Today (Aug. 22) Wiki-Solar announced that 2016 will likely be another record year for utility-scale solar power and could see as many as 100 gigawatts (GWs) of newly installed solar projects over 4 megawatts in size. The organization said it will likely be the sixth consecutive record year for utility-scale solar growth.
Wiki-Solar said it found that by the end of June 2016 fully 75 gigawatts of new solar was installed. That’s above what some analysts had predicted for the full-year of 2016. However, those figures have yet to be verified.
“It might look like a tall order to add a further 25GW to reach 100 by year-end. but I think we still have a fighting chance,” said Wiki-Solar Founder Philip Wolfe.
Wolfe explained his reasoning: “Firstly our figures are often understated, when first calculated, because not all sources have yet published their data.”
To illustrate the point the organization said that its early, half-year results for 2015 showed that newly installed utility-scale solar capacity was at 45 gigawatts. However it ultimately determined that more than 50 gigawatts of new utility-scale solar capacity came online in the first half of 2015.
“We can be confident that this year will set another record by beating 2015’s total of 24GW of new installations” Wolfe contended.
Many developers are more active in the second half of the year as they try to meet incentive declines or year-end goals. “There is a substantial pipeline of projects in the US, in particular, still due for completion in 2016,” Wiki-Solar asserted. Indeed, projections earlier this year anticipated that the US alone would install more than 16 gigawatts of new solar power.
Currently Asia, primarily China and India—the world’s two most populous countries—are leading development worldwide and account for almost half of the new capacity. Europe, which had led the charge to more solar earlier in the decade has waned as countries including Germany, Italy and Spain met their solar goals. Wiki-Solar also said that Great Britain, which was growing its solar installations now seems to be prioritizing nuclear power over renewables. “Africa and South America continue to progress, but need to eat faster into hefty project backlogs, if they are to increase their market share,” the organization said.
The organization said it will introduce a more detailed list of the top 20 countries for newly installed utility-scale solar power.Tweet