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Global solar market grew over 29% last year, says report

CTBR Staff Writer Published 16 March 2018

Global solar market experienced a growth of 29.3% to 98.9GW last year, compared to 76.5GW in 2016, according to SolarPower Europe's latest solar market data.

Solar market in Europe grew nearly at the same rate as the global solar market, increasing by 28.4% totaling 8.6GW last year, compared to 6.7GW of new installed capacity in the previous year.

As per the market data, Turkey was the largest European solar market last year, with a growth of 213% year-on-year and connecting at least 1.79GW to the grid.

The second largest market was Germany which stood at nearly 1.75GW, followed by the UK, which was champion in 2016.

SolarPower Europe president Christian Westermeier said: "It is good to see European solar growing again, and it is particularly encouraging that this increase is at about the same level as the global market. Yet the EU has a lot of work to do if it wants to keep pace with the rest of the world on solar energy - and therefore we hope that the EU will agree to a 35% Renewables target in the Clean Energy package."

Asia was also the major source of the solar growth last year. Solar deployment in China and India were the major contributors, totaling 63% of the total solar demand last year. Chinese solar market grew at 53% to 52.8GW last year, from 34.5GW in 2016. This was far ahead of the US, which came second with 11.8GW. India came third with an installed capacity of 9.6GW.

SolarPower Europe CEO James Watson said: "Solar's continued growth is great news as we move the global energy transition forward - but Europe is at risk of being left behind. The EU must ensure that it addresses obstacles to solar's potential, such as barriers to self-consumption and it must ensure a strong framework for small scale solar.

"The EU must support policies that encourage more solar installations, such as the removal of trade barriers on solar panels. Not only will this ensure a clean energy future for the EU, but it will boost local development, it is expected that solar will provide over 40,000 more jobs in Europe by 2019 if the trade barriers are removed."

Image: Solar Power Europe releases global solar market data for last year. Photo: Courtesy of khunaspix/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.