China, United States and India Collectively Added Over 51 GW of Solar in 2019

China led the way with 30.1 GW, followed by the U.S. and India with 13.3 GW and 7.3 GW respectively


The top three solar markets in the world – China, U.S., and India, added nearly 51 GW of solar capacity in 2019.

China led the way with 30.1 GW, followed by the U.S. at 13.3 GW, and India maintained its third position with installations totaling 7.3 GW for the year 2019.

In the U.S., solar accounted for 40% of all the generation capacity added in the year 2019, higher than any other source of energy with nearly 13.3 GW of solar installed, according to a report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

According to the report, total installations in the U.S. are expected to rise by 47% in 2020, with nearly 20 GW of new installations expected by the end of this year.

The report noted that the residential sector in the U.S. saw a steep rise in numbers with more than 2.8 GW installed, which was led by a record year in California. The residential sector saw a steep growth of 15% in the year 2019.

The report added that the utility-scale solar market recorded 8.4 GW of new capacity in the year 2019, and most of the installed capacity came in the fourth quarter of the year.

The year also saw a decline of 7% in non-residential PV, which was primarily due to policy reforms and interconnection delays in states like California and Massachusetts. Moreover, major policy shifts hampered the non-residential solar market in California, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

According to the report, the total installed solar PV capacity is expected to double with annual installations reaching 20.4 GW in 2021 before the expiration of the federal solar investment tax credit for residential projects.

According to Mercom India Research’s newly released Q4 & Annual 2019 India Solar Market Update, India installed 7.3 GW of solar capacity in 2019 as compared to 8.3 GW in 2018, a decline of 12% year-over-year (YoY). The cumulative solar installations stood at 35.7 GW in 2019, out of which large-scale projects accounted for 31.3 GW (87.6%), whereas rooftop solar installations accounted for 4.4 GW (12.4%).

In Q4 2019, the Indian solar market added 1,897 MW, a 12.8% decrease from 2.17 GW installed in Q3 2019. However, the installations saw a rise of 15.6% from 1.6 GW in the same quarter in 2018.

Solar Installations in 2019

Recently, China’s NEA announced that it plans to provide subsidies of RMB 1.5 billion (~$216.1 million) for new solar power projects in the country this year, according to its ‘construction plan for photovoltaic power generation projects in 2020.’

As per the statistics released by China’s National Energy Administration (NEA), China added 30.11 GW of solar capacity in the year 2019. Large-scale projects accounted for 17.91 GW of installations, and 12.2 GW of installations was through distributed projects. Installations declined by 31.9% YoY as compared to 2018, which saw installations of 44.26 GW of solar installations. The cumulative solar installations stood at 174 GW at the end of the calendar year 2019.

And 2020 has brought in more bad news for the markets globally and China, specifically with the outbreak of Coronavirus. Significant supply chain disruption is expected around the world in the first half of the year.

Meanwhile, amid growing concern about the outbreak of the deadly virus, the Indian Ministry of Finance issued a clarification that Coronavirus will be covered under the force majeure clause and would be considered as a natural calamity event.