Another record year for utility-scale solar power took global installed capacity through the 21 GW level in 2013, according to figures published today by sector experts Wiki-Solar. Soaring activity particularly in the USA, China and India lifted the totals to a fourth consecutive record year.
Most European countries, by contrast, showed slower growth in utility-scale solar, with the United Kingdom emerging as the surprise best market. The top 15 world markets at the end of 2013 were:
Other countries moving up the table included Eastern European states Ukraine and Romania together with Japan and South Africa – still just outside the top 15. Strong pipelines in the latter two herald more progress in 2014, which may also see South American countries like Peru, Chile and Brazil joining the list.
If you are wondering where solar-rich Australia is, it would be rated 34th, with a tiny 10MW of installed utility scale capacity to date. That puts it just ahead of Guam, but four places behind the African nation of Mauritania.
Figures are based on grid output capacity of the stations and the latest definition of utility-scale solar at a threshold of 4 MWAC. New capacity installed during 2013 topped 7 GW as shown in the graph below.
The eventual figures are expected to be higher, because some projects only confirm their status several months after going live. If there are substantial differences, Wiki-Solar will publish updated statistics.
The pipeline of projects in progress remains impressive, and Wiki-Solar analysts project a fifth consecutive record year in 2014.
Source: Wiki-Solar. Reproduced with permission.