World now has 583.5 GW of operational PV


The world installed 176 GW of new renewable energy capacity in 2019, according to the latest statistics published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Combined clean energy capacity reached 2,536.8 GW at the end of December, with hydropower and wind remaining the largest sources at 1,310.2 GW and 622.7 GW, respectively. Solar installations, including PV and concentrated solar power (CSP), continue to lag slightly behind wind, with a cumulative installed capacity of 586.4 GW. CSP represented 6.27 GW of the total, while grid-connected PV accounted for 580.1 GW.

Cumulative count

Asia is the part of the world with the largest share of PV capacity, at 330.1 GW of cumulative installed capacity. China is the largest market in the region with 205.7 GW of cumulative installations, followed by Japan with 61.8 GW, India with 34.8 GW, and South Korea with 10.5 GW.

Europe had 138.2 GW of installed solar power by the end of 2019, with 129.8 GW installed in the European Union. Germany is still the continent's largest market with 49.9 GW, followed by Italy at 20.9 GW, the United Kingdom with 13.3 GW, France with 10.5 GW, and Spain with 8.6 GW.

In North America, total grid-connected PV capacity reached 68.2 GW at the end of December. About 60.5 GW was installed in the United States, followed by 4.8 GW in Mexico and 3.3 GW in Canada.

In Central America and the Caribbean, cumulative grid-connected PV capacity reached 2.1 GW. The largest markets in the region are Honduras (511 MW), Dominican Republic (293 MW), Panama (242 MW), and El Salvador (237 MW). In South America, the largest markets are Chile and Brazil, with 2.6 GW and 2.4 GW of cumulative installations, respectively. The continent's cumulative installed PV capacity stood at 6.46 GW by the end of December.

In the Middle East, total PV capacity reached 5.14 GW. The region's solar champions are the United Arab Emirates and Israel, with 1.7 GW and 1.1 GW of respective cumulative installations.

Africa's cumulative total reached 6.36 GW at the end of 2019, IRENA said. The Eurasian region – including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia and Turkey – cumulatively reached 7.14 GW. Oceania's accumulated total reached 16.23 GW, led by Australia with 15.9 GW.

New installations

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The world added 97.1 GW of new PV capacity in 2019, according to IRENA.

China remained the world’s largest market with around 30 GW of new solar capacity. Asia as a whole added approximately 56 GW of new capacity in the year to the end of December.

Europe and North America installed 19 GW and 11.2 GW of new solar, respectively. About 1.2 GW and 2 GW of capacity was also deployed in Africa and the Middle East, respectively.

Central America and South America recorded 421 MW and 1.2 GW of new installations, respectively, while Oceania and Eurasia added 4.7 GW and 1.5 GW, respectively.

Standalone PV

IRENA reported that cumulative offgrid solar capacity reached 3.43 GW at the end of December.

Asia is still the leading region for offgrid PV with 1.91 GW deployed. India, China, and Bangladesh host most of this capacity at 1.1 GW, 394 MW, and 209 MW, respectively.

Other global hot spots for offgrid PV include Africa, with 997 MW of installed power, followed by the Middle East with 299 MW.

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