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Utility-scale solar hits record-breaking 36GW

Figures released by utility solar authority Wiki-Solar.org show that global capacity of utility-scale PV generating capacity at the end of 2014 reached 35.9GW.

New plant commissioned during the year totalled 14.2GW, almost doubling the record of 7.4GW set the previous year – and equal to the entire installed capacity up to the end of 2012.

Worldwide utility-scale PV power generation is now fairly evenly split between the three leading continents: Asia, Europe and North America.

According to the figures, 2014 was the first year when Africa and South America started to show meaningful contributions.

Every continent increased its volume compared with 2013, according to Wiki-Solar founder Philip Wolfe: “Even Europe returned to growth, after declines in 2012 and 2013.”

Wiki-Solar predicted that the UK will this month leapfrog India, and maybe even Germany, to become the world’s third or fourth largest market, driven by a flood of projects racing to beat legislative changes.

It then risks following other European markets into a period of stagnation.

However, as the government’s Solar Strategy aims for more roof-mounted solar, this will no doubt affect ground installation numbers.

Meanwhile, Germany was trialling a new approach to utility-scale solar, which may see growth re-starting in coming years.

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