2016 could be year of solar boom
A total of 229 GW of solar power had been installed worldwide by the close of 2015, representing a market spike of more than 45-fold in only 10 years, according to a new study.
The report by SolarPower Europe, called “Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2016-20,” predicts that after the 50-gigawatt annual level of newly added solar power capacity was reached in 2015, the global solar market is on pace to crack the 60-gigawatt mark in 2016. Forecasts are that it most likely will be around 62 gigawatts of newly commissioned solar power this year.
In the first quarter of 2016, China alone installed more than 7 gigawatts of solar power. Europe became the first region in the world to pass th e 100-gigawatt mark of installed PV capacity.
"Solar is booming and continues to break records in many parts of the world which gives us reasons to believe 700 GW globally installed solar power is possible by 2020," said Oliver Schafer, president of SolarPowerEurope.
Michael Schmela, executive advisor of SolarPower Europe and lead author of the report said, "Solar power is increasingly cost-competitive with fossil fuels and distributed solar is cheaper than retail electricity in many countries. In 2016, solar also became cheaper than on-shore wind power in parts of the globe."
China, Japan and the U.S. again lead the world's solar market in 2015, with China and Japan alone responsible for 50 percent of newly installed capacity. 2015 also marked a growth year for the European solar market with 8.2 gigawatts of grid-connected solar power, the market grew by 15 percent year-over-year.
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