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Earth’s Coldest Regions Have Best Solar Potential, Study Says

Some of the coldest places on Earth, including the high altitudes of the southern Andes and the Himalaya, could also have the best potential for solar power using photovoltaic technology, a new study finds.

In a global assessment of photovoltaic potential, researchers found that high-altitude regions could generate high levels of solar power not just because they are sunny — and thus are exposed to high levels of solar irradiation — but also because the low temperatures actually improve the performance of some solar panel technologies.

For example, developing solar plants within just 4 percent of the Himalaya’s high-potential region — or about 12,000 square kilometers — could provide enough power for all of China, according to the study.

While the high cost of installing solar plants in these remote regions would currently make large-scale projects impractical, the results could provide an incentive for small-scale projects in remote, rural areas, said Kotaro Kawajiri of Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and lead author of the study published in Environmental Science & Technology.

photo: 桔子Jean

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2 comments on “Earth’s Coldest Regions Have Best Solar Potential, Study Says

david dunn

cleaner air ,

less clouds ,

better light spectrum,

and cool air for the electronics

Sabrina Hill

That’s nice, but we LIVE where we are off the grid, powering our house with solar in the DESERT (read LOTS of Sun, and less than 8 inches of rain in an entire YEAR), and it STAYS WARM !!

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