It is said the sun produces enough energy to meet the world’s current fossil fuel powered requirements, and some more! The fact though is that as of 2019, just over 2% of the global electricity was solar powered. Countries that are closer to the equator have shown greater propensity towards solar, such as India, China, and United Arab Emirates.
Huanghe Hydropower Hainan Solar Park, China – 2.8 GW
Also known as the Golmud Solar Park, this 2.2 GW solar farm is also in an arid climate region of Qinghai Province of China. It is state-owned by Huanghe Hydropower Development, this project’s aims for a gargantuan 16 GW. The investment so far has reached RMB15.04 billion ($2.2 billion).
Bhadla Solar Park, India – 2.7 GW
With an “almost unlivable” tag owing to its climate, Bhadla in Rajasthan, India, houses the largest solar park in the world. Covered across 14,000 acres, this project produces 2.25 GW. Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation (RREC) has leased the land for the solar park. The Finnish company Fortum quoted the lowest tariff of ₹4.34/kW⋅h to secure a major part of the project development. Currently all four of its phases with a total investment of ₹100 billion (US$1.3 billion)
Longyangxia Dam Solar Plant 2.4 GW (plant 3)
There is a cluster of solar plants along the Longyangxia Reservoir (Tibetan Plateau) where hydro-electricity is produced as well. This solar park, which was developed by China Power Investment–is now owned by the State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) and can power 200,000 households. The dam solar park together cost CN¥6 billion in construction.
Pavagada Solar Park, India – 2,050 MW
The Pavagada Solar Park in Karnataka is the second-largest in India in terms of size, with a capacity of 2,050 MW with PV cells spread across 13,000+ acres of land. Also known as the Shakti Sthala Solar Power Project, this state owned solar park incurred a total cost of ₹14,800 crore (US$2.1 billion).
Benban Solar Park, Egypt – 1,650 MW
Arguably Africa’s largest solar farm, Benban Solar Park, 650 kilometers south of Cairo comes fourth in the tally. Owned by the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), this 1.65 GW project costed around $4 billion by the time of completion.
Tengger Desert Solar Park, China – 1,547 MW
The Tengger Desert Solar Park Ningxia. The 1.55 GW solar farm occupies 1,200 km of the 36,700 km Tengger Desert. The project, owned by China National Grid and Zhongwei Power Supply Company, went online in 2017 and now supplies solar energy for over 600,000 homes.
Noor Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) – 1,200 MW
Easily the biggest in UAE, the project aims to offset carbon emissions by 1 million metric tons or simply put the equivalent of removing 200,000 cars from the roads. Noor Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s largest solar farms and occupies an area of 49,400 acres (200 km2). It is said to have an overall investment of AED3. 2bn (£695m).
NP Kunta Solar Park, India – 1,200 MW
NP Kunta or Anantapur Ultra Mega Solar Park, this solar park added more solar amps recently. Promoted by Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation, the site has faced operational delays in the past two years. It covers around 22,200 acres (90 km2) in the interiors of Andhra Pradesh, India.
Jinchuan, Gansu 1,030 MW
Jinchuan solar park covers almost 22,000 acres (90 km2) of semi-desert land. Though the current capacity is 1,030 MW, it is bound to increase as additional 15 plants are planned. Gansu province in China is surrounded by various clusters of solar power plants.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, United Arab Emirates (UAE) – 1,013 MW
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the UAE has seceded rank #7 another UAE solar – Noor. It could climb up as it plans to add 5 GW capacity soon. The solar park that also houses a R&D facility hopes to cut UAE’s carbon emissions by roughly 6.5 million tons each year.
Danang Ouxiang, China – 1,020 MW
A close entry to its predecessor would be Danang Ouxiang covering 22,700 acres (92 km2) of semi-desert area in the Changji Hui prefecture of China’s Xinjiang Province. Currently the solar park has a capacity of just over 1 GW with its 13 plants. They hope to double in size in the coming years.
Delingha Solar Park, China – 970MW
Located in the Qinghai Province of China, Delingha has 40 projects or clusters of solar panels that aggregates to a combined capacity of over 1 GW. The park is eventually expected to house a capacity of at least 2 GW. It cost around $158.24 million in total.