Energy Transition

The world will add 70,000 solar panels every hour in the next 5 years

The global solar power capacity is estimated to record threefold increase in the next five years

The global solar power capacity is estimated to record threefold increase in the next five years Image: REUTERS/Alvin Baez

John McKenna
Senior Writer, Formative Content
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Energy Transition?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Energy Transition is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Decarbonizing Energy

The amount of solar power capacity expected to be added in the coming years is equivalent to 70,000 new solar panels every hour – enough to cover 1,000 soccer pitches every day.

Loading...

It is estimated that global solar power capacity will triple by 2022, driven by Chinese demand and the ever-falling cost of buying and installing solar panels.

According to the International Energy Association (IEA), photovoltaic solar power grew faster than any fuel in 2016, and there will be far more solar capacity added in the next four years than any other type of renewable energy, including wind and hydropower.

The key player in the global solar power capacity surge

China is expected to add 40% of the world’s new solar panels between now and 2022, despite having already surpassed its solar power target for 2020.

Concerns about air quality and the fact that China is responsible for manufacturing nearly two-thirds of the world’s solar panels are expected to drive the country to reach a solar capacity of 320 gigawatts (GW) by 2022 – more than the total electricity capacity of Japan.

Alongside China’s solar expansion, the IEA expects possible policy and regulatory improvements in other key countries, such as India, Japan and the US, will cause world solar PV cumulative capacity to triple to 880 GW by 2022.

By this time global solar power capacity overall should increase by 43% – equivalent to half the global capacity in coal power, which has taken 80 years to build.

Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Energy TransitionNature and Biodiversity
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Critical minerals demand has doubled in the past five years – here are some solutions to the supply crunch

Emma Charlton

May 16, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum