Annual PV Additions Exceed 100GW Level First Time

2018 Global Solar PV Capacity Installations Grew 5% To Close At 104.1 GW, According To SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Update; Cumulative Reached 511.8 GW
07:34 PM (Beijing Time) - 07. March 2019
SPE Global Market 2018

Even though China’s total installations in 2018 declined 16% annually, it still managed a 42% market share in the year. SolarPower Europe sees 2019 to turn out to be a phenomenal year for solar as China market rebounds with positive policy changes and emerging markets adopt solar at a growing pace. (Source: SolarPower Europe)

Key Takeaways

  • SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Outlook shows new solar PV capacity addition in 2018 reached 104.1 GW, growing around 5% over previous year
  • China, US and India were the top 3 markets in 2018, as China claimed 42% market share
  • Entire Europe contributed 11 GW to this total, as EU-28 represented 36% growth to 8 GW
  • Germany was the highest grossed adding close to 3 GW, followed by Turkey and the Netherlands adding 1.6 GW and 1.4 GW, respectively
  • SolarPower Europe has also announced adding 4 members to its board, and these are First Solar’s Stefan Degener, Engie’s Jaideep Sandhu, Solarcentury’s Jeremy Leggett and LONGi Solar’s Gerald Patrick Muller

European PV lobby association SolarPower Europe (SPE) says new global solar PV capacity additions in 2018 went up around 5% to 104.1 GW, compared to 99.1 GW in 2017. That’s the first time solar exceeded the 100 GW of annual installations. The association announced the 2018 numbers at its annual SolarPower Summit in Brussels on March 6, 2019.

China remained on top of the world with 44.1 GW installed and claiming a share of 42% in the global annual additions, even though installations declined by 16% over 2017 (see China Installed 44 GW Solar PV In 2018: NEA). The United States installed 11.4 GW and India 8.3 GW, taking second and third positions respectively.

Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence at SPE, said, “Despite China’s sudden restructuring of its solar programme last year, the global market was strong enough to more than compensate for the temporary slowdown of the world’s largest solar market. The good news is that many emerging solar markets are embracing solar at a rapid pace and China is already coming back. We are seeing great solar momentum and expect a phenomenal solar year for 2019.”

At the end of 2018, global cumulative installed solar power capacity reached 511.8 GW, according to SPE analysis.

Very strong growth in EU-28

Total contribution of Europe to the global number was 11 GW, that’s 20% more than 9.2 GW installed in 2017, while 28 nations of European Union (EU-28) grew at a much higher rate of 36% to 8 GW in 2018. Germany with its 2.96 GW of annual installations led the European market with 68% more capacity added to the grid compared to 1.76 GW in 2017 (see Germany Installed Close To 3 GW Solar In 2018)

Following Germany on the second position was previous European market leader Turkey that added some 1.6 GW, while the Netherlands landed on rank 3 with 1.4 GW in 2018, thus entering the ‘solar GW club’ for the first time (see Netherlands Installed 1.33 GW Solar In 2018).

According to the SPE, France ranked just behind after adding 0.9 GW YoY, ahead of Italy with 0.5 GW.

“The EU has set the stage for solar growth by removing the trade measures on solar panels and providing the right framework for solar to thrive through the Clean Energy Package legislation,” said SPE President Christian Westermeier. “Now it’s time to take European solar to the next level by putting in place an industrial competitiveness strategy that will unlock massive investments in the solar sector, create high-tech jobs and provide the most cost-competitive clean power to meet the EU’s energy and climate targets.”

In another related development from SPE, First Solar’s Stefan Degener, Engie’s Jaideep Sandhu, Solarcentury’s Jeremy Leggett and LONGi Solar’s Gerald Patrick Muller have been elected to the SPE’s board for 3 years.

Michael Schmela

Michael Schmela is the managing director of TaiyangNews. He also runs Mischco, a company that offers strategy consulting and communication services to solar companies. Michael also serves as the Executive Advisor to European Solar Sector's Lobby Association Solar Power Europe.

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Michael Schmela