring, an energy engineering expert, shared an article on SolarGaps, which are sun tracking solar panel blinds for windows, which can help save energy bills up to 70%. In fact, one window alone could help light up 30 LED lightbulbs.