Solar energy

Solar is scaling up rapidly, with capacity more than trebling over the past four years

New installations totaling more than 50 GW in 2015 took global solar PV power generating capacity to 231 GW by year end, a 28.1% increase versus the end of 2014. Capacity has more than trebled in the past four years.

The largest increments in 2015 were recorded in the Asia Pacific region; China added 15.2 GW, just ahead of Japan with 12 GW, together accounting for more than half of the growth in global solar capacity. The US provided the third largest addition (7.3 GW). China’s cumulative installed capacity (43.5 GW) moved it ahead of Germany (39.7 GW), with Japan (35.4 GW) in third place, and the US (25.6 GW) overtaking Italy (18.9 GW) to take fourth place.

Solar power generation enjoyed another year of very rapid growth in 2015, with a 33% increase. Its overall share of global power generation remains low (1.1%), but that share has almost doubled in just two years. Solar is starting to have a noticeable impact in terms of sources of power generation growth, contributing more than 30% of the growth of global power in 2015.

Solar PV generation capacity

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