The United States solar installed 3.5 GW of new solar PV capacity in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA). The installations dropped 6% compared to Q1 installations. At the same time, utility-scale solar remained resilient despite the COVID-19 pandemic, representing 71% of all new solar capacity brought online in Q2.
Solar accounted for 37% of all new electric generating capacity added in the U.S. in the first half of 2020, as Texas and Florida each installed over 900 MW across distributed and utility solar in Q2. The report said a total of 8.7 GW (DC) of new utility PV power-purchase agreements were announced in the second quarter, bringing the contracted pipeline to a capacity of 62 GW.
In China, according to the latest data released by the National Energy Administration (NEA), 11.52 GW of solar capacity was installed during the 1H of 2020, with 7.5 GW of installations in Q2 2020 alone.
Mercom had reported that in Q1 2020, China led the way with total installations of 4 GW, followed closely by the United States with 3.6 GW of installations. On the other hand, India added a total of only 1.1 GW of new installations in this period (India reports its numbers in DC). The big three in the solar arena collectively had added ~8.7 GW of solar capacity in Q1 2020.
China’s solar installations in 2020 are likely to reach 28-34 GW, according to Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory.
Germany inched past India to the third spot not only for the first half (1H) of 2020 with an overall 2.4 GW installations but also for Q2 2020 with 1.2 GW of solar installations.
As per the data released by the federal agency in Germany, the total cumulative capacity at the end of July reached 51.98 GW. Nearly 2.4 GW of solar installations was added in the first half of the calendar year 2020, as compared to 2.1 GW during the same period last year.
Meanwhile, India added only 205 MW of solar capacity in the second quarter of 2020, an 81% decline from the previous quarter’s 1,090 MW of additions. Compared to the same period last year, installations during the quarter were down by 86% from 1,510 MW in Q2 2019.
“The growth we see in this report underscores the resilience of the solar industry as we deal with COVID work stoppages, a struggling economy, harmful trade policy, and an uncertain tax environment,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president, and CEO. “Tens of thousands of our workers have been laid off or furloughed amid this crisis, and SEIA remains firm in our commitment to fight for equitable policy that allows the solar industry to compete and grow our workforce.”
Solar accounted for 37% of all new power capacity installed in the U.S. in the first half of 2020. Texas and Florida installed over 900 MW each in Q2, including large-scale and distributed generation projects. The report said a total of 8.7 GW (DC) of new power-purchase agreements were announced in the second quarter, bringing the contracted pipeline to a total of 62 GW (DC).
The U.S. solar market is expected to install nearly 100 GW from 2021-2025, a 42% increase in the amount of solar installed over the last five years.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.