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Solar PV Energy: China Leads the Way

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solar china

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Editor’s Remarks:

Global solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity grew by 50% in 2016, leading to renewables accounting for almost two-thirds of net new global power capacity in the year. Over 74 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity, out of 165 GW of renewables, came online, far outstripping net coal additions of 57 GW, and 29 GW of gas. Much of the growth is coming from China, which has already exceeded its solar capacity targets for 2020 and was responsible for over 40% of global renewable capacity growth in 2016. In 2017, China accounted for 52% of total global solar PV demand and the accompanying strong growth in its PV cell, and wind turbine, manufacturing capacity has helped bring down the cost of capacity. Average auction prices for new solar capacity has fallen from $80 per MWh in 2012 to $60 in 2017, and those for onshore wind capacity is down even more steeply from $165 to $30 per MWh.

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Charts

How Much Do World Leaders Make?

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head of state salaries

It is well-known that Singapore pays the upper echelons of its government very handsomely. The tiny Southeast Asian city-state deliberately pegs its top government salaries to an index of what the nation’s most distinguished lawyers, bankers and businessmen earn in order to keep the bureaucracy meritocratic and competitive. The difference in pay, however, between Singapore’s head of state and that of Hong Kong – the second country on this list – is stark: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pulls in more than twice as much as Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying. The US comes in at fifth on this list, with an annual salary of $400,000 paid out to its president. However, incumbent president Donald Trump has refused to take the salary for the duration of his premiership and instead receives a nominal $1.

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America’s Favourite Beers: Lighter the Better

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American Beer

Just this week, the world’s largest brewer (by a long way), AB InBev, decided to invest heavily in the burgeoning American craft beer industry. However, as the above chart shows, the established brands – and particularly their “light” ranges – dominate American beer sales. Nevertheless, in a pattern that has already graced Canada and the UK, craft breweries are gaining traction in the market as modern drinking tastes change. Meanwhile, Budweiser has teamed with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to send barley seeds on a round trip mission to space so that its owner, AB InBev, can call itself the first to provide astronauts on Mars with a beer.

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Charts

What Is the World’s Largest App Store? It’s not Apple’s…

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App Store

With over 2.8m different apps in its app store, Google comes out ahead of Apple, which can boast just 2.2m. This result reflects the broader Android/iPhone debate that has raged for several years now. Each phone has its own legion of fans but the sheer number of apps available on Google Play is now adding another dimension to the ongoing competition. Until recently, it was widely accepted that iOS apps generated higher revenues than their Android counterparts but the tables seem to be turning. Accordingly, commentators expect that a recent spike in Android users and the concurrent increase in spending on Android apps will make them more profitable than iOS apps in 2018. Google has also introduced Instant Apps, which essentially enable users to try out apps without actually downloading them in order to save storage space, data and time. Developers are currently building Instant App versions of their software to enable users to try out their offerings merely by pressing a “Try Now” button on the Google Play store. Apple is unlikely to have overlooked this innovation and a similar feature will probably grace the App Store sometime soon.

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