Global capacity of large-scale solar PV generating capacity exceeded 60 GW at the end of 2015, according to figures released by Wiki-Solar.org. More than 22 GW of new plants were commissioned in 2015, setting a sixth-consecutive annual record.
Wiki-Solar says just over half of the new capacity in the year was installed in Asia, led by China and India. North America showed another strong year, with Europe now a distant third. Wiki-Solar adds that South America enjoyed growth of some 60%, thanks to Chile’s support from new entrants; while South Africa continues to lead the way in the African continent; and Australia is just starting to feature.
“A buoyant start to 2016 suggests this high growth will continue,” says Wiki-Solar founder Philip Wolfe. “Substantial pipelines in India, the USA and Chile – together with emerging markets like Brazil and the Philippines – point to yet another record year. It is entirely possible we will see over 100 GW of installed capacity by the end of the year.”
“As ever, the biggest unknown is China, where there is little visibility of the forward pipeline, and the six-monthly historical figures often reveal substantial unexpected new capacity,” continues Wolfe.
According to Wiki-Solar, the Chinese figures are ever more significant, as the country is now the unchallenged leader of the national league table with almost 1/3 of the total world capacity of utility-scale solar generating capacity:
These results are based on data published by the end of February 2016, and Wiki-Solar emphasizes that the figures tend to creep further upwards as later information is published.