Solar power on Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Photo by: U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Nadine Y. Barclay.
The world’s installed solar capacity hit 101 gigawatts last year, according to new data from the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). Last year alone, saw nearly 30 gigawatts of solar power added around the world.
“No one would have predicted even 10 years ago that we would see more than 100 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity in the world by 2012,” Winfried Hoffman the President of the EPIA said.
Despite regulatory uncertainty, Europe remains the leader in solar. Last year it installed nearly 17 gigawatts, though down from almost 23 gigawatts in 2011. Outside of Europe, China installed 3.5 gigawatts, the U.S. 3.2 gigawatts, and Japan 2.5 gigawatts. Booming solar outside of Europe was cause for celebration.
“The photovoltaic industry clearly faces challenges but the results of 2012 show there is a strong global market for our technology,” said Hoffman. “Even in tough economic times and despite growing regulatory uncertainty, we have nearly managed to repeat the record year of 2011.”
Currently, Germany is the world leader in total installed solar energy, followed by Italy, China, the U.S., and Japan.
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