Annual solar installations across the world reached 98.9 GW in 2017, led by the Chinese market, which enjoyed a 53% year-on-year rise, SolarPower Europe’s first estimates show.
The total for 2017 represents a 29.3% increase from 2016 when 76.5 GW of solar capacity was installed. The market last year was fuelled by a rise in deployment in China and India, which contributed over 63% of overall demand. China was the global leader with 52.8 GW of new PV parks, up 53% on the year, followed by the US with 11.8 GW. The third spot was for India with 9.6 GW of fresh solar.
According to the statistics, released on Wednesday, the European solar market expanded by 28.4% with 8.6 GW of new PV plants, led by Turkey, which hooked to the grid at least 1.79 GW. The solar market there expanded by 213%, becoming the largest one in Europe. The second largest solar installer was Germany, with 1.75 GW, and the UK ranked third.
“Yet the European Union (EU) has a lot of work to do if it wants to keep pace with the rest of the world on solar energy [..],” said Christian Westermeier, president of SolarPower Europe.
The organisation’s chief executive James Watson urged the EU to remove trade barriers and provide a strong framework for the small-scale solar segment.
SolarPower Europe noted that all provided figures are preliminary. It expects to present final statistics for 2017, as well as a five-year solar demand forecast for 2018-2022, in June at Intersolar Europe.