The book

The first and only book on utility solar

Author: Philip Wolfe

Publisher: Earthscan / Routledge

The author at Gut Erlasee solar park

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 those 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 pioneers in the deployment of utility-scale PV projects 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 readable, jargon-free treatise on the project development issues of solar power. This is supported by in-depth analysis of solar power’s policy environment, role, science, economics, applications, history, technology, players, design issues and references.

It includes sector statistics and maps of all known existing and planned utility solar parks over 10MW, as further described here.

That sounds great - where can I get it?

To see the publisher's details of the book and buy direct, go here.

Available from Waterstones, W H Smith and other good bookshops.

Also available from Amazon, Ebay, BookDepository and other online resources.

Chapter headings



Part A

Mainstream PV projects


Introduction: Why solar energy matters


Daylight to electricity: The wonder of photovoltaics


Economics and development of mainstream PV


Who and why: Structuring solar projects


What and where: Planning solar projects


Which: Selecting equipment & designing projects


How: Building solar projects


When: Operating solar projects


The end game: PV in the mainstream energy mix

Part B

Solar power and utility-scale PV projects


Business: Meet the experts in mainstream PV


Geography: Utility-scale plants around the world


History: Some solar park project case studies


Science: More about how photovoltaics works


Technology risk – Solar in the real world


Operating risk – Best practice; precautionary tales


Project risk – finance, structuring & development


Commercial risk – dealing in the energy market


Regulatory risk – Those pesky politicians

Part C

Reference section

Notes and references

Photographs, diagrams, tables and boxes

Glossary, units, conversions and standards

International solar and energy statistics

Further reading – publications and websites

Acknowledgements and interviews

Topic index