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Global PV capacity surpassed 100 GW in 2012

According to preliminary data collected by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), global installed PV capacity reached 100GW in 2012 for the first time, up from 71GW in 2011 and 40GW in 2010. The world’s solar capacity can now produce as much electricity in a year as 16 coal power plants or nuclear reactors of 1 GW each.

The largest market without a doubt is Europe, with Germany totaling 32GW and Italy 16GW respectively, being the leaders. Europe's 69 GW of total installed capacity is enough to produce about 2.6% of the region's electricity demand in 2012, and about 5.2% of peak electricity demand.
But solar panel connections in Europe fell by 5GW in 2012 , from 23 GW in 2011 to 17 GW in 2012, its first decline since 2006, while installations rose by 5GW in the rest of the world, in countries like China, the US, Japan and India. The top three European PV markets last year were Germany (7.6GW), Italy (3.3GW) and France (1.2GW) while the extra- European countries, like China, which accounted at least 3.5GW and possibly as much as 4.5GW, the US registered 3.2GW and Japan 2.5GW.

According to the statistics, non-European markets accounted for more than 13GW of the total worldwide, compared to just under 8GW in 2011. About 30 GW of solar capacity was connected to the grid, roughly the same amount as in 2011. Final results for the year will be published in May, in EPIA’s annual Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-2017. 2013 is the year of solar The most abundant energy source of all the times has finally become economically viable and will soon become the most installed new energy source on the world. China intends to have 40GW installed by 2015, Saudi Arabia is eyeing 100% renewable energy and is starting with a $109 billion investment intended at installing 40 GW of solar, and the U.S. is likely to install 10 GW-per-year by the end of the decade.