The global installed capacity of utility-scale solar topped 8.5GW this month, making 2012 a record year, data reveals.

Interim 2012 figures published by industry analyst Wiki-Solar suggest installations of over 10MW this year have already comfortably exceeded the 2.3GW seen in 2011, with 3GW coming on line.

US and European companies dominate the development of large-scale solar installations, with seven of the top EPC contractors from Germany (see Table 1).

Wiki-Solar has also published a list of the top 10 off-takers of solar power, suggesting that it is regional or independent rather than larger national utilities that are using the greatest amount of solar energy (see Table 2).

Wiki-Solar's Philip Wolfe said: “It is interesting to note that some of the world’s largest utilities are not fully engaged, especially after reports that some German suppliers, which have been sceptical about renewable energy investments, are starting to lose control of their markets.”