From the beginning of the Bush administration, the US government has incorporated its vision of future strategic industries into its macro planning, and focused its attention on emerging strategic industries with new energy as the core. After the Obama administration came to power, it has elevated the development of new energy sources to a strategic height related to national security. The promulgation of the “United States Clean Energy and Safety Act” and other regulations and policies have strongly promoted the development of the new energy industry in the United States, and achieved remarkable results in new energy power generation.
In terms of photovoltaic power generation, according to the report data released by GTM Research Corporation and the US Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), in 2010, the installed capacity of photovoltaic power in the United States was 887MW; in 2011, it reached 1855MW; in 2012, the installed capacity of photovoltaic power generation in the United States increased by 76% to 3300MW.
In terms of wind power generation, in 2012, the United States’ new installed wind power capacity was 13,124MW, an increase of 93% year-on-year. The cumulative installed wind power capacity reached 60043MW, ranking first in the world.
In terms of geothermal power generation, according to the 2012 U.S. Geothermal Energy Production and Development Report, the world’s grid-connected geothermal power generation capacity is approximately 11,224MW, of which the United States’ geothermal power generation capacity is approximately 3187MW, accounting for 28.4% of the world’s total installed capacity, ranking it as a world leader. In 2011 and early 2012, the newly added grid-connected capacity of geothermal power generation in the United States was approximately 91MW.
In terms of nuclear power, in 2012, there were 104 civilian nuclear reactors in operation in the United States, including 69 pressurized water reactors and 35 boiling water reactors, distributed in 31 US states, mostly in the eastern United States, with nuclear power installed capacity exceeding 100 million kW. In 2012, the total power generation in the United States was 4.05 trillion kWh, of which nuclear power generation was 0.77 trillion kWh, accounting for 19% of the total power generation.
The EU is the most invested region in the world for the development of the new energy power generation industry. Whether it is wind power developed in Denmark, the Netherlands and other countries, photovoltaic power developed in Germany, Italy and other countries, or nuclear power developed in France, or geothermal power developed in Iceland, they all occupy a pivotal position in the world’s new energy power generation pattern. According to the EU Energy Climate Package approved by the EU on December 17, 2008, in 2020, the proportion of new and renewable energy used by the EU in the total energy consumption will be increased to 20%. The new energy power generation industry is already advancing triumphantly in the EU, and its development potential is huge.
In terms of photovoltaic power generation, according to the latest statistics of the EU renewable energy research group EurObserv’ER, the global new photovoltaic installed capacity increased by 52% in 2011, to about 27.5GW. Among them, the newly added grid-connected installed capacity in Europe accounted for 21.5GW (13.3GW in 2010, an increase of 62% year-on-year), accounting for about 77% of the world’s total new installed capacity, and the cumulative installed capacity reached 51.3GW.
In terms of wind power, according to a report issued by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), in 2011, the EU’s installed wind power capacity was 9616MW, accounting for 21% of the total new power generation capacity. The total investment in wind farms was 12.6 billion euros (16.4 billion US dollars), the same as in 2010. In terms of proportional distribution, Germany accounts for the largest proportion of EU wind power installed capacity, exceeding 20%; followed by the United Kingdom, accounting for 13%; Spain and Italy accounting for 11% and 10% respectively. It is reported that the total installed wind power capacity currently owned by the 27 EU countries is 93,957 MW, accounting for approximately 10.5% of the total power generation capacity in the region.
In terms of nuclear power, there are currently 143 nuclear power plants in the European Union, distributed in 14 countries, including 58 in France, 19 in the UK, and 17 in Germany. France and the United Kingdom have 77 reactors in total, more than half of the total number of nuclear reactors in EU countries. However, due to the Fukushima nuclear power leak, countries such as Germany have switched to a nuclear abandonment policy. In 2011, Germany shut down 8 nuclear power plants with a capacity of 6253MW that year, while the power of new nuclear power plants in other EU countries was only 311MW, which led to a significant reduction in the proportion of nuclear power plants.