World may hit 1.3 TW of installed solar in 2023 - SolarPower Europe

World total solar PV market scenarios 2019-2023. Source: SolarPower Europe

May 14 (Renewables Now) - Between now and 2023 the global solar power generation capacity is seen to grow by 800 GW and hit 1.3 TW, according to SolarPower Europe’s five-year Global Market Outlook (GMO).

This is according to the medium scenario, under which the world will install some 128 GW of new photovoltaic (PV) power plants this year for a 25% market growth. Thus, the cumulative installed solar capacity will reach 645 GW. In 2020, demand will grow to 144 GW, then to 158 GW in 2021, and 169 GW in 2022, reaching 180 GW in 2023.

At that pace, the world's solar capacity will likely exceed 1 TW in 2022.


In this latest GMO, SolarPower Europe estimates that the cumulative global solar capacity will be between 918 GW and 1,346 GW in 2022, with a medium scenario forecast of 1,117 GW. That is around 7% above last year’s GMO 2018, in which the 2022 forecast ranged between 824 GW and 1,290 GW, with a medium scenario of 1,041 GW.

The table shows how much capacity is expected to be installed by the top five solar markets in the period 2019-2023.

Capacity addition by country (in GW) Low scenario High scenario
China 213.2 374.1
India 65.7 120
USA 48.4 89.4
Australia 19 45.7
Japan 17.6 34.8

Under optimal conditions, global capacity could rise to 1,610 GW by the end of 2023, SolarPower Europe noted.


In 2018, the world added over 100 GW of solar PV for the first time in history, reaching a cumulative operational capacity of more than 500 GW. More specifically, the annual installations amounted to 102.4 GW, which is 4% more than in 2017. The association blamed the slower growth compared to the strong 2017 and 2016 on the contraction of the Chinese market, which shrunk by 16% to 44.4 GW.

Europe saw its annual installations rise by 21% to 11.3 GW in 2018 mainly thanks to the EU’s binding national 2020 targets. Under SolarPower Europe’s medium scenario, European demand will jump over 80% to 20.4 GW in 2019, while in 2020 some 24.1 GW will be added.

“In Europe, we have entered a new era of solar growth and with the recently concluded Clean Energy Package, we have a new framework for solar that will see our technology thrive even more in the coming years,” commented Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe.

Overall, 11 countries installed more than 1 GW of solar in 2018 and the industry body expects this number to grow to 16 in 2019.

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