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Solar Photovoltaic Utilization in Electricity Generation to Tackle Climate Change

H. Demirhan1 *

  1. School of Science, Mathematical Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne 3000, Australia

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +61-03-99252729. E-mail address: (H. Demirhan).


Climate change is threatening nature by impacting the vital processes of life. The efforts to mitigate climate change mainly focus on utilizing renewable energy sources in high energy consumption areas. This article studies the contribution of solar photovoltaic (PV) utilization in electricity generation to climate change mitigation through a comprehensive modeling framework. The mean temperature anomalies, anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, solar photovoltaic capacity installations, and solar cycle length are considered using Australian data between 2001 and 2019. It is demonstrated that solar PV installations have a strong potential to contribute to mitigating climate change. A 1% increase in average PV installations contributes to reducing the temperature anomalies by 0.05%, and when considered in the same model with greenhouse gas emissions, a 1% increase in sunspot numbers increases temperature anomalies in Australia by 0.71% in the long-run. A low-magnitude relationship between solar cycle length and greenhouse gas emissions is also observed. The results of this study are beneficial in specifying more accurate targets, better allocation of limited climate action budgets, and better planning and management of solar energy investments.

Keywords: autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing, cointegration, greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, solar cycle, surface temperature anomalies

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