Solar record
Image credit: Stock

Installations of large-scale solar plants dipped in 2017-2018 but returned to growth in 2019, with a record-setting 45GW of installed capacity and bringing cumulative installed capacity to more than 220GW, according to figures from Wiki-Solar.

Philip Wolfe, founder of Wiki-solar noted that the growth was “largely thanks to emerging markets.” He added that the top 3 countries for cumulative installed capacity — China, the US, and India — remain far of the rest of the pack, “but, with China slowing, the chasing ‘peloton’ is changing,” he said.

Top countries with more than 1GW of cumulative installed utility-scale solar capacity:

Japan has leap-frogged Germany into fifth place. Last year’s highest climber was Vietnam – up 38 places to 11th in the table of cumulative installed capacity – thanks to 3.4GW of new installations, making it the fourth in the world for 2019. More change is expected in 2020 with the UK likely to drop several places, as Spain and Australia also accelerate. South and Central America look increasingly prominent with Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina leading the charge, said Wolfe. 

Other climbers to watch are Middle Eastern countries: the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is home to one of the world’s largest plants, the 1.1GW Sweihan plant, which was completed last year as well as and Egypt’s 1.5GW Benban Solar Park. While in Europe, the Netherlands is expected to pass the 1GW milestone this year.

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This story was originally published on our sister-site,
Renewable Energy World.