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Developing nations are driving record growth in solar power

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Zeke Hausfather Nov 29 2017 Read full CarbonBrief article here

Emerging markets now account for the majority of growth in solar power, according to new data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Led by China and India, these developing economies are behind dramatic recent growth in solar capacity, which expanded by 33% in 2016.

China alone installed 27 gigawatts (GW), around 40% of the world’s new solar last year. Brazil, Chile, Jordan, Mexico and Pakistan all at least doubled their solar capacity in 2016. In total, solar accounted for 19% of all new generating capacity in the emerging markets tracked by BNEF.

However, solar still only accounts for 5% of capacity and 1.3% of electricity generation globally. But its exponential growth in recent years has been driven by national policies and a combination of photovoltaic module prices falling more than threefold….

Over the past decade, solar capacity has increased exponentially, driven by falling module prices and national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or expand access to electricity.

While Europe, the US and Japan led the way in early solar installations, over the past few years most growth has been driven by developing countries, with China in particular starting to dominate the solar sector….

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