Renewable Roundup: 1.5 terawatts of solar energy in 2024

  • Published on June 18th, 2020

Carl Sagan didn’t say it, but I will: Terawatts and terawatts and terawatts…When I started this series more than a year ago, we had about a TW of hydro and a TW of wind and solar. This has been a difficult year, but we are going to come roaring back from covid-19.

leading countries for solar energy

By Mokurai

Global solar capacity may reach 1,448 GW in 2024

SolarPower Europe has predicted the volume of new PV capacity added this year will be 4% less than last year’s figure because of the Covid-19 crisis. At the end of 2019, the world had topped 630 GW of solar. For 2020, around 112 GW of new PV capacity is expected, and in 2021, newly installed capacity could be 149.9 GW if governments support renewables in their coronavirus economic recovery plans.

The global PV market is forecast to expected to contract only slightly this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Global Market Outlook 2020-2024 report published by industry body SolarPower Europe.

The middle-of-the-road, ‘medium’ scenario outlined in the report, which the association sees as the most likely future path, envisages new generation capacity additions will hit 112 GW this year, around 4% down on the 116.9 GW added last year.

The authors of the report said the levelized cost of energy for large scale PV fell further last year in three continents. “The latest levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis, released in November 2019 by U.S. investment bank Lazard, shows utility scale solar’s cost improving over the previous version by 7%,” stated the study. “Utility scale solar is again cheaper than new conventional power generation sources nuclear and coal, as well as combined-cycle gas turbines.”

The SolarPower Europe report cited recent solar tenders in PortugalBrazil and the United Arab Emirates, in which final prices were lower than $0.02/kWh for the first time. “The general rule is that solar power prices are considerably lower in economies with stable policy frameworks and high credit ratings compared to developing countries,” the report noted. “But in recent years there have been an increasing number of examples showing impressively low PPAs [power purchase agreements] in developing countries as well.”

For context, the world boasted just 41 GW of solar at the end of 2010.

Community solar energy revolution brewing under the Coronavirus crisis

Global cumulative PV capacity may reach 1.3 TW in 2023, SolarPower Europe says

The European solar trade body expects 128 GW of new PV capacity in 2019, with China likely to bring around 43 GW online and Europe experiencing enough demand to deploy about 20.4 GW. In 2020, global solar demand is expected to reach 144 GW, while in the following three years new PV additions are forecast to total 158 GW, 169 GW and 180 GW, respectively.

Global Market Outlook for Solar Power

We expect two-digit growth rates that will more than double the total installed solar power capacity within four years.

Doubling time is the key to exponential market growth. If we can keep it up, we will have

2024 1.4 TW
2028 2.8 TW
2032 5.6 TW
2036 11.2 TW

which is more than enough, assuming comparable wind power growth, even allowing for electric vehicles and ending poverty and other demand growth. We have about 1.4 billion cars at present, and will need several billion more, even if we can massively develop mass transit.


  • Digital Solar & Storage I – What solar prosumers really need
  • Digital Solar & Storage II – Unleashing large-scale solar & storage through grid intelligent solar
  • BIPV [Building Integrated PV, the decarbonization of buildings] – The next generation is ready for the mass market
  • Solar Mobility – Electrification of the transport sector will rely heavily on solar
  • Taking care – Sustainability in solar
  • Asset Management 2.0: More transparency, more digitalisation
  • Corporate Sourcing of renewables – Why corporates increasingly strive to go 100% RE
  • Tenders – Towards intelligent tenders
  • Emerging Markets – Joint efforts to mitigate risks and scaling solar
  • Solar + hydrogen – The perfect match for a Paris-compatible hydrogen strategy?
  • Technology update: What’s hot in solar

We have looked at several of those topics, and we will take up more of them in this series.

In  2018, 11 countries installed more than 1 GW of solar

  • China
China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA)
  • United States
US Solar Industries Association (SEIA)
  • India
National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI)
  • Japan
Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA)
  • Australia
Smart Energy Council
  • Germany
SolarPower Europe
  • Mexico
Mexican Solar Energy Association (ASOLMEX)
  • South Korea
Korea Photovoltaic Society (KPVS)
  • Turkey
GÜNDER Turkish Solar Energy Society
  • The Netherlands
Holland Solar
  • Brazil
Brazilian Photovoltaic Solar Energy Association (ABSOLAR)

The number continues to increase.

(Crossposted with DailyKos.)

About the Author

Generalist BA, Math and Philosophy Peace Corps, South Korea Buddhist monastic training High-tech market analyst Tech Writer Serial NGO Founder Education for a billion children End poverty at a profit

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