37GW of solar PV installed in 2013 alone

25 March 2014

LONDON: Global installed solar PV capacity reached 136.7 gigawatts by the close of 2013, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has reported, led by rapid solar growth in Asia.

In 2013, 37 gigawatts (GW) of cumulative solar PV was installed across the world, marking a 35% increase on 2012.

The new report by EPIA observes that the Asia-Pacific market led the global solar growth with 57% of the international market, due to China and Japan installing a sizeable 11.3 GW and 6.9 GW respectively.

The confirmation of China’s leadership in solar energy development comes just weeks after the first phase of construction began on an impressive 1.1 GW solar power plant project in China's Gansu Province. Furthermore, the EPIA’s analysis lends additional credence to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s prediction that China will be the driver of international solar growth in 2014.

The EPIA researchers are less hopeful for the European market, however. Europe, which once dominated, is now falling behind due to “harsh support reduction, retrospective measures as well as unplanned changes to regulatory frameworks”, the solar energy body attests. 

In 2011, the EU concentrated more than 70% of the world’s new PV installations, but in 2012 this fell to 59%, and by 2013 Europe’s share of the global market was reduced to 28%.

Yet EPIA notes that in just five years PV has grown from meeting 0.3% of Europe’s electricity needs in 2008 to 3% in 2013, and is keen to stress that with a dynamic and coherent renewables policy, Europe could regain its prominent position on the international solar energy stage

Image Attribution: Lykaestria at the English language Wikipedia

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Renewables now provide 14% of Europe’s energy

By Alana Ryan

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