China, US lead solar power growth, Europe down 20%

The amount of solar power added globally jumped to nearly 50% last year, thanks to the US and China. It grew to around 76.1GW from 51.2GW in 2015, according to […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The amount of solar power added globally jumped to nearly 50% last year, thanks to the US and China.

It grew to around 76.1GW from 51.2GW in 2015, according to new figures from SolarPower Europe.

The world’s largest solar market last year was China, which officially added 34.2GW – 125% more than in 2015.

It was followed by the US, with estimated additions of 14GW – up from 7.3GW the year before. Japan ranked third, reaching around 8.6GW, ahead of India with 4.5GW.

European nations however saw a 20% fall in solar installations to 6.9GW last year.

SolarPower Europe is urging the European Parliament and Member States to develop a “strong and ambitious” governance framework to steer investment in clean energy and create local flexibility markets to ensure all services provided by solar and storage are “properly remunerated”.

It is also calling for a strong framework for self-generation and consumption “to place consumers and communities at the centre of the energy transition” and the development of best practices for the design of tenders.

Alexandre Roesch, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe said: “After having inspired so many regions in the world, Europe needs to find its own inspiration again and act as the leader of the energy transition. We need to build a major industrial project around solar and renewables.

“To start with, increasing the 2030 renewable energy target to at least 35% will send a strong signal that Europe is back in the solar business.”

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has estimated the share of global electricity generated by solar could rise to 13% by 2030.