Utility PV book

Pioneering renewable energy for business and communities & more

Utility-scale solar power

This was the first book published about this rapidly developing sector of the global energy market

Cost learning curves (Fig 3.1 from the book)

Published 2012 by Earthscan, part of Routledge (Taylor & Francis)

Solar Photovoltaic Projects in the mainstream power market

Well before the end of this century, solar power will be the world’s dominant energy source, according to renewable energy pioneer, Philip Wolfe. And the coming decade will start the transition to the high growth phase as prices fall and regulatory drivers increase.

This is the first book to focus on the development of solar systems for merchant power delivery into the grid. It is a key reference for those structuring, developing and backing megawatt-scale solar power projects during this exciting stage. It is a manual for people with a commercial, professional, financial, engineering or political interest in the sector, rather than a textbook for specialists or scientists.

Terrestrial solar power applications are still less than fifty years old. The author uses interviews with solar pioneers to highlight the key issues and describe how we got to where we are, what we have learnt along the way, and where this can lead in the future.

The book is a concise, readable, jargon-free treatise on the project development issues of solar power. It is supported by more detailed analysis of solar power’s policy environment, role, science, economics, applications, history, technology, players, design issues and references for those who wish to explore in greater detail.

The book includes maps of all known existing and planned utility solar parks over 10MW, and the mapping has subsequently been maintained and updated by Wiki-Solar.


Mongabay; "a wealth of knowledge ground-truthed by stories of what has worked and what has failed"

Amazon; "integrated, clear and concise"

LoveReading: "the best book and most easily assessable book available"

This book is available from:

The publishers; good book retailers such as Waterstones Lavoisier, and W H Smith; Ebay, Amazon and other online sources

Chapter headings



Part 1

Mainstream photovoltaic projects


Introduction: Why energy matters


Light to electricity: the wonder of photovoltaics


Economics and development of solar power


Who and why: Structuring solar projects


What and where: Planning solar projects


Which: Selecting equipment & designing projects


How: Building projects


When: Operating solar projects


The endgame: PV in the mainstream energy mix

Part 2

Solar power and utility-scale projects


Business: Meet the experts


Geography: Utility-scale plants around the world


History: Some solar park project case studies


Science: More about how photovoltaics works


Technology risk: solar power in the real world


Operational: best practice; precautionary tales


Project risk: Finance, structuring & development


Commercial risk: Dealing in the energy market


Regulatory risk: Those pesky politicians


Reference section




Units, conversion factors, norms & standards


International solar and energy statistics


Acknowledgements & interviews


List of illustrations and notes


Bibliography and webography