Sunniest Countries Failed To Tap Solar Power: EMBER

Highlights :

  • Countries such as, Japan have seen 13 times as many solar panels per person than India and 41 times as many as Egypt.
  • Moreover, after two years of slower growth, 2023 saw a new record for wind capacity additions, beating the previous record set in 2020.
Sunniest Countries Failed To Tap Solar Power: EMBER EMBER Suggests The Use Of 'Spare Solar' To Meet RE Target

Solar capacity additions surged 74% in 2023, reaching a record 346 GW annual additions, according to a report by EMBER. The EMBER research showed that “Globally, only 14% of solar capacity was installed as of 2023 (204 GW) was in markets with solar insolation above the global average. Other countries such as, Japan saw 13 times as many solar panels per person than India and 41 times as many in Egypt. However, a solar panel in these two sunnier countries would produce 32% and 64% more electricity, respectively.”

According to the report, “India has a vast solar potential remains which remained untapped, as more solar capacity was installed in countries with below-average solar insolation, a vast potential remains untapped. Other countries such as, Africa accounted for less than 1% of global installed solar capacity as of 2023, marking a stark disparity compared to the rest of the world.”

The study indicated that “China was one of the key drivers behind the acceleration of solar’s growth globally. It study reported, that 28 countries have installed over one gigawatt of new capacity in 2023. With this, solar installations rose by 147 GW – from 199 GW in 2022 to 346 GW in 2023. This meant 74% more solar was installed in 2023 than in 2022, the fastest percentage rise since 2011. Almost three-quarters of all renewable capacity built-in 2023 was solar.”

On the other hand, wind additions also reported an increase of 51% in 2023, accounting for another quarter of renewable capacity additions in 2023. Whereas, after two years of slower growth, 2023 saw a new record for wind capacity additions, beating the previous record set in 2020. Moreover, solar capacity additions were reportedly three times that of wind, making solar the clear leader of the clean power revolution. 

The study showed, “There is a vast untapped potential in markets with higher insolation, which could lead to higher solar capacity factors. Therefore, stronger support for solar projects in countries with high potential such as India and African countries, is imperative. Unleashing their potential will benefit greatly from the dramatic reduction in solar costs, largely driven by early adopters’ support.”

The report distributed the growth in renewable energy to unprecedented solar capacity growth in 2023. EMBER research stated, “A 473 GW of renewable power capacity was built worldwide – a 54% increase from 308 GW in 2022. The strong growth in 2023 brought the world closer to achieving the ambitious goal of tripling renewable capacity by 2030.”

It further predicted, “A 16% average annual growth rate of capacity additions between 2002 and 2023 to achieve the global goal of tripling renewables by 2030.  Maintaining this growth rate would mean that annual additions reach 1,340 GW by the end of the decade. It means that there is a need for stronger support and investment, particularly in regions with high solar potential that can unleash faster renewables growth, making tripling renewables by 2030 attainable.”

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