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Solar Power Enters ‘Terawatt Age’; World Records 168 GW of Solar Power in 2021: Report

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Launched at Intersolar Europe, the world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry, in Munich, SolarPower Europe’s most recent Global Market Outlook shows that solar is entering a new era with Terawatt solar.

The latest annual report shows that, despite an unprecedented pandemic in 2018, global solar capacity has doubled in three years. This brings the world’s total solar capacity to One Terawatt in April 2022.

Global solar market is expanding at an exponential rate. The world’s solar capacity grew exponentially over the past decade, reaching 1 TW in just 10 years from 100 GW in 2012. SolarPower Europe projects that global solar will more than double in three years to reach 2.3 TW by 2025.

2.3 TW is twice as much electricity production as France and Germany together.

“The world is now in its solar Terawatt age. It will reach the 2 TW mark in the next three year. Businesses, citizens, and governments all over the globe are realising the enormous power of the sun for energy sovereignty, climate protection, and relief from high energy prices. With a determined and ambitious EU Solar Strategy, the European solar Terawatt age can be achieved,” said Aristotelis Chautavas, President at SolarPower Europe.

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The fastest-growing renewable energy source, solar, still accounts for more than half of the global 302 GW of installed renewable capacity in 2021. Solar installed 168 GW more than wind, and more than all other non-solar renewables.

“Solar growth is still positive. The strategic geo-political significance of solar, which has been long recognized for its versatility in combating climate change, is being acknowledged on the international stage. Solar is the fastest energy technology,” stated Michael Schmela Director of Market Intelligence, Solar Power, Europe.

EUROPEAN INFLUENCE

Europe continues its positive solar trajectory with 31.8 GW more solar capacity. This represents 33% growth, and is notably less than our 2021 Global Market Outlook projections of 0.1 GW. The EU climate goals and the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine are driving Europe’s renewable transition. 25 EU member states have committed to installing more solar in 2022, compared to 2021.

“As Europe reels from Ukraine’s war with Russia, the EU has refocused its attention to the role of renewable energy in energy security. Soon, we will see the European Commission update REPowerEU proposals to decrease Europe’s dependence upon Russian gas. European solar can replace 4.57 BCM Russian gas with 39 GW. Medium term will see a real acceleration with 100 GW annual installations by 2025, paving the path to 1 TW solar by 2030.

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– Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe

ASIA PACIFIC CONCEDES MARKET SHARE

China maintained its market leader status in 2021 with a 14% annual rate of growth and a record 54.9 GW of solar capacity. This was twice the amount of solar power that China had added to the market than the United States, which has the second-largest market. The United States saw remarkable growth with 42% more solar installed in 2021 than 2020. India took the third spot with 14.2GW of solar installations.

Despite the Asia-Pacific region still holding the largest global market share, with 56% of all solar installations, the region lost 6 percentage points of its market share to Europe and the Americas starting in 2020. They represent 22% and 19%, respectively.

LATIN AMERICAN POTENTIAL

This year’s Global Market Outlook was created in collaboration with ABSOLAR (Brazilian solar association) and the Global Solar Council. It focuses on Latin America and its promising future for solar power. The region saw an increase in its annual solar installations of 44% by 2021, adding 9.6 GW to its solar power capacity. The projections for 2026 indicate that the region could grow by as much as 30.8 GW annually by then. Brazil, Latin America’s leading solar market, is expected to rise to the top five global markets within the next five-years, with 54 GW of total solar power by 2026.

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