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Big solar passes 100GW global milestone, Australia in reach of top 10

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Global installed capacity of utility-scale solar power stations has passed the milestone 100 gigawatt mark, according to the latest data from wiki-solar.org, which has put the global total at just above 101GW, as at the end of March, 2017.

The Wiki-Solar report, released late last week, said that more than 70 countries around the world had now installed at least some capacity of utility-scale solar plant, with 13 countries – led by China –accounting for almost 95GW of that global total.

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Australia, which just two years ago was dragging its heels at number 24 in the global rankings, is coming up in the big solar world, according to Wiki-Solar founder Philip Wolfe, with enough large-scale projects in the development pipeline to bring into the top 10.

Indeed, there is estimated to be around 2GW of large scale solar that is beginning construction in Australia this year, with more in the pipeline.

“It was continuing growth in the top markets of China, the US and India that took us through the 100GW barrier,” said Wolfe on Friday, adding that the “early European powerhouses” like Germany and had slowed markedly.

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“Other countries, however, are promising to increase their contribution in the future, according to Wiki-Solar’s data on projects under development,” he said.

“Chile could move into the top five, as it fulfils its current pipeline. And Japan and South Africa are working steadily through substantial project stockpiles. Lower down (the) league table, Mexico and Australia also have enough capacity under development to take them into the top ten,” Wolfe said.  

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  • George Darroch

    Australia is unique in having such a large percentage on residential rooftops – I count about 2.4GW of actual production (not capacity) on the sidebar widget at 12:30pm on a Tuesday.

    This would put Australia squarely in 5th or 6th place. Give it another year of residential and large commercial growth, and we’ll be in the top 4.

    • Jonathan Prendergast

      Agree. Solar is very scalable, so there is no reason for Utility Scale to get attention ahead of more distributed solar. My view is distributed energy has many advantages over utility scale solar too.

  • trackdaze

    Sunny place, shady politics

  • Gnällgubben

    Can this be right? According to this other article (*) China installed 34 GW solar in 2016 alone totalling 77 GW.

    *) https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/18/china-installed-34-gw-new-solar-pv-2016-nea/