China, India Lead Global Solar Power Expansion

  • Scale and speed of construction are reducing costs: IEEFA
  • New solar capacity added last year jumped 31% from 2016

Solar and Wind Power Dominate Electricity's Future

India and China are driving a rapid global expansion in large-scale, solar power developments as the cost of building new projects falls, according to an analysis by Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

“Solar energy is taking an increasingly prominent role in driving the ongoing transformation of global electricity generation markets alongside gains in storage, wind, hydroelectricity and energy efficiency,” IEEFA said in a report.

The world’s largest operating utility-scale solar projects are concentrated in China and India, according to IEEFA. Based on company and press reports, as well as its own estimates, those include:

RankingProject NameSize MWCountryProponent 
1Tengger Desert Solar Park1,547ChinaChina National Grid Zhongwei Power Supply Co
2Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park1,000IndiaAndhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation Pvt Ltd
3Datong Solar Power Top Runner Base1,000ChinaMultiple
4Yanchi Ningxia Solar Park1,000ChinaHuawei Technologies Co
5Longyangxia Dam Solar Park850ChinaState Power Investment Corporation (China)
6Adani Kamuthi Solar Plant648IndiaAdani Green
7Solar Star579U.S.BHE Renewables
8Topaz Solar Farm550U.S.First Solar
9Desert Sunlight Solar Farm550U.S.NextEra Energy, GE Energy Financial & Sumitomo
10Nova Olinda Solar Farm292BrazilEnel Green Power

China added 53 gigawatts of the 98 gigawatts of new solar capacity built last year, a 31 percent increase from the total 2016, IEEFA said, citing Bloomberg New Energy Finance data. Meanwhile, the per unit cost of electricity over the life of a generating asset fell 15 percent year-on-year to $86 a megawatt hour.

Solar Price Deflation

Record low solar prices announced by power producers

Source: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

(Corrects year in fourth paragraph.)
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