Global PV capacity additions hit 115 GW in 2019, says IEA


Last year, PV developers throughout the world installed 114.9 GW of new solar power, according to fresh statistics from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

In its Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Market 2020 report, the IEA said that last year’s total represented a 12% increase from 2018, with significant growth across all continents. Overall, a total of 629 GW of solar was installed throughout the world by the end of 2019.

In terms of new capacity, China was the largest PV market for the third year in a row in 2019 with 30.1 GW, followed by the United States with 13.3 GW and Japan with 7.7 GW.

The European Union – which is included in the top 10 as a single entity, making it the world's second-largest market in theory – registered an overall increase of around 16 GW. Spain and Germany added the largest amount of capacity on the continent last year, with 4.4 GW and 3.9 GW, respectively.

Asia accounted for around 57% of total new capacity additions last year. Countries such as South Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia compensated for declining demand in China and India in 2019.

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The IEA said that all of the PV systems installed throughout the world are currently able to cover about 3% of global electricity demand.

“In the coming years, photovoltaics will have the potential to develop into an important source of electricity in an extremely fast pace in several countries around the world,” the IEA said.

The IEA also identified a series of factors that could support the rapid growth of PV in the years to come, such as falling prices for storage, the rapid spread of electric vehicles, and improvements in the production of green hydrogen.

In its latest set of full-year statistics, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said that the world added 97.1 GW of new PV capacity in 2019. This means that the difference between its report and the IEA PVPS figures is around 17.8 GW.

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