Cumulative utility-scale solar power generation capacity reached 35.9 GW at the end of 2014, with record new capacity addition last year, Wiki Solar has reported.
Over 14 GW of utility-scale solar power capacity was added during 2014. North and Central America and Asia led all markets to take the annual capacity addition to the highest level ever. During 2013 about 7.4 GW capacity was added worldwide.
While North America and Asia retained their leadership positions in capacity addition, Europe and Africa made significant contributions as well. Europe registered growth in capacity addition after two consecutive years of reduction in 2012 and 2013, adding about 2 GW of solar power capacity in 2014. Wiki-Solar founder Philip Wolfe stated that the United Kingdom may overtake India and Germany soon, as developers race to commission projects to beat legislative changes.
Africa, too, registered significant increase in installed capacity, led by South Africa, where the first of the projects auctioned under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP) were commissioned last year. Africa is expected to continue to add significant capacity every year as more projects under the REIPPP are commissioned.
Wolfe also stated that large markets like the US, China, and India would continue to dominate the global utility-scale solar power market. Both China and India have announced very ambitious and aggressive capacity addition target. China plans to have 100 GW of solar power capacity installed by 2020, and India has a similar target for 2022. China will have significant focus on distributed solar power capacity in addition to utility-scale capacity, while India has plans for several projects with capacity as much as 4 GW.
With 36 GW cumulative capacity installed worldwide, more than 35% capacity is operational in Asia while 30% each operational in Europe and North & Central America.