Solar PV to provide 20% of global power on the summer solstice

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Solar’s share in total electricity generation in China will reach 9.6% in June 2024. Image: JA Solar

Solar PV is expected to generate 20% of global electricity across midday peaks on the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, up from 16% in 2023.

Energy think tank Ember said in a study that solar, for the 24-hour average, will also provide 8.2% of global electricity generation on 21 June. Even though the solstice is the longest day of the year, the days in June are so similar in length that solar generation on this day will be nearly identical to the monthly average.

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Currently, the northern hemisphere houses 89% of the installed solar modules worldwide. Therefore, global solar generation peaks in the summer months of the northern hemisphere. Ember added that monthly global solar generation is similar from May to August, although its share falls slightly towards August, as global electricity demand increases due to a higher air conditioning demand in the northern hemisphere.

Solar PV is expected to generate 8.2% of global power generation in June 2024, up from 6.7% in 2023. The generation capacity is also expected to reach 201TWh in June 2024, up from 157TWh in June 2023, representing a 28% growth.

Ember’s study also examines solar’s role in power generation in major countries. China accounted for 36% of global solar generation in 2023, and Ember expects the share of solar in total electricity generation in China to reach 9.6% in June 2024, up from 7% in June 2023. On average, solar PV’s share in China’s electricity generation was 6.2% for the full year of 2023.

For the EU, solar’s share across June is expected to be more than double the global average at 20%, up from 17% in June 2023. On average, for the entire year 2023, the EU’s solar share was 9.2%. In Spain, the share of solar in June 2024 is expected to be even higher at 30%.

The US and India are expected to have very similar solar PV shares in June 2024, at 6.9% and 7.1%, respectively, compared to the global average of 8.2%.

As of 2023, 34 economies generated more than 10% of their electricity from solar, up from 26 in 2022. Nine of those 34 economies are large electricity markets with more than 5TWh of solar generation, including Chile (20%), Greece (19%) and Hungary (18.4%). Chile is also the first country to reach 20% of solar PV share in its power generation mix.

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