Record year for solar driven by reduced technology costs – IRENA

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Renewable power generation capacity grew a record 8.3% in 2015. Credit: IRENA

Global solar capacity grew by 47GW (26%) during 2015 as a result of module prices dropping by as much as 80% over the same period, according to the latest data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

At the end of 2014, solar deployments worldwide stood at nearly 180GW and this grew to 227GW during the course of last year.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

IRENA’s ‘Renewable Capacity Statistics 2016’ found that the highest regional increase in solar deployment was the 48% growth in Asia with 15GW in China and 10GW in Japan. Meanwhile North America’s 8GW saw it surpass European installations for the first time, which stood at 7.6GW.

In the emerging markets, Oceania saw a 1GW solar increase and Africa had 0.9GW installed. Elsewhere, South American solar grew by 517MW over 2015, meanwhile Central America and the Carribean went up by 577MW.

At the end of 2015, Europe accounted for 43% (98GW) of global capacity, with 40% (88GW) in Asia, and 13% (30GW) in North America.

The report also found that renewable generation capacity saw its highest annual growth rate by adding 152GW (8.3%) over 2015. There were 1,985GW of renewable energy generation capacity worldwide as of the end of 2015.

At year end, hydropower accounted for the largest share of the global total renewable power generation:

  • Hydro 1,209GW
  • Wind 432GW
  • Solar 227GW
  • Bioenergy 104GW
  • Geothermal 13GW
  • Marine energy 500MW

IRENA director-general Adnan Amin said: “Renewable energy deployment continues to surge in markets around the globe, even in an era of low oil and gas prices. Falling costs for renewable energy technologies, and a host of economic, social and environmental drivers are favoring renewables over conventional power sources.

“This impressive growth, coupled with a record US$286 billion invested in renewables in 2015, sends a strong signal to investors and policymakers that renewable energy is now the preferred option for new power generation capacity around the world.”   

This article has been revised to say that solar capacity grew 26% during 2015.

Read Next

Sponsored
July 12, 2024
PV Tech spoke with Helena Li at the Intersolar Europe 2024 event, about how Trina is looking to ensure effective operations.
July 12, 2024
IRENA has found that the world’s renewable power capacity will need to increase by 16.4%, year-on-year, to meet the world’s climate targets.
Premium
July 8, 2024
As a fast-growing segment of the industry, floating solar is also a novel technology that comes with a variety of new operational risks.
June 21, 2024
Solar PV is expected to generate 20% of global power across midday peaks on the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, up from 16% in 2023.
Sponsored
June 19, 2024
PV Tech speaks with the Ellen Wang, VP of global sales at Runergy, about the company's market position and work in the European solar sector.
June 19, 2024
Global grid capacity needs to grow 2.5 times its current size, and annual expenditure on grids must more than double to US$970 billion by 2050, according to a new report from DNV.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
July 31, 2024
1:00 PM (BST) / 2:00PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia
Solar Media Events
October 8, 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA