China, India and US lead 75GW wave of new solar

Solar energy’s 75GW of new capacity in 2016 was led by rapid development in China, India and the US. That’s according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Solar energy’s 75GW of new capacity in 2016 was led by rapid development in China, India and the US.

That’s according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which shows total installed capacity in global key markets has risen to more than 303GW.

The growth exceeds that seen in 2015, when roughly 50GW of solar power was installed worldwide.

The boom was led primarily by China, which put 34.54GW into place last year and is the leader in terms of total capacity with 78GW.

The US market increased to 14.7GW, with commercial scale ownership dominating the sector.

India doubled its volume of installed solar capacity from 2GW in 2015 to around 4GW in 2016.

However, despite an overall increase in growth, two large markets saw a drop in activity.

Japan saw a 20% decline, with around 8.6GW put into operation.

Europe also recorded a decline from 8GW to 6GW over the period.

The UK remained the largest European market with around 2GW of installed solar capacity.

A growing need for energy combined with declining prices means solar still saw growth in a number of emerging countries, including South Africa (509MW), Chile (746MW), Thailand (726MW) and the Philippines (756MW).

China and India are well on track to achieving the Paris Agreement climate targets.

Google has unveiled a new tool to calculate the solar viability of rooftops.