Solar is scaling up rapidly, with capacity nearly quadrupling over the past five years
New installations totaling more than 97 GW in 2017 took global solar PV power generating capacity to nearly 400 GW by year-end, a 32% increase versus the end of 2016. Capacity has nearly quadrupled in the past five years.
The largest increments in 2017 were recorded in China (53 GW) and the US (11 GW), together accounting for two-thirds of the growth in global solar capacity. Japan provided the third largest addition (7 GW). China also leads in terms of cumulative installed capacity (130 GW), with one-third of the global total. The US (51 GW) and Japan (49 GW) are in second and third with Germany (42 GW) now in fourth.
Solar power generation enjoyed another year of very rapid growth in 2015, with a 35% increase. Its overall share of global power generation remains low (1.7%), but that share has more doubled in just three years. Solar is starting to have a noticeable impact in terms of sources of power generation growth, contributing nearly 20% of the growth of global power in 2017.