Solar PV milestone: 300 GW installed worldwide
On Sunday, the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar) announced the growth of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has now reached a significant milestone with 300 GW of total installed solar power capacity around the world.
The global solar PV market increased by nearly 70 GW in 2016, reaching 294.69 GW, led by China, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData – a jump of around 30 per cent in new deployment compared to the previous year 2015.
The photovoltaic systems installed in 2016 alone generate around 90 terawatt hours of clean solar power.
The photovoltaic systems installed in 2016 alone generate around 90 terawatt hours of clean solar power- enough to supply 25 million additional households with an annual electricity consumption of 3500 KW hours.
Carsten Körnig, Chief Executive Officer of BSW-Solar, said: “The utilisation of solar power has really picked up momentum in many countries around the world. As the global thirst for energy increases, more and more governments and investors are committing to clean forms of energy.”
The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) – the country’s economic planner – announced last month, as part of its plan to boost solar capacity by five times, that solar will receive one trillion yuan of spending.
A strong photovoltaic market is also developing in India, where solar capacity is projected to double to 18 GW, with 14.2 GW of solar projects currently under development.
Körnig said: “The decision for solar power has long been based on more than environmental concerns alone. Economic considerations are increasingly the primary motivation for making the decision to invest in PV…The risk of stranded investments in unprofitable coal-fired power plants is increasing, because in the future their enormous climate impact costs will inevitably be priced in to the overall economic equation. Meanwhile, solar power already provides an extremely low-cost alternative.”
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), in more than 30 countries worldwide PV technology is already so inexpensive that it can be operated profitably without financial support.
Furthermore, in an increasing number of cases it is more economical to invest in PV and wind power projects than in coal-fired power plants.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, in a study conducted for Agora Energiewende in 2015, concluded that in many parts of the world solar energy will soon be the most inexpensive source of electricity.