China first to 3GW utility solar capacity; USA catching up

By : |July 15, 2013 0

CHINA: China became in June the first country to install more than 3 GW of utility-scale solar capacity, leading the world total towards 15 GW.

The global installed capacity of large PV installations grew by 35 percent – almost 4 GW – in the first half of 2013, bucking the slowdown in other sectors of the market.

ALSO: China to launch more solar projects

The utility-scale sector seems, so far at least, to have avoided the malaise affecting other parts of the PV industry, particularly since the ‘solar trade war’. Solar market expert Philip Wolfe, says: “This is partly because of the large pipeline of projects in progress. The 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch was completed in June, and the ½ GW Topaz project is now reported to have connected over 100 MW. As these projects continue, the USA will be next past the 3GW milestone. ” Wolfe predicts it will top this table by the end of the year.

Overall US photovoltaic capacity – including small-scale and rooftop systems – was reported recently to have reached 10 GW. Meanwhile, activity is accelerating on other new markets with projects under construction or approved in South Africa, Chile, Brazil and the Philippines.

“Expect to see many more countries heading up the table over the next few months,” says Wolfe.

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