Solar energy

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Solar power starts to show up at scale

New installations totalling 30.2 GW in 2012 took global solar power generating capacity to 100 GW by year-end, a 43.3% increase versus the end of 2011.  Capacity has grown more than ten-fold over the past 5 years.

Solar PV Generation Capacity

More than half of the growth in capacity was in Europe, led by Germany (7.6 GW) and Italy (3.4 GW). Germany remains the world leader for cumulative installed capacity (32.6 GW), with Italy (16.2 GW) in second place.

China, already the leading manufacturer of solar PV, has started to develop its domestic solar market, adding 5 GW in 2012. The US also saw strong growth in 2012, adding 3.3 GW.

Solar power generation enjoyed another year of very rapid growth in 2012, with a 58% increase. Its overall share of renewable power remains low (8.9%), but 2012 confirmed the arrival of solar power at scale, contributing 24.4% of the growth of renewable power in 2012.