Renewables 2016 Global Status Report


Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Created: 1966 | Members: 20,000 families in 36 municipalities 4500 km of power lines, 3.96 MW of run of river mini-hydropower capacity

Community-based electrification - power generation and distribution
Reliable electricity supply is critical for the sustainable development of rural communities. The member-run co-operative CRELUZ started its activities with the objective of extending the electric grid to rural homes within an area of 13,000 km2. CRELUZ invested in six local run of river mini-hydropower plants as well as in wind to provide a reliable power supply, overcoming power cuts in the national electric grid.

Biomass Energy

Bioenergy draws on a wide range of potential feedstock materials: forestry and agricultural residues and wastes of many sorts, as well as material grown specifically for energy purposes. The raw materials can be converted to heat for use in buildings and industry, to electricity, or into gaseous or liquid fuels, which can be used in transport, for example. This degree of flexibility is unique amongst the different forms of renewable energy.1

The most commonly used conversion methods – combustion of fuels to produce heat or electricity; anaerobic digestion to produce methane for heat or power production; and the conversion of sugary and starchy raw materials to ethanol, or of vegetable oils to biodiesel – all are well-established and commercial technologies.2 A further set of conversion processes – for example, the production of liquid fuels from cellulosic materials by biological or thermochemical conversion processes, such as pyrolysis – are at earlier stages of commercialisation or still under development.3

In 2015, drivers for the production and use of biomass energy included rapidly rising energy demand in many countries and local and global environmental concerns and goals. Challenges to bioenergy deployment included low fossil fuel prices and rapidly falling energy prices of some other renewable energy sources, especially wind and solar PV.4 Ongoing debate about the sustainability of bioenergy, including indirect land-use change and carbon balance, also affected development in the sector.5 Given these challenges, national policy frameworks continue to have a large influence on deployment.

Bioenergy Markets

Bioenergy contributes more to primary global energy supply than any other renewable energy source.6 Total energy demand supplied from biomass in 2015 was approximately 60 exajoules (EJ).7 The use of biomass for energy has been growing at around 2% per year since 2010.8 The bioenergy share in total global primary energy consumption has remained relatively steady since 2005, at around 10%i, despite a 24% increase in overall global energy demand between 2005 and 2015.9

Bioenergy plays a role in all three main energy-use sectors: heat (and cooling), electricity and transport. The contribution of bioenergy to final energy demand for heat (traditional and modern) far outweighs its use in either electricity or transport.10 (See Figure 6.)

Figure 6. Shares of Biomass in Total Final Energy Consumption and in Final Energy Consumption by End-use Sector, 2014

Solid biomass represents the largest share of biomass used for heat and electricity generation, whereas liquid biofuel represents the largest source in the transport sector.11 (See Figure 7.)

Figure 7. Shares of Biomass Sources in Global Heat and Electricity Generation, 2015

i The final energy share is about 14%, as seen in Figure 6.

Bio-heat Markets

Biomass in many forms – as solids, liquids or gases – can be burned directly to produce heat for cooking and heating in the residential sector by means of the traditional use of biomass or in modern appliances. It also can be used at a larger scale to heat larger institutional and commercial buildings, or in industry to produce high-temperature process heat and/or lower-grade heat for heating or drying. The heat can be produced directly or co-produced with electricity via combined heat and power (CHP) systems and distributed from larger production facilities by district heating systems to provide heating (and in some case cooling) to residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The traditional use of biomass for heat involves primarily the use of simple and inefficient devices to burn woody biomass, in the form of fuelwood or charcoal.12 Biomass energy use in 2015 is estimated at 31 EJ, although it is difficult to quantify the volume consumed given the informal nature of the supply and uncertainty regarding the use of these biomass materials.13 Consumption of fuelwood for traditional energy uses remained stable in 2015 compared to previous years, at an estimated 1.9 billion cubic metres (m3); the largest shares of fuelwood (as well as other fuels such as dung and agricultural residues) are consumed in Asia, South America and Africa.14 The use of charcoal for cooking in many developing countries, especially in urban areas, has been increasing by an average of around 3% a year since 2010, reaching an estimated 55 million tonnes in 2015.15

Modern bioenergy applications provided some 14.4 EJ of heat in 2015, of which an estimated 8.4 EJ was for industrial uses and 6.3 EJ was consumed in the residential and commercial sectors (used principally for heating buildings and cooking).16 Modern biomass heat capacity in 2015 increased by an estimated 10 GWth to reach approximately 315 GWth.17

Bioenergy accounts for around 10% of all industrial heat consumption, and its use in industry has been growing at about 1.3% annually over the past 15 years, principally from solid biomass.18 The use of biomass residues to produce heat, often via CHP, is particularly important in bio-based industries. The pulp and paper sector was the largest industrial consumer of bioenergy for heat, sourcing some 43% of its heat requirements from biomass process residues such as bark and pulping liquors.19 The food and tobacco industries also meet a considerable share of their energy needs with biomass. Heat is required to manufacture biofuels as well: for example, bagasse is used to generate heat and power in facilities that produce sugarcane-based ethanol.

The principal regions that rely on biomass for industrial heat are Asia and South America (particularly Brazil, where bagasse is used in sugar production).20 North America is the next largest user; however, the region’s use of bioenergy for heat is declining due to changes in the structure of the forestry and paper industries.21

In the buildings sector, the largest consumers of modern biomass for heat by country include the United States, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy and Finland.22 Europe is the largest consumer by region, due largely to efforts of EU Member States to meet mandatory targets under the Renewable Energy Directive.23

Europe (primarily Italy, Germany, Sweden and France) also was the largest market for wood pellets for heating in 2015, although the region’s second consecutive mild winter reduced demand somewhat during the year.24

Several countries in the Baltic and Eastern European regions have seen an increase in the use of wood fuels in recent years. Rising demand is driven by the countries’ ample biomass resources, widespread use of district heating and desire to reduce quantities of imported natural gas. In Lithuania, for example, 61% of energy used in district heating in 2015 was derived from local forestry industry residues. Lithuania’s biomass-based heat capacity tripled between 2011 and 2015, to 1,530 MWth.25

The United States and Canada have strong traditions of using wood as a fuel for residential heating. As of 2014, some 2.5 million US households used fuelwood as their principal household heating fuel, and another 9 million homes used it as a secondary fuel.26 Use of wood pellets also increased in these markets, although growth was constrained by low oil prices during 2015.27

In China, a programme launched in 2008 to encourage the use of pelletised agricultural residues for heating and to reduce coal use in local district heating schemes has stimulated the growth of a national market and industry. The policy provides support to farmers to collect and process residues and so provides a useful rural economic incentive. It is estimated that more than 6 million tonnes of pellets, with an energy content of some 96 petajoules (PJ), were produced and used in China during 2015.28

Biogas also is used in industrial and residential heating applications. In Europe, it is used increasingly to provide heat for both buildings (space) and industry (processes), often in conjunction with electricity production via CHP.29 Asia leads the world in the use of small-scale biogas digesters to produce gas for cooking and space heating. More than 100 million people in rural China and 4.83 million people in India have access to digester gas.30

Bio-power Markets

Bio-power capacity increased by an estimated 5% in 2015, to 106.4 GW, and generation rose by 8% to 464 TWh; the rise in generation was due in part to increased use of existing capacity.31 The leading countries for electricity generation from biomass in 2015 were the United States (69 TWh), Germany (50 TWh), China (48 TWh), Brazil (40 TWh) and Japan (36 TWh) followed by the United Kingdom and India.32 (See Figure 8.)

Figure 8. Bio-power Global Generation, by Country/Region, 2005–2015

By country, the United States is the largest producer of electricity from biomass sources. In 2015, US biopower capacity in operation increased by 4% to 16.7 GW; generation in 2015 was close to the 2014 level of 69.3 TWh.33 There are signs that some existing bio-electricity in the United States is not financially competitive with low-cost generation from natural gas and with generation from other lower-cost renewables.34

Bio-power production, from both solid biomass and biogas, continued to grow in Europe.35 Germany remains Europe’s largest producer, and total bio-power capacity in the country remained constant at 7.1 GW in 2015. Much of this capacity (4.8 GW) relates to biogas-fuelled installations based on energy crops. Germany has the largest biogas-powered generation capacity in Europe.36 However, biogas power capacity growth was limited in 2015 due to reductions in financial support for biogas plants.37 Bioelectricity production was up by 2% over 2014, to 50 TWh.

Elsewhere in Europe, both bio-power capacity and generation increased significantly in the United Kingdom during 2015 (by 12% and 27%, respectively), making the country the world’s sixth largest user of biomass for electricity generation.38 These increases were due largely to activities at Drax, previously the United Kingdom’s largest coal-fired power station, where two large generation units have been converted to biomass firing, with a third currently undergoing conversion.39 Around 4% of UK electricity is generated from biomass at the site. The biogas market also grew strongly in the United Kingdom, with the fastest growth of any country in Europe, stimulated by an attractive feed-in-tariff rate.40

In China, bio-power capacity reached 10.3 GW in 2015, an increase of 0.8 GW over the year.41 Generation was up 16% over 2014, to an estimated 48.3 TWh.42 The country’s 2010–2015 Five-Year Plan aimed to reach 13 GW by 2015, with a target of 30 GW by 2030. Factors that have restricted progress include high feedstock prices, poor co-ordination among projects and technical operating difficulties.43

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s efforts to stimulate growth in renewables following the Fukushima nuclear disaster have led to increased use of bio-power. Capacity reached a total of 4.8 GW in 2015, and generation reached some 36 TWh. The growing market is based largely on imported fuels such as wood pellets (principally from Canada), wood chips and palm kernel shells.44 In India, bio-power capacity saw relatively small gains in 2015: on-grid capacity increased by 144 MW (up 0.3%) to 4.67 GW, and off-grid capacity rose by 18.9 MW (up 2%) to 927 MW.45

In Brazil, bio-power production relies primarily on sugarcane residues, such as bagasse, as fuel. Capacity increased 250 MW over the period 2013–2015, to 9.7 GW at end-2015. Growth was relatively slow because wind power dominated the country’s renewable energy auctions over this period. Even so, some bio-power projects were selected in the three auctions held in 2013 and 2015, and several PPAs were awarded during 2015 for new and existing bio-power plants.46

Transport Biofuel Markets

In 2015, global biofuels production increased by around 3% compared to 2014, reaching 133 billion litres.47 This increase was due to good harvests in key ethanol-producing countries – maize in the United States and sugar cane in Brazil – but was abated by a slight reduction in biodiesel production. Demand was consistent due to blending mandates, which sheltered markets from the potential impacts of comparatively low global gasoline and diesel fuel prices.

Global production of biofuels was dominated by the United States and Brazil – these two countries produce 72% of all biofuels – followed by Germany, Argentina and Indonesia. An estimated 67% of biofuel production (in energy terms) was fuel ethanol, 33% was biodiesel, and a small but increasing share was hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO) and other advanced biofuels (with existing capacity of around 0.5 billion litres/year).48 (See Figure 9.)

Figure 9. Biofuels Global Production, Shares by Type and by Country/Region, 2015

Global production of fuel ethanol increased by some 4% between 2014 and 2015, to 98.3 billion litres. The United States and Brazil accounted for 86% of global ethanol production in 2015. China, Canada and Thailand were the next largest producers.49

US ethanol production rose 3.8% to 56.1 billion litres during the year.50 Domestic demand was supported by the US Environmental Production Agency’s (US EPA) final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS 2) allocations for annual volume requirements. A 2% increase in gasoline demand also increased the amount of ethanol that could be blended while avoiding the 10% “blend wall”.51 Ethanol production in Brazil also increased by 6%, to a record output of 30 billion litres, due to a good harvest and government measures that have increased the sector's attractiveness.52 The other major producer in the Americas, Canada, ranked fourth globally in 2015, producing 1.7 billion litres (down 1% compared to 2014).53

China, the third largest ethanol producer, produced an estimated 2.8 billion litres in 2015, a decline of 14%. China increased ethanol imports during the year but added no new production capacity, in part because of a moratorium on maize-based ethanol production.54 Asia’s other major producer, Thailand, saw ethanol production rise by 10%, from 1.1 billion litres in 2014 to 1.2 billion litres in 2015.55

In the EU, key producers include France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the United Kingdom.56 EU ethanol production was down by about 7% in 2015 to some 4.1 billion litres, particularly because of reduced production in the United Kingdom.57

Ethanol production in Africa increased substantially, from 0.10 billion litres in 2014 to 0.13 billion litres in 2015, due largely to increases in production in South Africa.58

Leading countries in biodiesel production worldwide were the United States, Brazil, Germany and Argentina. Following a significant increase in 2014 (up 13% to 30.4 billion litres), global production of biodiesel fell slightly in 2015 to 30.1 billion litres.59 The decline was due to constrained production in Argentina and Indonesia, in particular.

US biodiesel production rose by 2% in 2015, reaching close to 4.8 billion litres.60 In Brazil, output was up 15% to 3.9 billion litres.61 Growth in Brazilian demand for biodiesel was stimulated by an increase in the biodiesel blending mandate to 7%.62 By contrast, biodiesel production in Argentina declined by 30% in 2015, to 2.1 billion litres.63 Output was reduced due to a reduction in export markets, which resulted from a tax increase by the EU on Argentinian biodiesel imports.64

European biodiesel production rose by 5% to 11.5 billion litres.65 Germany was again the largest European producer (2.8 billion litres), followed by France (2.4 billion litres).66

The year 2015 saw significant changes in biodiesel production patterns in Asia. In Indonesia, the region’s largest producer, biodiesel production dropped by over 40% – from 2.9 billion litres in 2014 to 1.7 billion litres – due to delays in fully implementing the B15 biodiesel programme.67 In Malaysia, the introduction of a B7 blend mandate increased demand and resulted in a 40% jump in production to around 0.7 billion litres.68 China’s biodiesel production is estimated to have increased substantially – by an estimated 24% – to 0.35 billion litres in 2015.69

Global production of HVO grew by some 20% to 4.9 billion litres, with the Netherlands, the United States, Singapore and Finland as major producers.70

The use of biomethane as a transport fuel also continued to increase during the year.71 The largest markets are all in Europe, where Sweden, Germany and Finland lead, using a combined 119,000 tonnes (4.7 PJ) of biomethane fuel.72

Bioenergy Industry

The bioenergy industry includes feedstock suppliers and processors; firms that deliver biomass to end-users; manufacturers and distributors of specialist biomass harvesting, handling and storage equipment; and manufacturers of appliances and hardware components designed to convert biomass to useful energy carriers and energy services. Industry, with support from academia and governments, also is making progress in bringing a number of new technologies and fuels to the market.

Solid Biomass Industry

The industries involved in producing solid biomass and manufacturing-related technologies are very diverse. The production and supply of traditional biomass is usually informal and local, although there are signs of increasingly industrial approaches to the production and marketing of systems such as biomass-based cook stoves.73

The industry for manufacturing modern biomass heating appliances is well-developed in Europe and North America, where regional players generally focus on local markets and can tailor their products to specific customer and regulatory requirements. Large-scale systems used for district heating and industrial applications typically are provided by global players.

Fuelwood and other biomass feedstock supply for heat or power production tends to be based locally in order to constrain transport costs and associated emissions. For example, straw used to fuel power generation plants usually is collected within a radius of around 50 kilometres.74

In contrast, wood pellets (which have a relatively high energy density) are traded globally.75 Wood pellets are supplied primarily from Europe (Germany, Sweden and Latvia), North America (the United States and Canada) and the Russian Federation.76 The pattern of trade varies year to year as the demand for pellets for power generation is affected by changes in regulations and levels of financial support. Historically the EU region has been the major importer, but since 2014, Japan and the Republic of Korea also have become important markets.77

The United States exported more than 4.5 million metric tonnes of wood pellets in 2015, 84% of which went to the United Kingdom and 14% to Benelux countries.78 Drax (United Kingdom) has invested more than USD 350 million in fuel production plants in the US states of Louisiana and Mississippi, and in 2015 the company opened biomass pellet storage, handling and loading facilities at Louisiana’s Port of Greater Baton Rouge that are capable of handling 3 million tonnes of pellets a year.79

In Canada, pellet exports remained close to 2014 levels, at 1.63 million tonnes. Rising sales to the United Kingdom (up 23%) and Japan (up 30%) were offset by reductions in exports to Italy and the Republic of Korea.80 Canadian exports to the Republic of Korea fell by 68% because of short-term contracting issues and new regulations that aim to improve sustainability of supply.81

The year 2015 saw growth and developments in industry quality standards and sustainability certifications. ENplus, an industry quality standard, covered 7.7 million tonnes of product in 2015, a rise of 1.7 million tonnes over 2014.82 In addition, in 2015 the Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP), an industry-led initiative, developed and published a framework of standards and independent certification procedures that enable companies using biomass at a large scale to demonstrate compliance with legal, regulatory and sustainability requirements that relate to woody biomass.83

The production of torrefied wood/pellets, which increases the energy density of biomass-based fuels and results in a product compatible with systems designed for coal, also saw some expansion during 2015. For example, In the United States, Vega Biofuels entered into a joint-venture agreement to construct a bio-coal manufacturing plant in the state of Georgia, which will be operated by Agri-Tech Producers and Vencor International.84

Liquid Biofuels Industry

In contrast to solid biomass, production of liquid biofuels is focused around a number of large industrial players with dominant market shares. These include ethanol producers Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), POET and Valero in the United States, and Copersucar, Oderbrecht (ETH Bioenergia) and Raizen in Brazil.85

In 2015, there was limited development of new conventional biofuels production capacity in the principal producer markets – the United States, Brazil and Europe – largely because existing plants were not operating at full capacity. Total global biofuels capacity is some 209 billion litres a year.86 With current production of 133 billion litres, there is some 35% spare capacity. Future demand patterns remained unclear due to regulatory and market uncertainty, so there is little motivation for large-scale new capacity investment.

However, new developments occurred in a number of new and emerging markets in Asia and Africa. In Nigeria, for example, an international funding partnership was announced with the country’s cassava growers association to produce ethanol in 10 distilleries in different states around the country.87

Ethanol is traded internationally, and trade patterns showed some significant variations in 2015. US net exports of ethanol increased by 28% compared with 2014, to 2.5 billion litres; shipments were to Brazil, the Philippines, India and the Republic of Korea.88 The Chinese market for ethanol imports (particularly from the United States) has grown rapidly, influencing global trade patterns.89

Biodiesel production is more geographically diverse than ethanol, with production spread among a number of countries. The top producers are the United States, Brazil, Germany, Argentina, France, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Thailand.90 The biodiesel industry has been affected to a significant degree by policy and regulatory changes and by shifting patterns in international trade. In the United States, for example, industry developments have been subject to uncertainty about the biodiesel tax credit and an expectation that Argentina may become a major exporter to the country.91 In Europe, biodiesel sales are constrained by the 7% limit introduced in 2015 on the contribution of starch-rich, sugar and oil crops to the EU’s 2020 biofuel target.92

In 2015, there was active progress in demonstrating the reliable production of a range of advanced biofuels. These fuels offer alternatives to conventional biofuels (produced with sugar, starch and oils) and thereby offer the prospect of lower life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions and reduced competition with food production.93 A number of routes are being investigated including the production of HVO, the use of biological processes to produce fuels from cellulosic materials (such as crop residues), and thermochemical processes including gasification and pyrolysis.94

During 2015, activity related to advanced biofuels was concentrated largely in the United States, Brazil and Europe. Key players in the ethanol, biodiesel and other bio-based industries (as well as fossil fuel suppliers) are playing major roles in this sector, working with technology providers, research groups and academia to develop and bring novel processes into full-scale production.

Capacity for producing fuels by hydrogenating vegetable oils (including used cooking oil (UCO), tall oili and others) increased significantly in 2015.95 UPM (Sweden), for example, invested USD 150 million to develop a plant in Finland on the same site as the company’s Kaukas pulp and paper mill, which produces 100,000 tonnes of diesel fuel from tall oil annually.96 In April 2015, Total (France) announced an investment of some USD 220 million to convert the La Mède oil refinery in southern France into a biorefinery that will produce renewable diesel from UCO and other feedstocks.97

Several additional cellulosic ethanol manufacturing plants began production or were announced in 2015, including DuPont’s plant in the US state of Iowa, which is designed to produce 140 million litres of ethanol per year, the largest such output in the world.98 In Brazil, Grandbio and Raizen’s large-scale cellulose ethanol plants in Alagoas and São Paulo began operations in 2015 and are expected to produce respectively 82 and 42 million litres of cellulosic ethanol annually.99

Progress also was made in the production of fuels through pyrolysis and gasification of biomass during 2015. Biomass Technology Group (Netherlands) opened a 25 MWth pyrolysis plant to generate electricity and process steam and to produce fuel oil from woody biomass.100 In Sweden, the GoBiGas plant in Gothenburg became fully operational in early 2015 and is one of the first successful large-scale examples of the production of methane through the thermal gasification of forest biomass.101 The process is able to run continuously thanks to developments that avoid the build-up of tars, a persistent problem in previous attempts to deploy this technology.

Aviation biofuels took strong strides forward in 2015. By mid-2015, 22 airlines based in Europe, North America and Asia had performed more than 2,000 commercial passenger flights with blends of up to 50% biojet fuel made from used cooking oil, jatropha, camelina, algae and sugar cane. Several airlines concluded long-term offtake agreements with biofuel suppliers, most of which are reported as price-competitive.102 In the United States, United Airlines began using advanced biofuels for its regular operations – the first airline in the country to move beyond demonstration flights and test programmes.103

In the marine sector, Sweden’s Stena Line launched the world’s first methanol-fuelled ferry in March 2015.104 Also in 2015, the US Navy launched an initiative to deploy alternative fuels in its operations. This includes a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) that uses alternative fuels, a contract for 300 million litres of fuel between October 2015 and September 2016 with AltAir Fuels, and a grant of USD 210 million to support three firms in the building of refineries to make biofuels using woody biomass, municipal solid waste (MSW) and used cooking grease and oil.105 A portion of the CSG fuels consists of biofuel made from beef fat, which is certified as a “drop-in” replacement and requires no engine modifications or changes to operational procedures.106

The development and scale-up of biorefineries – facilities that can produce several products from biomass, including energy, chemicals and other valuable products – continued in 2015 with growing efforts in the United States, Europe, China and, most recently, India. For example, Godavari Biorefineries (India) raised more than USD 14 million during the year to increase ethanol production, while also adding specialty chemical production capacity.107

Gaseous Biomass Industry

The biogas sector continued to expand in 2015. Most biogas production is in the United States and Europe, although other regions increasingly are deploying the technology as well.108 In Europe, the first biogas plant in Macedonia was constructed in 2015. The plant digests cattle waste and has a power generating capacity of 3 MW. Also during the year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed to provide USD 32 million for a biogas plant in Ukraine.109

Anaerobic digestion plants are being deployed more widely to treat liquid effluents and wastes in Asia, notably in Thailand and Indonesia, where a range of waste materials – including effluents from cassava starch production, palm oil processing and ethanol production, as well as MSW – are being used as feedstocks.110 For example, in early 2016, the Krabi waste-to-energy project began operation in Thailand, processing palm oil mill effluent and producing 12,300 MWh annually, which is exported to the neighbouring electricity grid.111

There are signs in Africa of increasing activity in biogas production, particularly waste-based projects that involve landfill gas, MSW and agricultural residues. The year 2015 saw the launch of the Bronkhurstspruit project in South Africa, which produces 4.4 MW of electricity from the digestion of cattle waste and sells the electricity to a neighbouring industrial plant – the first such project in the region.112 In Kenya, a 2.2 MW grid-connected digester system that uses local crop residues opened in Nakuru Country.113 In Dakar, Senegal, animal waste at a slaughterhouse is digested and used in a CHP system to generate electricity and heat; it produces 800 MWh of electricity and 1,600 MWh of thermal energy annually for internal use.114

i Tall oil is a mixture of compounds found in pine trees and is obtained as a byproduct of the pulp and paper industry.

Geothermal Power and Heat

Geothermal Markets

Geothermal resources provide energy in the form of electricity and direct heating and cooling, totalling an estimated 543 PJ (151 TWh) in 2015.1 Geothermal direct use and electricity generation each are estimated to account for one-half of total final geothermal output (75 TWh each)i.2 Some geothermal plants produce both electricity and thermal output for various heat applications.

About 315 MW of new geothermal power generating capacity was completed in 2015, bringing the global total to an estimated 13.2 GW.3 Countries that added capacity during the year were (in order of new capacity brought online) Turkey, the United States, Mexico, Kenya, Japan and Germany.4 (See Figure 10.) Turkey accounted for about half of new installations.

At the end of 2015, the countries with the largest amounts of geothermal power generating capacity were the United States (3.6 GW), the Philippines (1.9 GW), Indonesia (1.4 GW), Mexico (1.1 GW), New Zealand (1.0 GW), Italy (0.9 GW), Iceland (0.7 GW), Turkey (0.6 GW), Kenya (0.6 GW) and Japan (0.5 GW).5 (See Figure 11.)

Capacity additions in 2015 were somewhat lower in total than in recent years. As many as 11 binaryii power plants were completed, totalling 129 MW, and another 8 single-flash plants were completed, totalling 186 MW.6

Turkey continued its relatively rapid build-up of geothermal power capacity, with 10 units completed in 2015, adding 159 MW for a total of at least 624 MW.7 Among the plants completed was a 4 MW binary Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) unit by Exergy (Italy) that is claimed to be the world’s first to operate at two pressure levels, which increases energy recovery and overall efficiency from low-temperature resources.8 Turkey is well on its way to meeting its goal of having 1 GW of geothermal power capacity in place by 2023.9 In 2015, the country generated 3.37 TWh with geothermal energy, up 50% over 2014.10

The United States added 71 MW with two binary plants (by Ormat, United States) coming online in Nevada, bringing total operating capacity to nearly 3.6 GW (2.5 GWnet).11 Generation in 2015 was 16.8 TWh, representing a 5.6% increase relative to 2014.12 There are some indications that significant new growth could be unleashed if economic and regulatory conditions improved; about 500 MW of projects are languishing in late-stage development in the United States.13

Mexico brought online a 53 MW unit at the Los Azufres field in early 2015 and retired four ageing wellhead units (5 MW each) in the same location. In addition, two 5 MW wellhead plants were installed in the Domo San Pedro field, which is Mexico’s first privately owned geothermal project.14 The total net increase for the year was 43 MW, bringing Mexico’s installed capacity to 1.1 GW.15 During 2015, Mexico’s energy authorities provided additional concessions for the government’s power producer (CFE) in fields where the company already has developed geothermal resources. However, most of the country’s remaining geothermal potential was opened for private investment and development.16

Kenya added at least 20 MW of new capacity in 2015 for a total of about 600 MW.17 Drilling commenced on the first phase of the Akiira Geothermal 140 MW plant after Kenya Power signed a PPA for its output. It is expected that the plant will be sub-Saharan Africa’s first private sector greenfield geothermal development.18 Exploration risk insurance was secured for this project; in many cases, however, risk mitigation remains a hurdle for geothermal development, especially in developing countries.19

In late 2015, another binary plant was completed in Bavaria in Germany, supplying 5.5 MW of power generating capability in addition to 12 MW of thermal output.20 As of early 2016, Germany had a concentration of several small geothermal plants around Munich that take advantage of local low-temperature geothermal resources to provide both heat and power.21

Japan also added several facilities (altogether 6.8 MW) in 2015, bringing its total capacity to 535 MW. The new plants included three binary units; a 5 MW plant, installed by Turboden (Italy) in co-operation with its parent company, Mitsubishi; and a 1.4 MW plant installed at a medical facility in Kagoshima prefecture.22 In Tsuchiyu, Fukushima prefecture, a 400 kW unit was completed as part of revitalisation plans following the loss of tourism to the community’s hot springs following the 2011 nuclear disaster.23 By year’s end, construction also was under way for a 42 MW plant in Akita prefecture.24

i This does not include the renewable final energy output of ground-source heat pumps, which was estimated at 358 PJ (99 TWh) in 2015. See endnote 1 for this section.

ii In a binary plant, the geothermal fluid heats and vaporises a separate working fluid with a lower boiling point than water, which drives a turbine for power generation. Each fluid cycle is closed, and the geothermal fluid is re-injected into the heat reservoir. The binary cycle allows an effective and efficient extraction of heat for power generation from relatively low-temperature geothermal fluids. Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) binary geothermal plants use an organic working fluid, and the Kalina cycle uses a non-organic working fluid. In conventional geothermal power plants, geothermal steam is used directly to drive the turbine, whereas in a conventional thermal power plant, fuelled by nuclear reaction or fossil fuels, the working fluid is pure water.


Figure 10. Geothermal Power Capacity Global Additions, Share by Country, 2015
Figure 11. Geothermal Power Capacity and Additions, Top 10 Countries and Rest of World, 2015

In Tuscany, Italy, the hybridisation of Enel Green Power’s plant, Cornia 2, was completed, with biomass combustion (using local forest biomass) added to an existing facility to raise geothermal steam temperatures from about 150°C to as high as 380°C. Hybridisation of the plant is expected to improve power output and efficiency by providing steam that is drier and of higher temperature. This change added 5 MW of capacity to the plant, and output is expected to increase by 30 GWh per year.25

As geothermal technologies advance and as projects are brought online in new locations, interest in the potential for future geothermal developments continues to spread. For example, plans appear to be gathering steam on the volcanic island of Nevis in the Lesser Antilles. Construction was expected to begin in 2016 on a 9 MW binary plant that could meet the power needs of the island’s 12,000 inhabitants while displacing diesel imports of 19 million litres (4.2 million gallons) per year.26 The neighbouring St. Kitts also is pursuing geothermal exploration.27

Canada does not generate power from geothermal resources, but a recent estimation suggests that there is substantial potential in Alberta, Yukon and British Columbia, with sufficient resources in British Columbia to meet the province’s entire power demand.28 In response to a large expected rise in industrial electricity demand, geothermal power (including binary plants) has been proposed as a cost-competitive alternative to the province’s proposed 1.1 GW “Site C” hydropower project.29

Geothermal direct use – direct thermal extraction for heating and cooling, excluding heat pumpsi – was estimated at 272 PJ (75.5 TWh) in 2015. An estimated 1.2 GWth of capacity was added in 2015, for a total of 21.7 GWth.30 Direct use capacity has grown by an annual average of 5.9% in recent years, while direct heat consumption has grown by an annual average of 3.3%.31 The data suggest that the average global capacity factor (utilisation) for direct geothermal heat plants was 41% in 2014, down from about 46% five years earlier.32 This decline is explained largely by a significant drop in indicated capacity utilisation for swimming and bathing (subject to great uncertainty due to differences in methods of operation), and to rapid growth in geothermal space heating (7% annually), which exhibits below-average capacity utilisation at 37%.33

The single largest direct use sector is estimated to be swimming pools and other public baths, which together accounted for nearly 45% of total geothermal heat capacity in 2015 and a similar share of heat use (9.7 GWth; 33.7 TWh); however, these numbers are subject to uncertainty.34 The second largest sector is space heating (including district heat networks), which was estimated at 8.1 GWth in 2015 (26.2 TWh).35 These two broad markets command around 80% of both direct use capacity and consumption. The remaining 20% of direct use capacity and heat output is for applications that include domestic hot water supply, greenhouse heating, industrial process heat, aquaculture, snow melting and agricultural drying.36

Geothermal district heating continued its relatively dynamic growth in Europe, with several new systems completed in 2015. Eight systems were brought online in France and one in the Netherlands, with a combined installed capacity of nearly 100 MWth.37 As of early 2016, more than 200 additional projects were under development in Europe.38

Many of the geothermal district heat systems being developed in Europe are located in the Paris and Munich areas, where low-temperature geothermal aquifers coincide with population centres that together provide ideal conditions for geothermal district heat development.39 Among a string of new projects in the Paris region is the new 10 MW YGéo project on the outskirts of the city, which is expected to be completed in 2016. These Paris projects tap into the Dogger aquifer that runs between Tours and Colmar. The operating temperature is relatively low, at around 66°C, but the YGéo system will be supplemented with heat pumps for an additional 7 MW.40

Interest in geothermal heat in Europe has expanded in recent years. In the Netherlands, geothermal heat use commenced in 2008. Initially, it was used primarily to serve greenhouses, but use of geothermal heat has grown notably since, rising to 100 MWth as of 2014, with expansion into district heating.41

The countries with the largest geothermal direct use capacity are China (6.1 GWth), Turkey (2.9 GWth), Japan (2.1 GWth), Iceland (2.0 GWth), India (1.0 GWth), Hungary (0.9 GWth), Italy (0.8 GWth) and the United States (0.6 GWth). Together, these eight countries accounted for about 80% of total global capacity in 2015.42

In line with installed capacity, China utilised the most direct geothermal heat (20.6 TWh). Other top users of direct geothermal heat are Turkey (12.2 TWh), Iceland (7.4 TWh), Japan (7.1 TWh), Hungary (2.7 TWh), the United States (2.6 TWh) and New Zealand (2.4 TWh). These countries accounted for approximately 70% of direct geothermal in 2015. On a per capita basis, direct use is by far most significant in Iceland, at 22 MWh per person each year, followed by New Zealand, Hungary, Turkey and Japan, all at 0.5 MWh per person or less.43

i Direct use refers here to deep geothermal resources, irrespective of scale, as distinct from shallow geothermal resource utilisation, specifically ­ground-source heat pumps. (See heat pumps discussed in Sidebar 4 of GSR2014.)

Geothermal Industry

Low natural gas prices in 2015 created unfavourable conditions for geothermal energy. However, the relatively low oil prices also reduced global demand for drilling rigs, making more rigs available and reducing the associated costs of geothermal exploration and development of new fields.44

In Europe, renewed calls were made to policy makers to support geothermal energy development, primarily through technology-neutral policy measures such as improved data collection in the heat sector; the provision of financing that is directed towards renewable heat and cooling; and a formal examination of the potential for dispatchable renewable energy resources to complement rising shares of variable renewables. Another requirement that is specific to geothermal energy is public risk insurance to mitigate geologic risk.45 In that context, the French government announced a new USD 54.6 million (EUR  50 million) geothermal risk fund in 2015 that will facilitate the initiation of new exploration efforts that carry the greatest risk profiles.46

The industry continued to work towards broader recognition of geothermal power as a valuable ally in the effort to integrate larger shares of variable renewable power. In addition to serving baseload demand, geothermal power also can balance variable grid supply, provide system inertiai, regulate voltage when needed and assist in overall system stability.47

Some important partnerships were launched during 2015. In October, Ormat Technologies and Toshiba Corporation signed a strategic collaboration agreement to offer their customers more competitive solutions, drawing on both Ormat’s binary technology and Toshiba’s flash technology in a combined-cycle configuration. The first project expected under this collaboration is the Menengai plant, under development in Kenya.48

In addition, Engie (formerly GDF-Suez) and Reykjavik Geothermal (RG) announced that Storengy (Engie’s subsidiary) and RG will pursue geothermal energy projects in Mexico, where RG was awarded one of the first two private geothermal exploration permits in the Ceboruco region and expects to complete a new plant by 2018.49

Following the launch of the Global Geothermal Alliance at the UN Climate Summit in 2014, the Alliance issued a joint statement at COP21 in Paris regarding its mission to consolidate government, industry and other stakeholder efforts in order to significantly increase global use of geothermal energy. The Allliance’s goal is to achieve a five-fold increase in geothermal power capacity and a more than two-fold increase in geothermal heating, all by 2030 (relative to 2014 levels).50

i System inertia refers to the aggregate stored kinetic energy in power generators that acts as a short-term buffer in the event of loss of power by slowing down the frequency decline on the grid.

ii Unless otherwise specified, all capacity numbers exclude pumped storage capacity if possible. Pure pumped hydro plants are not energy sources but means of energy storage. As such, they involve conversion losses and are powered by renewable and/or non-renewable electricity. Pumped storage plays an important role in balancing power, in particular for variable renewable resources.

iii Despite slightly lower total capacity, Canada’s baseloaded output exceeds the more load-following output in the United States.


Hydropower Markets

An estimated 28 GW of new hydropower capacity was commissioned in 2015, with total global capacity reaching approximately 1,064 GWii.1 The top countries for hydropower capacity remained China, Brazil, the United States, Canadaiii, the Russian Federation, India and Norway, which together accounted for about 63% of global installed capacity at the end of 2015.2 (See Figure 12 and Reference Table R5.) Global hydropower generation, which varies each year with hydrological conditions, was estimated in 2015 at 3,940 TWh.3 Global pumped storage capacity (which is counted separately) was estimated to be as high as 145 GW at year’s end, with approximately 2.5 GW added in 2015.4

As in the past several years, the most significant share of new hydropower capacity was commissioned in China, which accounted for about one-half of the global total. Other countries with substantial additions in 2015 included Brazil, Turkey, India, Vietnam,
Malaysia, Canada, Colombia and Lao PDR.5 (See Figure 13.)

China commissioned 16 GW of new hydropower projects (a 26% decline relative to 2014) for a year-end total of 296 GW; in addition, the country has 23 GW of pumped storage capacity.6 Hydropower generation in China increased for the second consecutive year, up by more than 5% in 2015 (at 1,126 TWh).7 Hydropower infrastructure investment declined sharply for the second year in a row, down 17% to USD 12 billion (CNY 78 billion), following a 21.5% drop in 2014.8 China is pursuing large-scale projects including the 10.2 GW Wudongde plant, which is targeted for completion by 2020, as well as smaller projects in more remote regions, such as Tibet. At the same time, however, some potential projects have not advanced because Chinese authorities have refused construction permits for some untapped resources on ecological grounds.9

Hydropower capacity in Brazil increased in 2015 by 2.5 GW (2.8%), including 2.3 GW of large-scalei hydro (>30 MW) capacity, for a year-end total of 91.7 GW.10 Despite the increase in capacity, hydropower output, at 382 TWh, dropped again (2.7% relative to 2014) due to continuing drought conditions. Between 2011 and 2015, Brazil’s hydropower output declined about 15%, even as capacity expanded by about 11%.11 New capacity is being built in a manner to improve the power system’s resilience to drought.12

In 2015, 17 additional 75 MW turbines (1,275 MW) became operational at Brazil’s Jirau plant, with just over 3 GW in place by year’s end.13 Jirau’s sister plant, Santo Antonio (3.57 GW when completed), also along the Madeira River, added three units (212 MW) for a total of 2.5 GW.14 Two units (728 MW) came online at the Teles Pires plant, which will yield 1.82 GW when completed.15 The 11.2 GW Belo Monte was partially commissioned in early 2016, with full commissioning to follow when new transmission infrastructure is in place. Transmission lines continue to be one of the main bottlenecks for development of renewable energy projects in Brazil, with the majority of the country’s transmission projects behind schedule.16

Turkey appears to be on track to achieve its target of 34 GW of hydropower capacity by 2023; this target is part of the country’s plan to pursue all available resources to meet rapidly growing electricity demand.17 Turkey added 2.2 GW in 2015, bringing the total to 25.9 GW.18 Hydropower production has been affected by severe fluctuations in rainfall: following a particularly dry period and sharp drop in output in 2014, production rebounded in 2015 by nearly 66%, to 66.9 TWh.19

India ranked fourth for new installations. In 2015, the country brought online approximately 1.9 GW of new hydropower capacity, most (1.8 GW) of which was in the category of large-scale hydro (>25 MW per facility), and ended the year with a total of 47 GW. Generation in 2015 was an estimated 135 TWh; output of large-scale facilities was 123 TWh, a drop of 5.7% from 2014.20 Completed facilities included the 800 MW Koldam project; this plant in the lap of the Himalayas in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh was long-delayed due to ecological and geological concerns.21 In the state of Uttarakhand, the 330 MW Shrinagar run-of-river project started operation, with a portion of the plant’s output designated for local consumption at no charge.22

Neighbouring Bhutan completed the 126 MW Dagachhu run-of-river station, the first transboundary Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project registered with the UNFCCC.23 All of the plant’s output is destined for the Indian power market.24 In Nepal, construction of new plants, such as the 111 MW Rasuwagadi and the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi, suffered severe setbacks due to damage from the April 2015 earthquake and its aftershocks.25 Nepal temporarily lost 150 MW of hydropower capability (about 30% of total), exacerbating an already severe electricity shortfall.26

Vietnam, which ranked fifth for installations, added a little over 1 GW of capacity in 2015. New capacity included the first of three 400 MW units at the Lai Chau plant; when completed, it will be Vietnam’s third largest hydropower facility.27 The country also commissioned the first of two 260 MW units at the Huoi Quang plant, with the second to follow in 2016.28 Serious drought conditions have depleted Vietnam’s reservoirs and strained hydropower production.29

Several other countries in the region completed projects during the year, including: Malaysia brought online the remaining 708 MW of the 944 MW Murun plant; Lao PDR finalised about 600 MW, including the 180 MW Nam Ngiep 2 plant, which has specially designed turbines for its head height of 495 metres; and Cambodia bolstered its inadequate electricity supply with the 338 MW Russei Chrum River dam (financed and built by Chinese corporations).30 Myanmar completed a 140 MW plant on the Paunglaung River, which the government considered a major success in dealing with challenges posed by rapidly increasing power demand and very limited access to electricity, while overcoming significant population resettlement challenges.31

In March 2016, on the eve of the bi-annual meeting of the Mekong River Commission, China announced plans to release additional water into the downstream portions of the Mekong River, continuing into early April 2016 to help alleviate severe water shortages in the drought-stricken downstream countries of Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.32

In North America, the United States continued to rank third globally for installed hydropower capacity but added only 70 MW to its grid in 2015, for a year-end total of 79.7 GW.33 The country experienced a fourth consecutive year of decline in output due to unfavourable hydrological conditions, with generation of 251 TWh, 7.6% below the average for the preceding decade.34

Canada completed 0.7 GW of new facilities and expansions in 2015, raising total installed capacity to 79 GW, while maintaining output at 376 TWh for the year.35 British Columbia’s Waneta expansion project added 335 MW to an existing facility, cost-effectively capturing power from flow that otherwise would be spilled.36 Also in 2015, the 270 MW Romaine-1 project – the second of four planned cascading plants – was completed in Québec.37

The Russian Federation continued to rank fifth globally for total installed capacity, adding a net of 143 MW in 2015 for a year-end total of 47.9 GW.38 Hydropower generation (160 TWh) was down 4.1% relative to 2014.39 RusHydro completed several refurbishment projects in 2015 and had plans to continue modernisation efforts for improved reliability, efficiency and security.40 The Russian Federation's Boguchanskaya plant, which saw completion of the last of nine 333 MW units in late 2014, achieved an effective capacity of 3 GW when its vast reservoir finally reached design capacity in June 2015.41 Following transmission and other plant upgrades, the effective capacity of the restored Sayano-Shushenskaya plant (6.4 GW) increased by another 700 MW, for a total of 5.1 GW.42

In Africa, Ethiopia neared completion of its 1.87 GW Gibe III plant, after nine years of construction, bringing 2 of the project’s 10 turbines into service. Gibe III has one of the tallest concrete dams (246 metres) of its type in the world.43 As of early 2016, UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre continued to monitor the project’s social and ecological impacts.44 Once completed, the plant is expected to increase Ethiopia’s electricity supply significantly and to pave the way for the country to become a major power exporter.45

i Brazil reports hydropower capacity separately by size category, at the thresholds of 1 MW (very small) and 30 MW (small). India reports hydropower above a threshold of 25 MW, separately from smaller facilities.

hydro Hydropower

Figure 12. Hydropower Global Capacity, Shares of Top Six Countries and Rest of World, 2015
Figure 13. Hydropower Capacity and Additions, Top Nine Countries for Capacity Added, 2015

Other countries in Africa to add hydropower capacity included Guinea, which tripled its capacity with the completion of the 240 MW Kaleta facility in 2015 (it is anticipated that the plant will alleviate the country’s energy shortage and also benefit neighbours in West Africa), and Zambia, where the 120 MW Itezhi Tezhi plant was completed.46

Numerous small-scale hydropower projects were completed in Brazil, India and elsewhere, including Scotland. The Isle of Mull saw the commissioning of a 400 kW community-owned run-of-river hydropower project in 2015. About half of the project cost was raised through a community share offer; the expected net return of as much as USD 3.6 million (GBP 2.4 million) over 20 years will serve the needs of the community through a local charity.47 (For more on community energy projects, see Feature.)

The World Bank remains committed to continuing its support for well-designed and well-implemented hydropower projects of all sizes for both local development and climate mitigation.48 In 2015, the World Bank announced its new action plan to improve its resettlement policy, drawing on lessons learned, with the intention of significantly improving the protection of people and businesses that may be resettled as a result of World Bank-funded development projects.49

Global pumped storage capacity rose by 2.5 GW, with the year-end total estimated to be as high as 145 GW.50 China added 1.2 GW of new capacity, and Iran completed the first pumped storage plant in the Middle East, the 1,040 MW Siah Bishe.51 Japan added storage with the completion of the second 200 MW variable-speed unit at Kyogoku plant, on the island of Hokkaido.52 In Europe, Austria completed construction of the 430 MW Reisseck II pumped storage facility in 2015, but commissioning was delayed into 2016.53

Opportunities for growth in pumped storage may be hampered in some markets by regulatory restrictions. In China, however, an estimated 27 GW of new capacity is under construction to help reduce curtailment of solar and wind power and to accommodate further growth in variable renewable energy.54

Hydropower Industry

Climate-related risk and rising shares of variable renewable power are driving adaptation in the hydropower industry. During 2015, the industry continued to adapt to manifestations of climate change – including increased glacial run-off and variability of rainfall – through operational changes, modifications to existing plants, and changes to the design of new hydropower plants.55 Responses to rising shares of variable renewables have included an increased emphasis on pumped storage and coimplementation of hydropower with solar and wind power plants in order to both maximise the efficient utilisation of variable resources and conserve water resources.56

Modernisation, retrofitting and expansion of existing facilities continued in many locations. These developments reflect several pressing needs across the industry, including the needs to refurbish ageing infrastructure in many countries; maximise resource utilisation to increase efficiency of operations; shift from baseload operations to cycling and peak operations in many instances; and increase storage capacity for system back-up, reduced vulnerability to hydrological variation and improved overall system resilience.57

The industry approach to project financing continued to evolve in 2015 with a trend towards risk-sharing among partners. Examples include developers taking equity shares in new projects, and public and private parties sharing responsibility for each stage of project development. Refinancing upon successful completion of projects, which reduces long-term costs and frees public funds for further development, is also becoming more common. Although they are not yet subject to any common standards, green bonds have become very important to the hydropower industry because they help lower the risk profiles of projects. Finally, the alchemy of blended finance – leveraging development funding with private capital – has created opportunities to meet varied development goals, such as irrigation and flood control, while tying the objectives into the revenue-generating aspect of hydropower development.58

The most significant providers of hydropower equipment are GE (United States), Andritz Hydro (Austria) and Voith Hydro (Germany), each with about equal market shares. Together they account for about one half of the global industry.59 Other notable manufacturers include Harbin (China), Dongfang (China) and Power Machines (Russian Federation).

Among notable events in the industry in 2015 was the completion of GE’s USD 10.6 billion (EUR 9.7 billion) acquisition of Alstom’s energy activities.60 Andritz Hydro reported unchanged, difficult market conditions with a continued decline (-5.4%) in new orders, although sales were up slightly (+4.7%) for 2015. The company noted that relatively low electricity prices (and low energy prices in general) led to the postponement of many modernisation and refurbishment projects, especially in Europe.61

Voith noted strong sales in North and South America – in Brazil in particular, despite political instability and weak economic conditions in that country.62 The company’s 2015 sales were unchanged relative to 2014. Despite favourable currency developments (due to the weak euro), however, the high orders booked in 2014 could not be sustained, and declined by 5%.63 Voith considers the North American market promising for both new plants and refurbishment, even though plentiful shale gas has depressed electricity prices.64 The Asian market – including Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam – gained importance during the year.65

With a slowdown in domestic contracts, Chinese corporations have been increasing their involvement in hydropower-related projects around the world. Their involvement has included both construction and operations, and they have focused particularly in Africa, South Asia and South America.66 In early 2016, China Three Gorges Corporation acquired two hydropower plants in Brazil, becoming Brazil’s second largest private power producer. The State Grid Corporation of China has committed to building and operating new transmission lines in Brazil, including a long-range conduit for output from the large Belo Monte project.67

Ocean Energy

Ocean Energy Markets

Ocean energy refers to any energy harnessed from the ocean by means of ocean waves, tidal range (rise and fall), tidal streams, ocean (permanent) currents, temperature gradients and salinity gradients.1 At the end of 2015, global ocean energy capacity remained at approximately 530 MWi, mostly in the form of tidal power and, specifically, tidal barrages across bays and estuaries.

A commercial market for ocean energy technology has not really developed to date because most technologies are still in various prototype and demonstration stages. The one exception is the application of established in-stream turbine technology in tidal barrages. The two largest ocean energy projects are the 254 MW Sihwa plant in the Republic of Korea (completed in 2011) and the 240 MW La Rance tidal power station in France (1966), both tidal barrages.2

In 2015, it appeared that the proposed 320 MW Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon in Wales would move forward when the UK government issued planning consent in June.3 However, in February 2016, UK authorities announced an independent review into the feasibility and practicality of tidal lagoon energy in the United Kingdom. The review will consider the cost-effectiveness of such projects, potential impacts, financing options and opportunities for competitive frameworks for project delivery.4

Most of the recent development efforts in ocean power technologies are focused on tidal stream and wave energy in open waters. Several new projects were launched around the world in 2015, with most activity concentrated in Europe. As in most years, ocean energy technology deployments were predominantly demonstration projects.

Ocean Energy Industry

The year 2015 presented a mixture of tail- and headwinds for the ocean energy industry. A number of companies continued to successfully advance their ocean energy technologies and to deploy new or improved devices, but at least one company had to declare bankruptcy.

The tidal industry experienced a number of advances in 2015 with the launch of numerous projects around the world. The Netherlands, for example, saw the completion of two notable projects. In early 2015, Tocardo (Netherlands) installed three grid-connected tidal turbines in a Dutch sea defense dike, in co-operation with the Dutch Tidal Testing Center, and the company plans to expand this 300 kW installation to 2 MW upon further evaluation.5 Later in the year, with the support of Huisman (provider of the turbine suspension structure), Tocardo successfully installed a five-turbine array in the Dutch Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier.6 The project has a power output of 1.2 MW, which is adequate to supply electricity to approximately 1,000 local households. Also in Dutch waters, the BlueTEC Texel tidal partnership launched a floating platform that carries a Tocardo turbine and supplies power to the grid.7

Atlantis Resources (UK/Singapore) commenced construction at the site of the MeyGen tidal stream project in Scotland in early 2015.8 Later in the year, Atlantis completed cable deployment to the MeyGen site, where the first four 1.5 MW turbines were to be installed in 2016.9 By early 2016, Atlantis was advancing on construction in Scotland of one of the four turbines – a single Lockheed Martin-designed AR1500 – while Andritz Hydro Hammerfest was completing the other three 1.5 MW turbines in Germany. Both turbine designs have an 18-metre rotor diameter and are configured for both active pitch and full yaw capability.10

i This does not include all pilot and demonstration projects currently deployed, which may amount to several additional megawatts of capacity.

Tidal Energy Ltd (UK) reached a milestone when its 400 kW DeltaStream tidal demonstration device became the first full-scale tidal device installed in Wales, in Ramsey Sound.11 Also in Wales, the Swedish tidal stream technology company Minesto secured USD 14.2 million (EUR 13 million) of EU funds to support development of its Deep Green device, which operates as an underwater kite.12 Minesto partnered with Schottel Hydro, a German turbine manufacturer that will supply turbine compo-nents for upcoming deployments of Deep Green devices.13

Also in the United Kingdom, Sustainable Marine Energy Ltd. (UK) installed its PLAT-O turbine platform, which the company hopes will drive down the cost of tidal energy. The platform was fitted with two Schottel instream turbines and installed off the Isle of Wight, where it met all expectations.14 Schottel notes that there is synergy in the combination of turbine and platform because both are designed to be lightweight, robust and simple.15

Nova Innovation (Scotland) and its partner ELSA (Belgium) secured additional funding from the Scottish government for a 500 kW tidal array in Shetland’s (Scotland) Bluemull Sound. The project uses Nova’s 100 kW M100 direct-drive turbine, and the first unit delivered power to the grid in early 2016.16

To the south, Sabella SAS (France) launched its full-scale, grid-connected 1 MW D10 tidal turbine off the coast of Brittany, in the Fromveur Strait, where it supplies electricity to the Ushant Island.17

OpenHydro (a subsidiary of DCNS, France) continued its work off the French coast, deploying the first of two new turbines at EDF’s (France) site at Paimpol-Bréhat, following a few years of testing.18 Across the Atlantic, OpenHydro also advanced a project at Canada’s Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) in the Bay of Fundy, where the company was awarded USD 4.5  million (CAD 6.3 million) to support its deployment of two 2 MW tidal turbines with local partner Emera.19 The joint venture anticipated turbine deployment in 2016.20

Wave energy also saw progress during the year, with the deployment of several devices in pilot and demonstration projects in Europe, Australia, the United States and elsewhere. AW-Energy of Finland continued to refine its WaveRoller device in 2015, with plans to deploy 350 kW commercial units in a 5.6 MW array in Portugal in the near future.21 In neighbouring Sweden, the 1 MW Sotenäs Wave Power Plant by Seabased (Sweden) started generating power in early 2016. The Sotenäs plant couples linear generators on the sea floor to surface buoys (point absorbers) and is said to be the world’s first array of multiple wave energy converters in operation.22

Off the coast of Tuscany in Italy, 40South Energy (UK) launched its new 50 kW H24 wave energy converter, a fully submerged machine that is optimised to convert wave and tidal energy in shallow waters.23

Also in 2015, Eco Wave Power (Israel) deployed its second-generation wave energy conversion device in the Jaffa Port of Israel.24 The company also advanced on the first 100 kW phase of a 5 MW EU-funded plant across the Mediterranean Sea in Gibraltar; the plant is expected to meet 15% of local electricity demand when it is completed.25

In Australia, BioPower Systems (Australia) deployed its 250 kW bioWAVE pilot demonstration unit off the coast of Port Fairy, Victoria. The device is a 26-metre-tall oscillating structure that was inspired by undersea plants; it is designed to sway back and forth beneath the ocean swell, capturing energy.26 Another Australian firm, Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd, moved towards deployment of its 1 MW CETO 6 device in early 2016, a scaled-up version of the CETO 5 deployed in 2014.27

Across the South Pacific, the US state of Hawaii, home to the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), saw some progress during the year. Northwest Energy Innovations was chosen by the US Department of Energy to demonstrate its half-scale Azura wave energy device for one year of grid-connected testing at WETS, where the company implemented various improvements that were based on previous (2012) trials.28 Other wave energy technology developers are scheduled to test their devices at WETS in coming years.29

The global wave energy industry received significant support from the Scottish Government in 2015. The government-funded Wave Energy Scotland, which was established in late 2014 to support development of wave energy technology, awarded over USD 13 million (over GBP 9 million) in 2015 to multiple developers in several countries for the advancement of innovative wave energy technologies at various stages of development.30

Among the most notable success stories in wave energy conversion has been the 296 kW Mutriku plant in the Basque Country of Spain, the first commercial wave energy plant in Europe. Since its installation in 2011, the plant has operated continuously and, as of early 2016, it had generated more than 1 GWh of electricity by harnessing wave-driven compressed air (oscillating water column).31

Ocean energy technologies – both tidal and wave energy – also are being developed actively in East Asia. Japan has established several demonstration sites for ocean energy development with two projects coming online in 2015, a 5 kW tidal stream unit at Shiogama and a 43 kW wave energy project at Kuji.32 China also is engaged in the development of both wave and tidal energy technologies and, in 2015, had 10.7 MW of capacity installed, including several development projects.33 The Jiangxia tidal power plant was upgraded in 2015, from 3.9 MW to 4.1 MW.34 Among new development projects is the 100 kW Sharp Eagle wave energy converter, which was deployed in 2015.35 China’s experience to date indicates that the country’s tidal current technologies exhibit significantly lower-cost structures than its wave energy projects, but all are limited by immature technology and lack of experience and supporting infrastructure.36

Although the vast majority of demonstration and pilot projects focus on extracting useful energy from the tides and waves, the year 2015 also saw advances in the area of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). Makai Ocean Engineering (United States) connected a new 100 kW OTEC plant – believed to be the world’s largest – to Hawaii’s electric grid in August.37 Makai’s research and evaluation OTEC plant uses the temperature difference between deep ocean water (at 670 metres) and surface water to generate electricity, where a closed-cycle working fluid of ammonia drives a turbine for power generation.38

As more projects are tested around the world, it is increasingly important to understand the potential effects of ocean energy development on marine life. A report on the status of scientific knowledge in this area, released in early 2016, found that the main potential interactions between ocean energy devices and marine animals that present ongoing concern include: risk of animals colliding with moving components; various potential impacts of sound propagation from ocean energy devices; and any biological effect of electromagnetic fields generated from underwater cables.39 Many of the perceived risks associated with such interactions are driven by uncertainty, due to lack of data, which continues to confound differentiation between real and perceived risks.40

The industry continues to face a variety of challenges that were explored by the European Commission’s Ocean Energy Forum in its 2015 draft Strategic Roadmap on ocean energy. The document outlines the main imperatives for overcoming the hurdles to realising commercial success for the various ocean energy technologies. These imperatives include infrastructure and logistical needs of the industry for technology advancement; overcoming financing obstacles in an industry characterised by relatively high risk and high upfront costs; and the need for improved planning, consenting and licensing procedures.41

The relatively high development risk of ocean energy technologies has proven the need for well-equipped test centres and other risk-mitigating innovations. In combination with competitive financial incentives from the US Department of Energy, the US Navy’s recently renovated Carderock Maneuvering and Seakeeping Basin wave simulator will be used in a government effort to stimulate innovation, establish new companies and drive down costs in the development of new wave energy devices in the United States.42

Across the Atlantic, the FloWave ocean simulation test tank that opened at the University of Edinburgh in 2014 is intended to mitigate project risk by allowing testing of ocean energy devices before committing to the cost of trials at sea.43 In 2015, Canadian and UK parties launched a collaboration to develop a new sensor system to increase understanding of the impact of turbulence on tidal devices, and thus reduce development risk.44 The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and FloWave joined forces to simulate actual sea conditions around Orkney based on EMEC’s monitoring data, with the aim of improving test results.45

Due to difficult market conditions that include limited funding for R&D and a constrained financial landscape in general, EMEC characterised the year as turbulent, but noted also that new developers were signed up for tests at the Centre.46

Despite the many encouraging developments in ocean energy in 2015, the industry’s challenges took their toll, and the year witnessed consolidation in the industry as well as one closure.

Aquamarine Power (UK) announced the successful demon­stration of its wave energy converter (Oyster 800) in early 2015, but only a few months later the company was placed in administration due to lack of private sector backing that was required to supplement public funding support; subsequently, the company was dissolved.47

Atlantis acquired from Siemens AG the UK-based company Marine Current Turbines (MCT) – the manufacturer of the world’s first utility-scale tidal stream project (the 1.2 MW SeaGen system). In late 2015, ScottishPower Renewables joined Atlantis as a shareholder in the Tidal Power Scotland Limited (TPSL) project portfolio, folding into TPSL its development projects in Scotland.48

Solar Photovoltaics (PV)

Solar PV Markets

Solar PV experienced another year of record growth in 2015, with the annual market for new capacity up 25% over 2014.1 More than 50 GW was added – equivalent to an estimated 185 million solar panels – bringing total global capacity to about 227 GW.2 The annual market was nearly 10 times the size of cumulative world capacity just a decade earlier.3 (See Figure 14 and Reference Table R6.) Although the top three markets in 2015 were responsible for the majority of capacity added, globalisation continued with new markets on all continents.4

Until recently, demand was concentrated in rich countries; now, emerging markets on all continents have begun to contribute significantly to global growth, with solar PV taking off where electricity is needed most: in the developing world.5 At the same time, however, many former gigawatt-sized markets in Europe installed little to no capacity in 2015.6 Market expansion in most of the world is due largely to the increasing competitiveness of solar PV, as well as to new government programmes, rising demand for electricity and improving awareness of solar PV’s potential as countries seek to alleviate pollution and CO2 emissions.7

Asia eclipsed all other markets for the third consecutive year, accounting for about 60% of global additions.8 Once again, China, Japan and the United States were the top three markets, followed by the United Kingdom.9 (See Figure 15.) Others in the top 10 for additions were India, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Australia, France and Canada.10 By end-2015, every continent (except Antarctica) had installed at least 1 GW, and at least 22 countries had 1 GW or more of capacity.11 The leaders for solar PV per inhabitant were Germany, Italy, Belgium, Japan and Greece.12

China’s central government continued to raise installation targets to increase renewable generation, address the country’s severe pollution problems and prop up the domestic manufacturing industry.13 In 2015, China added an estimated 15.2 GW for a total approaching 44 GW, overtaking long-time leader Germany to become the top country for cumulative solar PV capacity, with about 19% of the world total.14 (See Figure 16.) The provinces of Xinjiang (2.1 GW), Inner Mongolia (1.9 GW) and Jiangsu (1.7 GW) were the top markets for the year, with much of this capacity far from the country’s population centres.15 However, six provinces in east and central regions each had more than 1 GW of solar PV capacity at year’s end.16 Large-scale power plants accounted for 86% of total capacity, with the remainder in distributed rooftop systems and other small-scale installations.17

The rapid increase in solar PV capacity in China, up from only 7 GW at the end of 2012, has caused grid congestion problems and interconnection delays in the country.18 Curtailment started to become a serious challenge in 2015, with particularly high rates in the northwest provinces of Gansu (31% over the year) and Xingjiang Autonomous Region (26%), and a national average of 12%.19 By year’s end, insufficient grid capacity was a significant hurdle for new plants, and investors were growing wary of the sector due to delays in subsidy collection and problems with solar panel quality.20 To address challenges related to curtailment, China has urged top solar-producing provinces to prioritise transmission of renewable energy, build more transmission capacity and attract more energy-intensive industries to increase local consumption.21 Against these transmission and curtailment challenges, solar PV generated 39.2 TWh of electricity in China during 2015, up about 57% over 2014.22

In Japan, the boom continued with as much as 11 GW added to the grid, bringing total capacity to an estimated 34.4 GW.23 Despite another year of record growth, the residential market was relatively low for the second consecutive year, with 0.9 GW connected to the grid. Commercial and utility-scale projects again drove the market.24 Due to limited availability of land, developers turned to abandoned farmland and golf courses to site large-scale plants (an idea spreading to the United States as well).25 Solar PV accounted for 10% of Japan’s electricity demand on some of the hottest summer days, and represented 3% of total power generation in 2015.26

In only three years, Japan doubled its renewable energy capacity, with solar PV making up the vast majority of the total. The large volume of solar PV projects and their output has exceeded the capacity of the grid, leading the government to revise regulations and causing some utilities to refuse new interconnections and to curtail output from existing plants without compensation.27 However, many other entities, both domestic and foreign – including telecommunications and gas companies, home builders and others – scrambled to set up renewable energy infrastructure and to begin buying solar PV-generated electricity from homeowners in anticipation of the liberalisation of Japan’s electricity market in April 2016.28

Elsewhere in Asia, the largest annual market was India (2 GW), ranking fifth globally for additions and tenth for total capacity.29 India’s year-end capacity was over 5 GW, led by Rajasthan (1,264 MW), Gujarat (1,024 MW) and Madhya Pradesh (679 MW).30 Additions were well above 2014 but below expectations for 2015, due to project delays in several states. Even so, the utility-scale pipeline grew rapidly, driven by the improving cost-competitiveness of solar PV and by rising electricity demand.31 While most added capacity was in large-scale ground-mounted projects, India’s rooftop sector also expanded thanks to high consumer awareness and favourable commercial tariffs in some states.32 The most immediate challenge for India’s solar sector, and for scaling up solar power capacity to achieve the country’s ambitious goals (100 GW by 2022), is congestion in the grid.33

India was followed by the Republic of Korea, which added 1 GW to end the year with 3.4 GW.34 Pakistan’s market (an estimated 500 MW) took off in response to national FIT payments and other incentives enacted to help alleviate chronic power shortages and increase reliability.35 Companies flocked to Pakistan, and China played an increasingly important role in the country’s renewable energy expansion, including solar PV.36 Other Asian countries with growing markets include the Philippines and Thailand (both adding more than 100 MW).37

Most of the approximately 20 GW installed outside of Asia was added in North America and the EU.38 North America added 7.9 GW in 2015.39 Canada accounted for about 0.6 GW, for a year-end total of 2.5 GW, with the rest brought online in the United States.40

The United States also had a record year, with solar PV installations exceeding new natural gas capacity for the first time.41 Nearly 7.3 GW was installed, for a total of 25.6 GW.42 The market was driven by a race to complete as many projects as possible before expiration of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which in late 2015 was extended through 2021.43 The residential sector saw the fastest growth, and direct ownership continued to increase thanks in part to new loan products.44 The utility-scale sector remained the largest, with more than 4 GW added and almost 20 GW under development at year’s end.45 Again, California led for capacity added (3,266 MW), followed by North Carolina (1,134 MW), with Hawaii well ahead for solar penetration.46

Solar PV is proving to be an economically competitive option for meeting US peak power needs, with utility interest going beyond the demand driven by state-based Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).47 An estimated 39% of utility capacity added in 2015 was outside of state RPS mandates.48 The success of distributed solar and falling costs has led some US utilities to establish their own solar programmes – including residential and community projects – and has led other utilities to fight for revisions or elimination of supportive policies.49 Net metering has driven most US customer-sited solar PV capacity and has been at the centre of regulatory disputes in more than 20 states.50 With extension of the ITC, the biggest challenges facing solar PV in the United States are ongoing battles over net metering and rate design.51

The EU market picked up in 2015 after three years of decline, but was still far below its 2011 peak (22 GW), restrained by a shift away from FITs and by general policy uncertainty.52 (See Policy Landscape chapter.) About 7.5 GW was added, bringing the region’s total to almost 95 GW of operating solar PV capacity, well ahead of all other regions.53 Three countries – the United Kingdom (3.7 GW), Germany (1.5 GW) and France (0.9 GW) – were responsible for more than 75% of the EU’s new grid-connected capacity.54 Others adding capacity included the Netherlands (450 MW) and Italy (300 MW), where the market was down dramatically despite the low generating costs and supportive policies.55 Spain, which drove the global market in 2008, has virtually disappeared from the solar PV picture due to retroactive policy changes and a new tax on self-consumption.56

The UK rush was in anticipation of subsidy expirations and FIT cuts, and brought total capacity to 9.1 GW.57 Solar PV generation surpassed hydropower output in 2015 and reached levels that were not expected in the country for several more years.58 Germany’s annual market fell again (23% relative to 2014) to levels of about a decade ago, and well below the Renewable Energy Law (EEG) annual target of 2.5 GW.59 Germany ranked second, after China, for total operating capacity, with 39.7 GW at year’s end.60

Europe has become a challenging market for several reasons. The region is transitioning from FIT incentives to tenders and feed-in premiums for large-scale systems, and to the use of solar PV for self-consumption in residential, commercial and industrial sectors.61 Further, the more that solar PV penetrates the electricity system, the harder it is to recoup project costs. So an important shift is under way: from the race to be cost-competitive with fossil fuels to being able to adequately remunerate solar PV in the market.62 In addition, electricity demand is stagnating and conventional utilities are lobbying simply to maintain their position. Thus, electricity market design is increasingly important, and there is a need for new business models.63


Figure 14. Solar PV Global Capacity and Annual Additions, 2005–2015
Figure 15. Solar PV Global Capacity, by Country/Region 2005–2015
Figure 16. Solar PV Capacity and Additions, Top 10 Countries, 2015
Figure 17. Solar PV Capacity Additions, Shares of Top 15 Countries and Rest of World, 2015

Utilities in Australia also are facing major impacts from solar PV. The country added more than 0.9 GW, ranking seventh globally for new installations and ending the year with 5.1 GW – the equivalent of one panel per inhabitant.64 Australia’s market has been predominantly residential, with rooftop systems on almost 16% of homes as of early 2016, although the commercial and large-scale sectors started to take hold in 2015.65 Grid-based electricity consumption has fallen significantly in Eastern Australia since 2009 thanks in part to the growth of solar PV, which has eliminated afternoon “super peaks” in electricity demand.66

Australia’s very low wholesale electricity prices and high retail prices are encouraging a shift to solar PV with little incentive to sell into the grid. As a result, there is a small but growing market for storage, and several companies started rolling out affordable options for homeowners in 2015.67 Storage applications are developing quickly in Australia as well as in several other developed countries (e.g., Greece, Japan, Sweden) for on- and off-grid applications, and in some developing countries (e.g., Bangladesh, India, Peru), particularly off-grid.68 (See Distributed Renewable Energy chapter.)

Latin America and the Caribbean added an estimated 1.1 GW in 2015 to more than double regional capacity.69 Chile installed over 0.4 GW, mostly in very large-scale projects, with a year-end total exceeding 0.8 GW.70 By some accounts, solar PV has become the country’s cheapest source of electricity.71 Honduras emerged as an important market and, along with Chile, was among the top 15 countries worldwide for new installations. The country added nearly 0.4 GW thanks to a generous FIT and to regulatory certainty that set it apart from its neighbours.72 (See Figure 17.) Mexico and Brazil experienced delays – due to low oil prices and anticipation of the Energy Transition Law in Mexico, and to Brazil’s difficult economic climate and insufficient transmission capacity – but both countries plus Peru had highly competitive auctions in 2015 and early 2016.73 Throughout the region, grid access and financing remained key challenges to growth.74

In developing and emerging economies, obtaining financing – and at affordable rates – is a common challenge; this is not the case for competitive tenders, however.75 In 2015, some of the fastest growing markets were in Africa and the Middle East, where deployment is driven by rapidly falling costs, good solar resources, the desire to reduce energy imports, rapidly growing energy demand and the need to expand energy access.76 Although the Middle East had relatively little capacity in operation at year’s end, much was happening in the region.77 Jordan and the United Arab Emirates held tenders for solar PV in 2015 with record-low bids, and launched several large projects.78 Israel added 0.2 GW for a total approaching 0.9 GW, and others developing projects included Kuwait, the State of Palestine and Saudi Arabia.79

Countries are turning to the sun across Africa as well, with projects ranging from very small to large-scale, both on- and off-grid.80 Leaders for new capacity were Algeria (adding almost 0.3 GW) and South Africa (0.2 GW), which ended the year with 1.1 GW.81 Egypt has a burgeoning sector with increasing numbers of international companies announcing plans to finance, develop and construct up to 3 GW of solar PV projects.82 Projects also were under way in Djibouti, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia, among others.83 The global off-grid solar PV market is estimated at USD 300 million annually, with the strongest growth in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by South Asia.84 However, the African continent faces challenges as it rapidly scales up solar PV installations, including a shortage of skills necessary for installation, operation and maintenance.85

Around the world, the number and size of large-scale plants continued to grow.86 By early 2016, at least 120 (up from 70 a year earlier) solar PV plants of 50 MW and larger were operating in at least 23 countries, with Australia, Denmark, Guatemala, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, the Philippines and Uruguay all joining the list during the year.87 Latin America saw the fastest growth, with the number of plants ≥50 MW increasing from 2 to 10.88 The world’s 50 biggest plants as of February 2016 reached cumulative capacity exceeding 13.5 GW.89 At least 33 of these came online (or achieved full capacity) in 2015 and early 2016, including the US Solar Star project (750 MW) and, by some accounts, phase two of China’s Longyangxia hybrid hydropower–solar PV plant (boosting the total to 850 MW).90

The market for concentrating PV (CPV) is young and remains small, but there is interest in niche markets due greatly to higher efficiency levels in locations with high direct normal insolation (DNI) and low moisture.91 CPV includes an optical system to focus large areas of sunlight onto each cell and usually is combined with a tracking system.92 After a number of installations came online during 2012–2014, many projects were cancelled, and little new capacity was added during 2015.93 By end-2015, global CPV capacity totalled 360 MW, most of which is high-concentration systems.94

Solar PV plays a substantial role in electricity generation in some countries. During 2015, solar PV met 7.8% of electricity demand in Italy, 6.5% in Greece and 6.4% in Germany.95 By year’s end, Europe had enough solar PV capacity to meet an estimated 3.5% of total consumption (up from 0.3% in 2008) and 7% of peak demand.96 An estimated 22 countries (including several in Europe as well as Australia, Chile, Israel, Japan and Thailand) had enough solar PV capacity at end-2015 to meet more than 1% of their electricity demand.97 By the end of 2015, China had achieved 100% electrification in part because of significant off-grid solar PV systems installed since 2012.98 Global capacity in operation at year’s end was enough to produce close to 275 TWh of electricity per year.99

Solar PV Industry

The solar PV industry recovery further strengthened in 2015 due to the continued emergence of new markets and to strong global demand. Most top-tier companies were back on their feet in 2015, and strong demand and relative price stagnation helped to consolidate the positions of leading companies.100 It was another challenging year in Europe, however, where shrinking markets in most countries left many installers, distributors and others struggling to stay afloat, and companies diversified risk by moving downstream (e.g., into operation and maintenance, O&M) and focusing on markets elsewhere.101 Low module prices continued to challenge many thin film companies and the concentrating solar industries, which have struggled to compete.102 International trade disputes also continued.103

Average module prices fell further in 2015, but less rapidly than during the 2008–2012 period.104 Spot prices for multicrystalline silicon modules were down about 8% year-over-year to USD 0.55/Watt and below.105 The industry continued to focus on soft costs (non-hardware) through optimisation and improvements of equipment, including: reducing mechanical mounting parts; using robotic technology for installation and maintenance; developing “smart” modules that help optimise output, and 1,500 volt modules that reduce transmission losses.106 Soft costs continued their decline, due also to improved module efficiency and to an increase in average system size.107 Soft costs still differed significantly depending on project location and scale: for example, they were higher in the United States than in Australia, China, Germany or even Japan.108

Record low bids in tenders show that solar PV is competitive – or expected to be when projects are built – in several locations.109 Brazil, Chile, India, Jordan, Mexico, Peru and the United Arab Emirates all saw very low bids for unsubsidised solar PV in tenders in 2015 and early 2016, including Dubai’s contract to ACWA Power (USD 58.5/MWh) in early 2015, and winning bids in Peru (the lowest was under USD 48/MWh) and Mexico (average of USD 45/MWh) in early 2016.110 The year also brought record lows in Germany, with contracts signed for under USD 87/MWh (EUR 80/MWh), and PPAs for utility-scale solar in the United States in the range of USD 35–60/MWh (including the national tax credit).111 Distributed rooftop solar PV remains more expensive but has followed similar price trajectories, and is competitive with retail prices in many locations.112

Global production of crystalline silicon cells and modules rose in 2015. Mono-crystalline cells and modules continued to gain share (about 25% in 2015) from multi-crystalline cells during the year.113 Estimates of cell and module production, as well as of production capacity, vary widely; increasing outsourcing and rebranding render the counting of production and shipments more complex every year.114 Preliminary estimates of 2015 production capacity exceeded 60 GW for cells, and ranged from about 63 GW to 69 GW for modules.115 Thin film production increased by an estimated 13%, accounting for 8% of total global PV production (down from 10% in 2014).116

China has dominated global shipments since 2009.117 By 2015, Asia accounted for 87% of global module production, with China producing about two-thirds of the world total.118 Europe’s share continued to fall, to about 6% in 2015, and the US share remained at 2%.119 Among the leading module manufacturers were several Chinese companies, including Trina, JinkoSolar, JA Solar, Yingli, SFCE (formerly Suntech) and ReneSolar; other top manufacturers included Canadian Solar (Canada), Hanwha Q-Cells (Republic of Korea), First Solar and Sunpower Corp. (both United States).120 There are also rising numbers of manufacturers that shipped around 1 GW each during 2015.121

To meet growing demand and better serve new markets (in some cases driven by domestic content laws), and to avoid import tariffs in some countries, manufacturers increased production capacity around the world, particularly for module assembly.122 New module manufacturing facilities began operation during 2015 in several countries (including Algeria, Brazil, Egypt, Iran, South Africa and Thailand), while expansion plans were announced or under way in several others (including China, Germany, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United States).123 By year’s end, according to company announcements, top manufacturers were constructing almost 7 GW of new factory capacity, aiming to expand in-house to reduce the need for outsourcing and to crowd out smaller competitors.124

Consolidation continued in 2015, but there were far fewer victims than in the high period of 2011–2012. Many solar product manufacturers in China had low profit margins, too much production capacity and significant debt.125 Tianwei (China) defaulted on an interest payment for a domestic bond and then collapsed, Yingli required a government bailout, and Hanergy came under investigation by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.126 Power production curtailment and delay of subsidy payments forced some project developers in China to sell projects and halt further development.127

In the United States and Europe, a handful of companies – including manufacturers of modules, trackers and microinverters – closed, became insolvent or were acquired in less-than-positive circumstances.128 SunEdison’s (United States) reversal of fortune, due largely to large acquisitions that increased debt and to a steep decline in the value of two yieldcos (see below), was the year’s biggest loss, and the company filed for bankruptcy in April 2016.129

Mergers and acquisitions, as well as new partnerships, continued among manufacturers and installers as part of the trend to enter other markets (locations or applications) or to capture value in project development.130 For example, Shunfeng International (China), the owner of once-bankrupt Suntech, acquired a majority stake in Suniva, gaining the opportunity to operate in the United States.131 Canadian Solar purchased Recurrent Energy (United States) from Sharp (Japan) to move further into construction and to boost demand for its products.132 SunPower acquired Cogenra (both United States) to build a new line of modules to tap into markets in Africa, China and India.133 The Chinese government continued to push for mergers and acquisitions among domestic solar manufacturers.134

Market consolidation also continued among O&M providers in 2015.135 Most leading solar PV manufacturers have expanded downstream into project development and into engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) to keep more business in-house and reduce costs, and many EPCs (including manufacturers) have moved into O&M of the plants they construct.136 In 2015, European-based EPC companies continued looking towards growth markets, particularly in Japan, the United States and in the Middle East.137 The market for megawatt-scale O&M sustained its rapid growth as more plants aged out of warranty coverage, and because the industry remains attractive even when construction slows (as in Europe).138 By the end of 2015, the global megawatt-scale O&M market exceeded 130 GW.139 New trends that became more apparent during 2015 are the growing split between O&M for large-scale projects, and the increased interest of inverter companies in the O&M business.140

Several strategic partnerships were established, including: SoftBank Group (Japan) and Sharp joined forces with the aim of dramatically reducing installation and maintenance costs; leading US installer SolarCity partnered with DirecTV and the home automation company Nest; and US rooftop developer Sungevity teamed with E.ON to advance initiatives in Europe.141 In addition, several partnerships focused on energy storage options for commercial and residential markets in Australia, Japan, the United States, some European countries and elsewhere.142

The year 2015 saw the formation of several new yield companies (yieldcos). They accounted for nearly one third of large-scale project acquisitions during the second quarter.143 But after soaring in early 2015, the value of many yieldcos plummeted mid-year, largely in response to declining crude oil prices, prompting many companies to attract investors in other ways.144

Other innovative financing options and business models – including solar leases, behind-the-meter PPAs, green bonds and crowdfunding – continued to spread, reducing barriers to customer adoption while increasing the potential for profits.145 An increasing number of firms – including solar developers and installers, investment companies and major banks – have entered the solar financing market, particularly in the United States.146 New online investment platforms are enabling people to invest in solar PV projects around the world.147 In late 2015, CrossBoundary Energy (United States/Kenya) announced the first close of a dedicated fund for commercial and industrial solar in Africa through SolarAfrica (United Kingdom).148

Innovations also focused on technology improvements including streamlining manufacturing processes, lowering costs through materials substitution, reducing environmental impacts and improving efficiency.149 Efficiency records were achieved for new cells and modules, some of which were set to begin production in 2016.150 Perovskitesi furthered their rapid advance, with efficiency increasing five-fold in six years, but hurdles remain before they can be commercialised.151 For the near term, Passivated Emitter and Rear Cellii (PERC) coating technology shows promise for increasing cell efficiency in standard production processes.152 Innovations also continued in areas such as solar windows, spray-on solar and printed solar cells, and both Merck (Germany) and Emirates Insolaire (United Arab Emirates) announced the availability of new building-integrated solar PV (BIPV) products for the façades of buildings.153 Although they remain a niche market, “smart” and AC modulesiii – incorporating electronics to maximise output – were offered by an increasing number of module makers in order to differentiate their products.154 (For information on another development, PV-T, see Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling section.)

By late 2015, several energy storage management system vendors, startups, major inverter makers (including Enphase (United States) and SolarEdge (Israel)), grid vendors and battery makers (e.g., Tesla, NEC and Panasonic) were involved in advancing storage in the solar PV sector.155 US thin film manufacturer First Solar joined other solar companies – including SunPower and Sharp – in the storage market by investing in the startup Younicos (Germany), which develops software to control batteries.156 Most solar PV installers offered energy storage solutions to German customers during 2015, and energy storage was offered with commercial solar systems in some US markets.157 Sonnen (formerly SonnenBatterie; Germany) launched its solar-plus-storage systems for customers in Australia, Germany and the United States to compete with Tesla’s (United States) Powerwall system, also introduced in some markets in 2015.158

i Perovskite solar cells include perovskite (crystal) structured compounds that are simple to manufacture and are expected to be relatively inexpensive to produce. They have experienced a steep rate of efficiency improvement in laboratories over the past few years.

ii PERC is a technique that reflects solar rays back to the rear of the solar cell (rather than being absorbed into the module), thereby ensuring increased efficiency as well as improved performance in low-light environments.

iii Modules with integrated alternating current (AC) inverters that enable them to generate grid-compatible AC power.

Even as technologies advanced, the poor quality of some cells and modules continued to raise concern, with reports of modules as young as two years old failing in the field.159 In China, the rate of module failure (and replacement) accelerated in 2015.160 In some developing and emerging countries, uncertainty about energy yield has contributed to reluctance to provide financing, which is holding back development.161

Inverters address active system functions – such as power conversion and active grid support – and (especially for central inverters) pose the greatest risk to overall system reliability. Thus, manufacturers are working to improve long-term reliability and system-prediction methods.162 New inverter products provide more functions, such as safety and storage management, to appeal to a broader customer base and provide needed grid services.163 In 2015, several companies launched partnerships or products to help integrate solar PV systems with batteries: for example, Enphase launched a next-generation management system, and SolarEdge collaborated with Tesla to provide an inverter that is compatible with Tesla’s Powerwall battery, launching the product in early 2016.164 A proliferation of virtual power plants, especially in Germany and the United States, and growing demand for integrated home systems is forcing inverter manufacturers to make “smarter” systems.165 There is also a trend towards 1,500-volt direct current inverters, which reduce power loss during transmission.166

Rising competitiveness in the inverter industry, a shift to utility-scale installations and increased acceptance of Chinese products has put price pressure on the global inverter market. Even as demand increased in 2015, prices declined.167 Both Enphase and SMA (Germany) restructured and laid off staff in 2015.168 Even so, SMA sold its one-millionth Sunny Boy TL inverter in June, after 30 years in the business, and saw strong demand in overseas markets.169 A few months later, KACO (Germany) and the Saudi Arabian Advanced Electronics Company (AEC) launched Saudi Arabia’s first inverter manufacturing line.170

The CPV industry had another challenging year. Despite record module and cell efficiencies of CPV technologies, and declining system prices since its introduction to the market, CPV has not achieved economies of scale and has been unable to compete with falling prices of conventional solar PV.171 Most notably, in early 2015, Soitec (France) announced plans to exit the industry.172 Suncore (China) also announced plans to halt CPV module production, and Silex Systems (Australia) stopped operations in late 2015; by early 2016, the industry was in crisis following the exit of its largest manufacturers and was in the process of restructuring.173 Those remaining in the industry were working to improve products and to expand their focus, including actively marketing in the MENA region and China, and forming partnerships to expand project pipelines.174

Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP)

CSP Markets

2015 was a year of challenges and changes for concentrating solar power (CSP), also known as solar thermal electricity (STE). Capacity growth in the CSP market decelerated somewhat in 2015. Global operating capacity increased by 420 MW to reach nearly 4.8 GW at year’s end.1 (See Figure 18 and Reference Table R7.) Nonetheless, a wave of new projects was under construction as of early 2016, and several new plants are expected to enter operation in 2017.2

The year was a turning point in market expansion beyond Spain and the United States, which account for nearly 90% of installed CSP capacity.3 By year-end, facilities were under construction in Australia, Chile, China, India, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.4 Morocco and South Africa surpassed the United States in capacity added, with Morocco becoming the first developing country to top the global CSP market.5

Whereas early commercial CSP development focused entirely on parabolic trough technology, markets now are balanced fairly evenly between parabolic trough and tower technologies. Fresnel and parabolic dish technologies have become largely overshadowed.6 For the first time, all of the facilities added in 2015 (as well as facilities added in early 2016) incorporated thermal energy storage (TES) capacity, a feature now seen as central to maintaining the competitiveness of CSP through the flexibility of dispatchability.7

Morocco was highly active and brought the 160 MW Noor I plant online.8 Noor I forms part of the 500 MW multi-stage Noor-Ouarzazate CSP complex, which is expected to be fully operational by 2018.9

South Africa brought its first commercial CSP capacity online in 2015 with the 100 MW KaXu Solar One facility and the 50 MW Bokpoort facility.10 A further 50 MW was added in early 2016 when the Khi Solar One facility came online, bringing South Africa’s total capacity to 200 MW; an additional 200 MW also was under construction.11 Grid access in areas of high insolation has emerged as a key challenge for South African CSP projects, many of which are being planned in regions with constrained transmission networks.12

The United States followed, adding the 110 MW Crescent Dunes facility to end the year with more than 1.7 GW in operation.13 This followed a record year in the country in 2014, during which almost 0.8 GW was brought online.14 As of early 2016, no new CSP capacity was under construction in the United States. Permitting challenges, a surging solar PV sector and low natural gas prices have resulted in indefinite delays to several large CSP projects.15

Spain remains the global leader in existing CSP capacity, with 2.3 GW at year’s end. However, no capacity came online in 2015, and, as of early 2016, no new CSP facilities were under construction or being planned or developed in the country.16

While Noor I in Morocco was the highlight for the North African market, developments also were under way in other countries in the region. For example, in early 2016, Egypt announced 14 prequalified bidders (including numerous MENA-based developers) for a 50 MW facility.17 In Algeria, where the government announced plans in 2015 to develop 2 GW of CSP by 2030, a number of new projects were in the development stage.18

Figure 18. Concentrating Solar Thermal Power Global Capacity, by Country/Region, 2005–2015

In the Middle East, construction started on Israel’s 121 MW Ashalim Plot B facility. Commercial operation is expected in 2017, and an additional 110 MW phase is expected to come online in 2018.19 In Saudi Arabia, Integrated Solar Combined Cycle (ISCC)i
facilities under construction in Duba and Waad Al Shamaal will incorporate 50 MW each of CSP technology when they enter operation in 2017 and 2018, respectively.20 As domestic energy demand rises in Saudi Arabia, CSP is considered a strategically important technology for maintaining the country’s status as a fossil fuel exporter.21

China’s proposed CSP target of 5–10 GW by 2020 came amidst a flurry of development activity.22 Construction at the 50 MW Qinghai Delingha facility commenced in late 2015.23 The facility, which will mark the country’s first commercial CSP plant, is expected to come online in 2017.24 Additional facilities totalling several hundred megawatts are in various stages of construction, although timelines for completion remain unclear.25 Elsewhere in Asia, India’s 25 MW Gujarat Solar One facility entered construction after significant permitting delays.26

In Latin America, construction continued on Chile’s 110 MW Atacama 1 plant.27 Chile saw a notable milestone for CSP when a hybrid CSP/PV facility (incorporating 100 MW) won a baseload tender that also was open to combined-cycle gas technology.28

CSP continued its push into developing markets with high DNI levels and specific strategic and/or economic alignment with the benefits of CSP technology. In this respect, CSP is receiving increased policy support in countries with limited oil and gas reserves, constrained power networks, or strong industrialisation and job creation agendas, including South Africa, Morocco and China.29

i Integrated Solar Combined Cycle facilities are hybrid gas and solar plants that utilise both solar energy and natural gas for the production of electricity.

CSP Industry

It was a watershed year for industry as companies adapted to the shift of CSP markets. The continued stagnation of the Spanish market, along with a long predicted slowdown in the United States, resulted in increased capacity building in new focus markets. Established CSP players created new partnerships and invested in assets in new markets, while local industrial activity emerged in South Africa, the MENA region and China.30

Recognising CSP’s potential for local manufacturing, engineering and skills development, many countries – including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates – continued to promote or enforce local content requirements in their CSP programmes during 2015.31

Abengoa, the industry’s largest developer and builder, faced bankruptcy proceedings before reaching an agreement with its creditors and avoiding liquidation in early 2016.32 The company’s rising debt was partially a result of Spanish energy reforms enacted in 2013, which reduced feed-in tariffs for CSP facilities.33 As of early 2016, the company was expected to dispose of equity in several CSP facilities as it restructured its operations over the year.34

Nonetheless, Abengoa and Saudia Arabia’s ACWA Power led the market in ownership of projects that either commenced operations or were under construction during 2015.35 As a developer, owner and operator, ACWA continued to make strong inroads into the global CSP market, most notably through projects in South Africa and Morocco.36

Other top companies in 2015, including those engaged in construction, operation and/or manufacturing, were Rioglass Solar (Belgium); Acciona, ACS Cobra, Sener and TSK (all Spain); and Brightsource, GE and Solar Reserve (all United States).37

Leading manufacturer Schott Solar (Germany) sold its CSP receiver business to Rioglass Solar, the world’s largest manufacturer of CSP mirrors with plants in Chile, Israel, South Africa, Spain and the United States.38 Rioglass Solar previously purchased the CSP receiver business of Siemens (Germany) in 2013.39 GE acquired the power business of Alstom (France) – including the company’s CSP business – towards the end of 2015.40

Developers continued to focus on larger plants, with many facilities exceeding 100 MW in size. South Africa increased the size limit of CSP plants under its Independent Power Producer Procurement programme from 100 MW to 150 MW.41 These larger plants are being developed increasingly in water-scarce regions, so most new facilities are making use of dry cooling technology to reduce water consumption as well as environmental impact.42

Almost all new CSP plants are being developed with TES systems, and global storage capacity is on the rise. The US Crescent Dunes facility represented a major step forward in this regard: with 10 hours of storage, the plant is capable of generating power at any time of day or night for half of the year.43 In Morocco, the storage capacity planned for the Noor II facility, currently under construction, was increased from three to seven hours.44

Faced by competition from solar PV due to its rapidly declining prices, the CSP industry has focused increasingly on maximising value through TES systems that provide dispatchable power.45 Research conducted by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on California power markets found that a large fraction of the value of CSP operating with TES appears to be derived from its ability to provide firm system capacity; this is especially the case where the penetration of variable renewables is high, or where there is a shortage of baseload capacity.46

Under South Africa’s competitive bidding process, decreasing price caps coupled with strong competition resulted in a reduction of CSP bid prices by nearly 40% from round one (in late 2011) to round three (in late 2013) of the procurement process.47 This trend was expected to continue with the announcement of new preferred bidders, originally scheduled for early 2016.48 In Morocco, the next phases of the Noor Ouarzazate CSP complex will operate at significantly lower tariffs than other operational facilities in the region as a result of cheaper debt and learnings from the first phase.49 A shift to cheaper component suppliers and the establishment of partnerships between leading CSP technology companies and Chinese counterparts also are helping to reduce costs.50

R&D in the CSP sector is being driven by both private and public entities, often through partnerships between leading CSP firms or between private groups and government programmes. Improvements and cost reductions in TES continue to be strong focus areas of these activities. Related research programmes, some of which focused on novel storage media such as sand and concrete, were under way during 2015 in several countries, including Italy, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.51

R&D programmes backed by the United States and the United Arab Emirates concentrated on improving CSP efficiency through the application of higher-temperature processes, which allow the more efficient transfer of heat and conversion of energy. Related research in 2015 was focused largely on the development of materials capable of housing high-temperature processes.52

Other research was directed towards incremental cost reductions in CSP components, including heliostats and mirrors; the reduction of water usage in both steam/power generation and mirror cleaning; and the reduction of land requirements for CSP systems.53

Solar Thermal Heating
and Cooling

Solar Thermal Heating/Cooling Markets

Solar thermal technology is used extensively in all regions of the world to provide hot water, to heat and cool space, and to provide higher-temperature heat for industrial processes. Global capacity of glazed and unglazed solar thermal collectors continued to rise in 2015. The 18 largest markets in 2015 are spread across all continents and represent 93–94% of total the year's global additions.1 (See Figure 19 and Reference Table R8.) In 2015, their newly installed capacity totalled an estimated 37.2 GWth (53.1 million m2), down 14% from the 43.4 GWth installed by these countries in 2014.2

The continued slowdown in 2015 was due primarily to shrinking markets in China and Europe. Despite the overall negative trend, significant market growth was reported from Denmark (up 55% over 2014), Turkey (10 %), Israel (9%), Mexico (8%) and Poland (7%).3

Among the top 18 countries, vacuum tube collectors made up 76% of new installations, flat plate collectors 20% and unglazed water collectors (mostly for swimming pool heating) the remaining 4%.4 These additions brought total global solar thermal capacity to an estimated 435 GWth (622 million m2) at the end of 2015, up from 409 GWth one year earlier.5 (See Figure 20.) There was enough capacity by year’s end to provide approximately 357 TWh
(1,285 PJ) of heat annually.6

The top countries for new installations in 2015 were China, Turkey, Brazil, India and the United States , and the top five for cumulative capacity at year-end were China, the United States, Germany, Turkey and Brazil.7 (See Figure 21 and Reference Table R8.) Of the top 18 installers, the leading countries for average market growth between 2010 and 2015 were Denmark (34%), Poland (14%) and Brazil (8%); the most significant market decline over this period was seen in France (-17%), Austria (-14%) and Italy (-14%).8

China again was the largest market by far in 2015, with gross additions of 30.45 GWth (43.5 million m2) – 21 times more capacity than was added in second-placed Turkey.9 At year’s end, China’s cumulative capacity in operation was an estimated 309.4 GWth, or about 71% of the world’s total.10 China’s market contracted for the second consecutive year – falling 17% in 2015, after an 18% drop in 2014 – due to the slowdown in the construction industry and the weak national economy.11 Vacuum tubes continued to dominate the Chinese market in 2015, accounting for 87% of added capacity; however, flat plate collectors were again popular, especially for roof and façade integration in urban areas.12

Even though Turkey provides little policy support for solar thermal technologies, annual installations were up 10% in 2015, to an estimated 1.47 GWth (2.1 million m2). These new installations were delivered by a strong supply chain that includes about 800 sales points and around 3,000 specialised installers.13 The share of vacuum tube collectors increased again in 2015, to 49% (44% in 2014), up from almost zero 10 years earlier.14

Brazil ranked third for new installations in 2015, with 982 MWth (1.4 million m2) of glazed and unglazed collectors.15 However, deployment remained below expectations, with the market down by 3% relative to 2014; this compares with Brazil’s high average annual growth rate of 8% between 2010 and 2015.16 Constraints on the market included the national economic crisis, which reduced investment and purchasing power, and delay in implementing the next phase of the social housing programme Minha Casa Minha Vida.17

India was fourth for new installations. Although there is high uncertainty regarding the market volume in fiscal year 2015–2016, preliminary estimates show that the market was stable compared to the previous year, when 826 MWth (1.18 million m2) of capacity was installed, and the share of vacuum tube collectors was around 80%.18 A temporary reduction in demand has resulted from the suspension of India’s national grant scheme in 2014. As of early 2016, India’s government and solar thermal industry were discussing new support measures and, as a consequence, a renewable heating obligation was being drafted that, if enacted, would be the first of its kind worldwide.19

The United States was the fifth biggest market for solar thermal collectors in 2015 and the world’s largest market for unglazed collectors for swimming pools, followed by Brazil (427 MWth) and Australia (280 MWth).20 The unglazed segment accounted for 87% of US cumulative solar thermal capacity of 17 GWth at the end of 2014.21 In the significantly smaller segment of glazed collectors, a capacity of 119 MWth was added in 2015; this was down 7% (after falling 19% in 2014) in response to low oil and gas prices and an increased focus on solar PV, driven by strong marketing efforts by solar PV system providers.22

In the EU-28, the market volume dropped again in 2015 (down 6%), to an estimated 1.9 GWth (2.7 million m2), following a 7% decline in 2014.23 The EU’s total installed capacity in operation at the end of 2015 was approximately 33.3 GWth, representing around 8% of the world’s total.24

With the exception of Denmark and Poland, all major European solar thermal markets contracted significantly in 2015: Austria’s market shrank by 12% relative to 2014, and declines also were seen in Germany (-10%), Spain (-6%), Italy (-15%) and Francei (-33%).25 Following 19% market growth in 2014, Greece maintained the same volume (189 MWth, 270,000 m2) in 2015, and its exports increased by another 7% (to 202 MWth,
288,571 m2) thanks to rising demand in the MENA region.26

Low oil and gas prices contributed significantly to the shrinking markets seen in much of Europe. In Germany, for example, low fuel prices drove up sales of gas- and oil-condensing boilers (by 7% and 30%, respectively); by contrast, the solar thermal market contracted by 10% to 100,500 systems, for a total of 564 MWth (806,000 m2) added during the year.27 This significant reduction occurred despite an increase in Germany’s national incentive programme in April 2015.28 Additional challenges for Italy, Spain and France included bureaucratic processes associated with national subsidy schemes, a slowdown in the housing industry and increased competition from other renewable heat technologies.29

i Metropolitan France only, which includes mainland France and nearby islands in the Atlantic Ocean, English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea (not Overseas France).


Figure 19. Solar Water Heating Collectors Additions, Top 18 Countries for Capacity Added, 2015
Figure 20. Solar Water Heating Collectors Global Capacity, 2005–2015
Figure 21. Solar Water Heating Collectors Global Capacity, Shares of Top 12 Countries and Rest of World, 2014

Over the last five decades, the primary application of solar thermal technology globally has been for water heating in single-family houses; the residential segment accounted for 63% of the total installed collector capacity at the end of 2014 (the most recent data available).30 In recent years, however, markets have been transitioning to large-scale systems for water heating in multi-family buildings and in the tourism and public sectors. In 2014, this commercial sector accounted for only 28% of the total collector capacity in operation worldwide, but it represented 50% of newly installed collector capacity.31 (See Figure 22.)

The transition from single-family houses to the commercial sector continued during 2015 in many countries around the world.32 The best examples were China and Poland, where the commercial markets grew rapidly, whereas the residential sector declined drastically.33 In China, solar thermal systems for multi-family houses, tourism and the public sector accounted already for 61% of newly installed collector area in 2015.34 In Poland, the major market driver was larger systems in public buildings, financed with international funds. While such projects saw an increase of up to 10% in volume relative to 2014, the residential segment declined significantly in response to the national residential subsidy scheme that favours solar PV.35

The use of solar thermal for space heating also continued to gain ground, particularly in Europe, where an increasing number of large-scale solar thermal systems feeds into district heating grids. As in past years, Denmark dominated Europe’s solar district heating market in 2015. Beyond Denmark, only three other district heating installations larger than 350 kWth went into operation: Austria, Italy and Sweden each brought one plant online.36

Denmark brought 17 new and 3 expanded solar district heating plants (totalling 187 MWth) into operation in 2015; this compares with only 7 MWth of solar water heaters installed in single-family houses during the year.37 At year’s end, Denmark had 79 solar district heating plants in operation, with a combined capacity of 577 MWth; an additional 364 MWth of large-scale solar heating systems was in the pipeline.38 Denmark’s situation is unique in that it has inexpensive and sufficient land in the vicinity of its municipalities; taxes on fossil fuels; and cost-effective mounting systems developed by the domestic industry for large ground-mounted collector fields.39

At the end of 2015, Europe was home to 252 large-scale systems with a total of 745 MWth, making up around 2% of the region’s total operating solar thermal capacity.40 Nearly half (48%) of these large systems are connected to block heating (mostly stand-alone boilers); another 36% are connected to district heating systems; and the remaining 16% are used for other applications, primarily for solar cooling and solar process heat.41 After several years with no new large-scale installations, both Germany and Spain had several large-scale solar thermal systems in the pipeline as of early 2016.42

Solar heat is being used in an expanding range of heat-based industrial processes, such as water preheating, evaporation, cleaning, drying, boiling, pasteurisation, as well as thermal separation. The most popular sectors for solar process heat applications in recent years have been the food and metal processing, textile, beverage and mining industries.43 In 2015, a variety of industries invested in solar process heat installations, among them the Dairy Bonilait (France), the automotive supplier Harita Seating systems (India), an Italian cheese producer, a garment manufacturer in India and the pharmaceuticals producer Ram Pharma based in Jordan.44

The largest investor was Petroleum Development Oman (CPD), which began construction in November of its 1 GWth, USD 600 million Miraah solar steam-producing plant, located next to the Amal West Oil field in Oman.45 Once completed, in 2017, Miraah is expected to be the largest solar steam-producing plant worldwide.46

As of March 2016, at least 188 solar process heat projects, with a combined capacity of 106 MWth, were operating in 32 countries.47 Deployment in the industry sector is a fraction of that in the residential sector, even though the long-term potential for both segments is almost the same.48 Top countries for solar process heat capacity in operation included Austria, Chile, China, the United States and India.49

Figure 22. Solar Water Heater Applications for Newly Installed Capacity, by Country/Region, 2014

Four major barriers have slowed the uptake of solar process heat installations, including: high system and planning costs; the absence of guidelines and tools for planners and engineers; a dearth of business models; and a lack of knowledge among potential customers.50 To address some of these barriers, Australia established a grant to cover 50% of the project costs for solar process heat facilities. The grant programme, combined with educational workshops organised specifically for the dairy industry, resulted in some projects being in the first planning stage as of early 2016.51 Other countries with support mechanisms for solar process heat include Austria, Germany and India.52

An additional barrier in 2015 was low oil and gas prices, which made solar process heat less competitive in many countries by extending system payback periods. In response to low oil prices, Thailand halted its process heat subsidy scheme for 2015–2016.53

Low fuel prices also affected the solar cooling market and, combined with the still high costs and complexity of cooling systems, reduced demand in 2015.54 Demand for solar thermal-driven air conditioning systems also was tempered by rapidly falling costs of solar PV systems in conjunction with split air conditioning systems (especially in buildings with relatively small cooling loads).55 An estimated 125 new solar cooling systems were added in 2014 (the last year for which global statistics are available), for a total of at least 1,175 by year’s end.56 The peak year for new installations was 2012, when around 200 systems were added.57

Even so, several larger solar cooling systems were installed in 2015, or were under construction as of early 2016. These include systems for the European companies Wipotec (Germany) and AVL (Austria), and for the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center in Abu Dhabi.58 There also was growing demand for solar cooling R&D and demonstration plants in China and the Middle East in 2015.59 The main driver of demand for solar cooling technology is its potential to reduce peak electricity demand, particularly in countries with significant cooling needs.60

Absorption and adsorption chillers have long dominated the solar cooling market and account for approximately 71% of capacity in operation. In 2015, they increased their market share, whereas desiccant cooling systems saw their market share decline.61

Solar Thermal Heating/Cooling Industry

Success and crisis were close together in the global solar heating and cooling industry in 2015. Within individual countries, some players failed while others succeeded by changing their business models; and, from country to country, market development and, therefore, industry health varied considerably. For example, collector manufacturers in sunbelt countries with strong demand – such as India, Mexico and Turkey – invested in new production capacity.62 By contrast, in much of Europe, China and some other countries, manufacturers faced declining sales and overcapacity.

In India, component suppliers built new manufacturing facilities in response to the country’s growing demand for concentrating collector systems for industry and large-scale cooking applications, which has been driven by investment subsidies.63 Mexico has evolved into a technology hub in Central America and, in 2015, had two factories under construction, one for polymer collectors and one for vacuum tubes.64 Turkey’s three vacuum tube manufacturers extended their production capacities in 2015 based on rising national demand and plans for increased export.65

The collector industries in Greece and Austria continued to have high export numbers throughout 2015. Greek manufacturers saw their exports increase by 7%, following a 16% rise in 2014, while the Austrian collector industry’s export share remained high, at around 80% in 2015.66

Elsewhere, developments in 2015 were not as bright. Dark clouds were over Chile, for example, where the domestic industry went through a severe crisis. Chile’s new tax credit scheme for the housing industry, originally expected to be approved in early 2015, did not come into effect until February 2016; as a result, several manufacturers and system suppliers were forced to temporarily suspend their solar thermal activities.67

The Chinese industry was troubled by a second year of significant market contraction, driving industry consolidation at all levels of the supply chain. In 2014, Linuo New Material (once the world’s largest manufacturer of glass tubes and vacuum tubes) made the decision to stop production; this was followed, in 2015, by the Sunrain Group’s acquisition of a 30% stake in the large flat plate collector manufacturer Pengpusang.68

Manufacturers in several Central European countries also faced overcapacities and an associated drop in collector prices. This development resulted in serious financial troubles for four high-profile companies: Watt (Poland), Astersa (Spain), Solvis (Germany) and Clipsol (France).69

However, even in this period of declining markets all over Europe, several European solar thermal manufacturers managed to increase their sales in 2015 by developing new business models. In Poland, some system suppliers – such as Hewalex and Ensol – profited from a growing number of public tenders for social housing projects and public hospitals.70 Spanish solar thermal manufacturers offered innovative financing schemes in order to decrease the industry’s dependence on subsidies.71

In addition to the well-established energy service companies (ESCOs) for solar thermal – including, S.O.L.I.D. (Austria) and Nextility (formerly Skyline Innovations; United States) – an increasing number of turnkey suppliers specialised in energy service contracts during 2015 to eliminate the barrier of high upfront costs for potential commercial clients.72 Such suppliers include Sumersol (Spain), Sunti (France), Enertracting (Germany) and Sunvapor (United States).73

In Austria, where market penetration is high and the number of new installations has declined, companies have found new business opportunities in the replacement market.74 This sales segment is gaining importance in countries that have a long history of solar thermal deployment, including also Germany, Greece, Israel and Turkey; in Israel, for example, more than 80% of the collector area installed between 2010 and 2014 was used to replace existing systems.75

Despite the market contraction in Germany throughout 2012–2015, German flat plate collector manufacturers continued to dominate the ranking of the world’s 20 largest manufacturers with regard to collector area produced in 2014 (latest data available). Five German companies were on the list: Bosch, Viessmann, Vaillant, Thermosolar and Wolf.76 China ranked second for number of manufacturers, with four (Five Star, Prosunpro, BTE Solar and Sunrain), and Turkey placed third with three producers (Ezinc, Solimpeks and Eraslanlar). For the first time, a Polish company, Hewalex, was among the top 20.77 The world’s three largest vacuum tube collector manufacturers – Sunrise East Group (includes the Sunrain and Micoe brands), Himin and Linuo-Paradigma – all are based in China.78

Since 2012, the European industry has worked hard to overcome two main barriers that prevent rapid growth in the solar thermal market: high system prices and a lack of transparency in solar yield. To further progress in addressing the first of these barriers, in 2015 the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA SHC) launched a project to investigate ways to reduce the purchase price of solar thermal systems by up to 40%, covering all aspects of the supply chain.79

Ongoing efforts to reduce prices for high-end consumer systems began to bear fruit in 2015. Several manufacturers have developed standardised and pre-fabricated solutions to reduce post-production costs. For example, Aschoff Solar (Germany) and Sunoptimo (Belgium) focus on solar circuit hydraulics that they pre-mount in containers for on-site installation by overseas clients.80 Other companies are manufacturing domestic hot water supply stations that are pre-mounted to the tank.81 Additional 2015 innovations that attracted regional attention are the switching absorption layer of Viessmann that avoids stagnation temperatures, and a well-designed polymer collector from Sunlumo (Austria).82

Another 2015 development that aids in cost savings in the industry was reached within the Global Solar Certification Network, developed by the IEA SHC.83 Researchers and industry representatives worldwide agreed on a mutual recognition approach that will maintain existing national and regional certification schemes, allowing manufacturers to use test and inspection reports under one certification scheme and to apply for certification in another.84

Labelling of solar thermal systems and collectors also was an important issue in Europe during 2015. After two years of preparation, the labelling of water, space and combi heaters under the Ecodesign Directive (2005/32/EC) became mandatory in all 28 EU Member States in September.85 Even so, there was great scepticism among Europe’s collector manufacturers about whether or not the energy labelling will increase demand for solar thermal systems, since heat pumps receive a high rating even without the use of solar power.86 Also launched in 2015 was a voluntary collector label by the newly established Solar Heating Initiative; the label, Solergy, rates collectors based on their annual energy output.87

An increasing number of small countries worldwide showed interest in joining regional quality infrastructure (QI) schemes (certification procedures, standards, product labels) in 2015, as QI is crucial in emerging markets to promote customer confidence.88 Examples of such schemes include the Solar Heating Arab Mark and Certification Initiative (SHAMCI) in the Arab region, and the initiative of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT).89

For medium-temperature process heat applications, parabolic trough remains the dominant collector technology, followed by linear Fresnel collectors.90 An increasing number of companies manufacture concentrating solar thermal collectors; as of late 2015, at least 39 manufacturers were producing 76 collector types in 13 countries worldwide, with the majority of these companies headquartered in Europe.91 Several additional companies that are new to the process heat sector – including Artic Solar and Skyven Technologies LLC (both United States) and Oorja Energy (India) – were developing concentrator collectors as of early 2016.92 Because the industry is still in the early stages of development, product scale and components differ significantly from one linear Fresnel or parabolic trough collector to the next.93

In dense urban environments, where rooftop space is restricted, solar PV / solar thermal hybrid (PV-T) systems have become an option for generating both power and heat.94 As of early 2015, a large variety of PV-T technologies was on the market with different target applications, installed costs and performance characteristics, and dominated by unglazed PV-T elements.95

The global solar cooling industry followed two divergent trends in 2015: a shift towards large-scale systems with a better performance; and the development of plug-and-play system kits with cooling capacities below 5 kW.96 Among the 45 sorption (heat-driven) chiller manufacturers worldwide, several European manufacturers – including Purix (Denmark), Solarinvent (Italy), Solabcool (Netherlands) and Meibis (Germany) – launched or developed a new generation of compact and easy-to-install solar cooling system kits up to 5 kW in size in 2015.97

Compact storage technologies are a key research field in the solar thermal industry.98 With both types of materials used for compact storage – phase-change materials (PCM) and thermochemical materials (TCM) – heat can be stored in a more dense form and with lower losses than is possible with conventional heat storage systems, such as hot water storage tanks.99 In early 2015, the IEA SHC defined measurement standards for PCM and preliminary estimates of their maximum costs.100

Wind Power

Wind Power Markets

Wind power experienced another record year in 2015, with more than 63 GW added – a 22% increase over the 2014 market – for a global total of around 433 GW.1 (See Figure 23.) More than half of the world’s wind power capacity has been added over the past five years.2 By the end of 2015, more than 80 countries had seen commercial wind activity, while 26 countries – representing every region – had more than 1 GW in operation.3 Wind was the leading source of new power generating capacity in Europe and the United States and placed second in China, and, by one estimate, wind supplied more new power generation worldwide than any other technology in 2015.4

China led for new installations, followed distantly by the United States, Germany, Brazil and India.5 Others in the top 10 were Canada, Poland, France, the United Kingdom and Turkey.6 (See Figure 24 and Reference Table R9.) Non-OECD countries again were responsible for the majority of installations; most of the new capacity was added in China, which alone accounted for nearly half of global additions, but new markets are opening across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.7 Guatemala, Jordan and Serbia all installed their first large-scale wind plants, and Samoa added its first project.8 At the end of 2015, the leading countries for total wind power capacity per inhabitant were Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Spain.9

Growth in some of the largest markets was driven by uncertainty about future policy changes; however, wind deployment also was driven by wind power's cost-competitiveness and by environmental and other factors.10 Wind has become the least-cost option for new power generating capacity in an increasing number of markets.11

Asia was the largest market for the eighth consecutive year, accounting for 53% of added capacity, followed by the European Union (20.1%) and North America (16%).12 All regions but Africa saw market growth relative to 2014.13

China added a staggering 30.8 GW of new capacity in 2015, for a total exceeding 145 GW – more wind capacity than the entire EU.14 Nearly 33 GW was integrated into the national grid and started receiving the FIT premium, with approximately 129 GW considered officially grid-connected by year’s end.15 Significant growth was expected in anticipation of reduced FIT levels (as of 1 January 2016), but the market surpassed expectations, particularly in light of China’s economic slowdown.16 The market also was driven by a national government push to improve energy security and, in particular, to reduce coal consumption due to growing concerns about climate change and air pollution.17

At year’s end, Inner Mongolia had 18.7% of China’s cumulative capacity, followed by Xinjiang (12.5%), Gansu (9.7%) and Hebei (7.9%) provinces.18 Difficulties continued in transmitting China’s wind power from turbines to population centres and, combined with slow growth in electricity demand (0.6%), led to significant grid curtailment.19 Curtailment rose in 2015 to an average 15%, up from 8% in 2014, with 33.9 TWh of potential generation kept from the grid.20 In addition, many unused turbines sat awaiting completion of long-distance transmission capacity. In the meantime, some companies were building wind farms at sites in the country’s east and south, with lower wind speeds but closer to demand and with better grid infrastructure.21 Wind energy generated 186.3 TWh in China during 2015, accounting for 3.3% of total electricity generation in the country (up from 2.8% in 2014).22

India installed about 2.6 GW, passing Spain to rank fourth globally for total wind power capacity, with nearly 25.1 GW by year’s end.23 India added less capacity than expected, despite wind’s cost-competitiveness in much of the country and strong national and state-level policy support, due largely to a shortage of available transmission capacity.24 Other Asian countries that added capacity included Japan and the Republic of Korea (both over 0.2 GW), helping to bring the region’s total installations above 175 GW.25 Chinese wind projects also were under construction in Pakistan, although no new capacity came online in 2015.26

The United States ranked second for additions (8.6 GW) and cumulative capacity at year’s end (74 GW) and held onto first place for wind power generation (190.9 TWh) during 2015.27 Wind power was the top source for new US power generating capacity, accounting for over 40% of the total.28 More capacity was added in the fourth quarter of 2015 than in all of 2014; the jump (+77%) in annual additions was driven by short-term extensions of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) in 2013 and 2014.29 In late 2015, a multi-year PTC extension and phase-out promised to provide policy stability for a longer period than ever before.30 Texas led for capacity added (1.3 GW), followed by Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa; Connecticut installed its first utility-scale project.31

US utilities continued to invest strongly in wind power, with some going beyond state mandates based on favourable economics.32 The cost-competitiveness of wind power also drove corporate and other purchasers, making 2015 the first year in which non-utility customers represented about half of the known (4 GW) US wind power purchase agreements.33 By year’s end, an additional 9.4 GW of capacity was under construction.34

Neighbouring Canada added 1.5 GW for a total of 11.2 GW, ranking sixth globally for additions and seventh for total capacity.35 Although growth slowed relative to 2014, wind energy has remained Canada’s largest source of new electricity generating capacity for five years.36 Ontario continued to lead, adding 0.9 GW (for a total of 4.4 GW), followed by Québec (added 0.4 GW) and Nova Scotia (added 0.2 GW), which installed one of Canada’s largest municipally owned wind projects.37 Wind power capacity at end-2015 was enough to supply 5% of Canada’s electricity demand, with much higher shares in some provinces.38

The European Union saw a new record for annual installations, due largely to Germany, which accounted for nearly half of the region’s market in 2015. The EU brought online some 12.8 GW of wind power capacity, for a total approaching 141.6 GW, including 11 GW operating offshore.39 Offshore capacity accounted for almost one-fourth of 2015 additions, twice the previous year’s share.40 Wind represented the largest percentage of new power capacity in the region (over 44%), followed by solar PV; new fossil fuel power capacity (about 23% of installations) was far exceeded by retirements.41 Between 2000 and 2015, wind increased from 2.4% to 15.6% of total EU power capacity.42 However, these advances and the scale of the EU market mask volatility in many countries due to weakened policy frameworks.43

Germany installed over 6 GW (net 5.7 GW, considering decommissioned capacity), for a total of almost 45 GW.44 These installations reflected the grid connection of a large amount of offshore capacity that was constructed in 2014, and a rush to complete new projects before Germany switches to a tendering scheme in 2017.45 Germany’s gross generation from wind power was 88 TWh – up 53% relative to 2014 due to increased capacity and good wind conditions.46

After Germany, the leading EU installers were Poland (1.3 GW), which overtook the United Kingdom for additions (1 GW), and France (1.1 GW).47 Finland, Lithuania and Poland experienced the highest annual growth rates; Poland’s record additions (nearly three times the 2014 level) were driven by the anticipation of a new policy scheme in 2016.48 Spain continued to rank second in the EU for total operating capacity (23 GW) but did not add wind capacity in 2015.49

After Asia, Europe and North America, Latin America was the next largest installer by region, with nine countries adding nearly 4.4 GW to reach about 15.3 GW.50 Brazil (2.8 GW) was responsible for about 57% of the region’s market, despite its political and economic woes, and ended the year with 8.7 GW.51 About 357 MW of Brazil’s new capacity was commissioned but not yet grid-connected by year’s end.52 Wind power contributed to the avoidance of power rationing and has brought economic revival to Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil’s leading state for wind capacity.53 Brazil was followed by Mexico (adding 0.7 GW to pass 3 GW), Uruguay (adding 0.3 GW) and Panama (adding 0.2 GW).54

Turkey again ranked in the top 10 for new capacity in 2015, adding nearly 1 GW to end the year just above 4.7 GW.55 In the Middle East, Jordan opened its first large commercial wind farm.56 Others in the region advanced projects – including Iran, with as much as 155 MW at year’s end and plans for several additional projects, and Kuwait, which was planning its first wind farm.57

The total African market was smaller than in 2014, due in part to financial difficulties in South Africa.58 Even so, South Africa added nearly 0.5 GW (for a total just over 1 GW) to surpass Morocco and lead the continent past the 3 GW mark.59 Egypt added 200 MW, and Ethiopia installed a large plant (153 MW), nearly doubling the national total.60 Projects in Kenya, including the 300 MW Lake Turkana wind farm, were stalled due to land disputes.61 However, by year’s end there was significant activity under way in Egypt and Morocco, and numerous small projects were being launched across Africa.62

Australia was responsible for nearly all new capacity in the Pacific.63 The country added almost 0.4 GW for a total approaching 4.2 GW, and wind power accounted for about 5% of national electricity consumption in 2015.64

Offshore, an estimated 3.4 GW of capacity was connected to grids in 2015, about double the additions in 2014, for a world total exceeding 12 GW.65 The vast majority of added capacity (89%) and total operating capacity (91%) was in Europe, where a record 3 GW was installed for a total 11 GW of grid-connected capacity off the coasts of 11 countries.66 Germany accounted for about two-thirds of global offshore additions (adding 2.2 GW), counting capacity installed but not grid-connected in 2014.67 It was followed by the United Kingdom (571 MW), China (361 MW), the Netherlands (180 MW) and Japan (3 MW), the only other countries to add capacity offshore in 2015.68 Although policy changes have delayed some development, the United Kingdom continued to lead in total offshore capacity with 5.1 GW at year’s end; it was followed by Germany (3.3 GW), Denmark (1.3 GW) and China (1 GW).69

Deployment offshore has been relatively slow in Asia and North America.70 China is about three years behind its 2015 target to deploy 5 GW, delayed by high costs, challenging environmental conditions, and regulatory and technical issues.71 India approved an offshore wind power policy, opening the door for future development.72 In the United States, construction began on the first project (30 MW).73

Offshore and on land, independent power producers (IPPs) and energy utilities remained the most important clients in terms of capacity under construction and in operation, but interest continues to grow in other sectors.74 The number of private purchasers of wind-generated electricity and turbines rose during 2015, as did the scale of their purchases.75 Corporations increasingly are purchasing wind power from utilities, signing PPAs, or buying their own turbines to power operations – particularly in the United States, but increasingly in other regions – to obtain access to reliable low-cost power.76 Investment funds, insurance companies, banks and institutional players are investing in wind energy because of its stable return.77


Figure 23. Wind Power Global Capacity and Annual Additions, 2005–2015
Figure 24. Wind Power Capacity and Additions, Top 10 Countries, 2015
Figure 25. Market Shares of Top 10 Wind Turbine Manufacturers, 2015

Community and citizen ownership also continued to expand in several countries and regions during 2015, including in Australia, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, North America and South Africa.78 (See Feature.) However, there is concern that policy changes – such as Germany’s shift towards tenders and Nova Scotia’s cancelation of the community tariff under its FIT – could slow future development.79

Small-scalei turbines are used for a variety of applications, including defence, rural electrification, water pumping, battery charging and telecommunications, and they are deployed increasingly to displace diesel in remote locations.80 Following a decline in 2013, the global market grew by 8.3% in 2014 (latest data available), and total capacity was up an estimated 10.9%.81 By end-2014, more than 830,330ii small-scale turbines, or over 830 MW, were operating worldwide (up from 749 MW at end-2013).82 The average size of small-scale turbines continues to creep up, with significant differences among countries, due largely to increasing interest in larger grid-connected systems (in some cases driven by policy structure).83

While most countries have some small-scale turbines in use, the majority of units and capacity operating at the end of 2014 was in China (343.6 MW), the United States (226 MW) and the United Kingdom (132.8 MW).84 Other leaders included Italy (32.7 MW), Germany (24 MW), Ukraine (14.6 MW) and Canada (13.1 MW)iii.85
The US market continued to struggle, reflecting continuing competition with solar PV and the low cost of other electricity sources, although new leasing models are building momentum.86 Markets boomed in both Italy and the United Kingdom during 2014, but UK deployment rates remained significantly below the 2012 level.87

Repowering has become a billion-dollar market, particularly in Europe.88 While most repowering involves the replacement of old turbines with fewer, larger, taller, and more-efficient and reliable machines, some operators are switching even relatively new machines for upgraded turbines that include software improvements.89 During 2015, at least 300 turbines (totalling an estimated 300 MW) were dismantled in Europe, two turbines (0.7 MW) in Japan and one unit (2 MW) in Australia.90 The largest market for repowering was Germany.91 There also is a thriving international market for used turbines in Africa, Asia and elsewhere.92

Wind power is playing a major role in power supply in an increasing number of countries. In the EU, capacity in operation at end-2015 was enough to cover an estimated 11.4% of electricity consumption in a normal wind year.93 Several EU countries – including Denmark (42%), Ireland (over 23%), Portugal (23.2%) and Spain (over 18%) – met higher shares of their demand with wind energy.94 Four German states had enough wind capacity at year’s end to meet over 60% of their electricity needs.95 In the United States, wind power represented 4.7% of total electricity generation and accounted for more than 10% of generation in 12 states, including Iowa (31.3%).96 Brazil reached almost 3%, and Uruguay generated about 15.5% of its electricity with the wind.97 Globally, wind power capacity in place by the end of 2015 was enough to meet an estimated almost 3.7% of total electricity consumption.98

i Small-scale wind systems generally are considered to include turbines that produce enough power for a single home, farm or small business (keeping in mind that consumption levels vary considerably across countries). The International Electrotechnical Commission sets a limit at approximately 50 kW, and the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) and the American Wind Energy Association define “small-scale” as up to 100 kW, which is the range also used in the GSR; however, size varies according to the needs and/or laws of a country or state/province, and there is no globally recognised definition or size limit. For more information, see, for example, WWEA, Small Wind World Report 2016 (Bonn: March 2016), Summary,

ii Total numbers of units does not include some major markets, including India, for which data were not available. Taking this into account it is estimated that more than 1 million units are operating worldwide, from WWEA, Small Wind World Report 2016.

iii Data are for end-2014 with the exception of Canada (year 2011).

Wind Power Industry

The wind power industry had another outstanding year thanks to record installations. Most of the top turbine manufacturers broke their own annual installation numbers.99 By early 2016, manufacturers had full order books, with some receiving record orders for on- and offshore turbines, presaging momentum for future years.100 But rising competition in the global marketplace and fragmentation in the market required that manufacturers and developers be flexible to adapt in different environments.101 Spain’s manufacturers, for instance, survived by exporting 100% of their production.102 Ongoing technology improvements that are increasing capacity factors (such as custom turbine configurations), as well as economies of scale and financing innovations, continued to drive down prices, making onshore wind power directly competitive with fossil fuels in an increasing number of locations.103

Costs vary widely according to wind resource, regulatory and fiscal framework, the cost of capital and other local influences.104 In 2015, the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) from onshore wind continued to fall, while the LCOE for new fossil generation increased.105 Wind was the most cost-effective option for new grid-based power during 2015 in many markets – including Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, and parts of Australia, China and the United States.106 In late 2015, Morocco secured new record-low tender bids – averaging
USD 25–30 per MWh – for wind capacity that is projected to be in operation between 2017 and 2020.107 Although offshore wind remains significantly more expensive, the LCOE for offshore wind generation also declined further in 2015.108

As the amount of wind output and its share of total generation have increased, so have grid-related challenges in several countries. Challenges for wind power – both onshore and offshore – include lack of transmission infrastructure, delays in grid connection, the need to reroute electricity through neighbouring countries, lack of public acceptance, and curtailment where regulations and current management systems make it difficult to integrate large amounts of wind energy and other variable renewables.109

Curtailment in China cost the country’s industry an estimated USD 2.77 billion (RMB 18 billion) in 2015.110 To reduce curtailment, China’s government has urged north-western regions to attract more energy-intensive industries and to use wind power for heating (with the added benefit that it can displace coal), among other options; new transmission capacity is under construction, and new pumped storage facilities are being planned.111 In the United States, curtailment is down dramatically in Texas following the completion of new transmission lines.112 Across the globe in 2015, projects were in planning stages or under way in every region to strengthen and expand transmission capacity to efficiently move wind-generated electricity to where it is needed.113

Most wind turbine manufacturing takes place in China, the EU and the United States, and the majority is concentrated among relatively few players.114 In 2015, by some estimates, Goldwind (China) surpassed Vestas (Denmark) to become the world’s largest supplier of wind turbines, marking the first time that a Chinese company has held this spot.115 Almost all of Goldwind’s recent growth (and that of other Chinese companies) has occurred at home, although Chinese companies are increasingly active in new markets.116 Long-term leader Vestas ranked second, followed by US-based GE, which climbed one position due in part to a strong US market and to its acquisition of Alstom (France).117 Siemens (Germany) dropped two positions to fourth (but ranked first in the offshore market), and Gamesa (Spain) was up three positions to rank fifth, followed by Enercon (Germany).118 Others in the top 10 were all Chinese companies: United Power, Ming Yang, Envision and CSIC Haizhuang.119 (See Figure 25.) Suzlon (India) dropped out of the top 10 due to the sale of subsidiary Senvion (Germany) in 2015.120

The world’s top 10 turbine manufacturers captured nearly 69% of the 2015 market.121 However, components are supplied from many countries: blade manufacturing, for example, has shifted from Europe to North America, South and East Asia and, most recently, Latin America, to be closer to new markets.122 In Africa, major manufacturers are considering new facilities in Egypt, which has set its sights on becoming a regional manufacturing hub.123

Increasing demand for turbines and related technologies led to the construction of new factories in 2015 and plans for further development. In Europe, Vestas announced plans to begin producing 80-metre (260-foot) blades for offshore use at its new factory on the Isle of Wight (UK), and Siemens (Germany) said it would construct a new plant for offshore components – its largest German facility to be built in several years.124 Elsewhere, major manufacturers have scrambled to meet local content requirements, adding capacity to overcome shortages in components.125 For example, several companies announced plans for manufacturing or service plants in Brazil to focus on the local market, and, across the Atlantic, manufacturers are building facilities to provide turbines to meet local content requirements in Egypt and Morocco.126

The year saw a surge in consolidation among turbine manufacturers, developers, data and service companies.127 For example, GE acquired Alstom’s power generation business, gaining a foothold in Europe – including the offshore market – and becoming a leader in the Brazilian market.128 In early 2016, Nordex (Germany) acquired Acciona Windpower (Spain), which focuses on large-scale wind farms and has production plants in Brazil, Spain and the United States, with one under construction in India.129 Vestas acquired servicing firm UpWind Solutions (United States) to expand its North American service operations, as well as German service provider Availon; and EDF Renewable Energy purchased OwnEnergy (United States) to move into the community wind market.130 Investment firm Centerbridge Partners (United States) completed its acquisition of manufacturer Senvion from Suzlon, and asset manager Swiss Energy bought Spanish turbine manufacturer MTOI.131 In late 2015, Gamesa acquired a 50% stake in NEM Solutions (Spain/United States), which leverages data mining to optimise equipment performance.132 Challenges are mounting for companies that only manufacture turbines; remaining pure wind turbine manufacturers (that are not part of large conglomerates) include Enercon, Nordex and Vestas.133

Projects also changed hands – particularly in the United States and Europe – purchased by companies in the same region or based in Asia and the Middle East.134 In the United States, many utilities moved to acquire more renewable energy projects to satisfy demand from key corporate customers; an estimated
3.7 GW of US wind project capacity was acquired in 2015.135 Other players moved into wind projects to expand their foothold into new regions or new areas of business. China Three Gorges and state-owned SDIC (China) both acquired UK offshore projects within a few months of each other.136 Canadian pipeline and energy company Enbridge bought a long-delayed wind project in the US state of West Virginia.137 In addition, the wind industry continued moving into solar PV (and vice versa) – for example, Suzlon (India) began developing a solar project in India – and several solar PV-wind hybrid projects were under development as of early 2016.138

Wind energy technology continued to evolve, driven by several factors, including: mounting global competition; efforts to make turbine manufacturing easier and cheaper; the need to optimise power generation at lower wind speeds; and increasingly demanding grid codes to deal with rising penetration of variable renewable sources.139 To meet increasing demand from grid operators for stable feed-in, Senvion launched a new turbine for the German market.140 Also in 2015, GE launched new software to track and collect data from individual turbines for optimising performance and increasing output.141

To reach stronger winds and boost output, there is a general trend towards larger machines – including longer blades, larger rotor size and higher hub heights.142 Such changes have driven capacity factors significantly higher within given wind resource regimes, creating new opportunities for wind power in established markets as well as new ones.143 During 2015, new low-speed turbines were launched by several manufacturers, including Gamesa, GE, Nordex, Siemens and Vestas.144

Capacity ratings continued to rise in 2015, with the average size turbine delivered to market up slightly to 2 MW.145 Average turbine sizes were highest in Europe (2.7 MW) – particularly in Denmark and Germany – followed by Africa (2.4 MW), the Americas (nearly 2.1 MW) and Asia-Pacific (1.8 MW).146 Turbines for use offshore also are growing, as are project sizes, driven by the need to reduce costs through scale and standardisation.147 In Europe, the average capacity of new turbines installed offshore was 4.2 MW, up 13% relative to 2014, due to significant deployment of turbines in the 4–6 MW range.148 By late 2015, there were several orders already on the books for 7 MW and 8 MW machines, and research projects were looking at 10–20 MW turbines for offshore.149

The offshore wind industry differs technologically and logistically from onshore wind.150 In addition to the deployment of ever-larger turbines and projects, the offshore industry continues to move farther out, into deeper waters.151 By year’s end, the distance from shore and water depth of grid-connected projects in Europe averaged 43.3 kilometres and 27.1 metres, respectively (up from 32.9 kilometres and 22.4 metres, respectively, in 2014), due largely to increased deployment in Germany.152

The majority of substructures off Europe in 2015 continued to be monopiles (97%), followed by jackets (3%).153 However, to access winds in even deeper waters – in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and just off Japan’s shore – the industry continues to invest in the development of floating turbines (anchored by mooring systems), which reduce foundation costs and other offshore logistical challenges.154 In early 2015, a few test turbines were floating offshore worldwide; before the year was out, the world’s largest (7 MW) floating turbine was operating off Japan’s coast, France had launched the world’s first tender for floating turbines, and oil and gas giant Statoil (Norway) had contracted Siemens to build a 30 MW floating wind farm off Scotland.155

The most significant challenge facing the offshore industry is the lack of policy stability in key markets, which is important for achieving the scale and low-cost financing that are necessary to reduce costs to competitive levels.156 In the EU, the lack of co-ordination of regulations across Member States is hampering offshore development.157

The price differential between fossil fuel and offshore wind generation remains significant, and the industry is working to close this gap.158 In early 2015, manufacturers MHI-Vestas and Siemens, and developer DONG Energy signed a joint declaration for a united industry goal to drive the cost of offshore wind energy below USD 112/MWh (EUR 100/MWh) by 2020.159 During the year, Siemens unveiled a new direct current (DC) solution for connecting offshore wind turbines to the grid at lower cost; the solution also increases transmission capacity and reduces transmission losses.160 In addition, the company adapted an existing cargo shipping method for the transport of offshore turbine components that reduces costs by eliminating the need for a crane; the first such ship might be launched by late 2016.161 Another significant development was the diversification of financial structures used during construction and operation: project bonds emerged in 2015 as a competitive financing tool in response to reduced risk perception for offshore projects.162

In the small-scale wind industry, five countries (Canada, China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States) accounted for more than 50% of turbine manufacturers as of 2014; aside from China, developing countries still play a minor role.163 UK and US manufacturers continued to rely on export markets as a source of revenue, but exports (in terms of units sold) were down significantly for both countries in 2014 relative to 2013.164 To increase the competitiveness of small-scale wind, several leading US small-scale and distributed wind companies have begun offering long-term leases to build on the success of third-party financing for solar PV.165 In early 2016, Statoil and United Wind (United States) announced a joint venture, securing Statoil’s entry into the US small-scale and distributed wind market.166

See Table 2 on pages 82–85 for a summary of the main renewable energy technologies and their costs and capacity factors; see also Sidebar 3 for a discussion of technology cost trends.167


Biomass Energy

  1. International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy, Bioenergy: A Sustainable and Reliable Energy Source, Executive Summary, prepared by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), E4tech, Chalmers University of Technology and the Copernicus Institute of the University of Utrecht (Utrecht: 2009),
  2. Ibid.
  3. For a description of the various bioenergy options and their maturity, see, for example, IEA, Biofuels for Transport Roadmap (Paris: 2011),, and IEA, Bioenergy for Heat and Power Roadmap (Paris: 2012),
  4. For enhanced competition with other renewable sources of electricity, see IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015 (Paris: 2015), The costs of other renewable electricity technologies, specifically wind and solar PV, have been falling rapidly and consistently. The capital costs of bio-electricity have at best remained stable, and there is less potential for scale effects and innovation to bring costs down. In some cases the biomass fuels required are also becoming more costly. Bio-electricity also faces increased economic competition from low-priced fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas in the United States).
  5. After a long period of debate and policy uncertainty, the EU finally reached a compromise decision on issues relating to indirect land-use change with its 2015 announcement to cap “food-based” biofuels within the 2020 target at 7% of transport fuel needs; see European Commission Directorate General for Energy, “Land use change,” Research, analysis and debate on this topic continues; see, for example, Hugo Valin et al., The Land Use Change Impact of Biofuels Consumed in the EU: Quantification of Area and Greenhouse Gas Impacts (Utrecht, The Netherlands: Ecofys, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, and E4tech, August 2015), There also is continuing concern amongst some non-governmental organisations about the carbon balances and timing of CO2 savings from using forest-based biomass, which also is a subject of research and debate. See, for example, IEA Bioenergy, Conclusions from Workshop on Bioenergy and Land Use (Paris: 1 October 2015),, and Alessandro Agostini, Jacopo Giuntoli, and Aikaterini Boulamanti, Carbon Accounting of Forest Bioenergy: Conclusions and Recommendations from a Critical Literature Review (Brussels: European Commission Joint Research Centre, 2014),
  6. IEA, Renewables Information 2015 (Paris: 2015),
  7. Projections for 2014 and 2015 produced from a linear extrapolation based on data (2005–13) from IEA, World Energy Outlook 2015 (Paris: 2015).
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Figure 6 based on the following sources: total 2014 final energy consumption (estimated at 8,561 Mtoe) based on 8,480 Mtoe for 2013 from IEA, World Energy Statistics and Balances, 2015 Edition (Paris: 2015), and escalated by the 0.95% increase in global primary energy demand from 2013 to 2014, derived from BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 (London: 2015), Traditional biomass use in 2014 of 760 Mtoe assumes an increase of 1 Mtoe from 2013 based on 2013 value of 759 Mtoe from IEA, op. cit. note 2, pp. 348–49; 2012 value of 758 Mtoe from IEA, World Energy Outlook 2014 (Paris: 2014), p. 242; 2013 value “estimated at around 32 EJ” from IEA, op. cit. note 4, p. 244. Modern bio-heat energy values for 2013 (industrial, residential, and other uses, including heat from heat plants) of 321.7 Mtoe (13.468 EJ) based on combined value of 14.8 EJ estimated for all renewable heat, of which around 91% is biomass, from idem, p. 243. Bio-power generation of 36.9 Mtoe (429.3 TWh), based on data from idem, p. 139, except for the following country sources: United States from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly, Table 1.1.A,, viewed 20 March 2016, and corrected for difference between net and gross electricity generation; Germany preliminary statistics from Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi), Erneuerbare Energien in Deutschland, Daten zur Entwicklung im Jahr 2015 (Berlin: February 2016),,property=pdf,bereich=bmwi2012,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdf; United Kingdom from UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), “Energy Trends Section 6 – Renewables” (London: March 2016), Table 6.1,; India from Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), “Physical progress (achievements) – up to the month of December 2015,”, viewed 1 February 2016, and from MNRE, “Physical progress (achievements) – up to the month of December 2014,”, viewed 21 January 2015; total electricity generation adjusted to electricity in final energy consumption to account for in-plant losses and transmission losses, etc., using the ratio of total electricity generation to total electricity in final energy consumption (83%); total final energy consumption based on 2013 data from IEA, op. cit. note 7.
  11. Figure 7 data for 2015 calculated using a linear extrapolation based on IEA, “Statistics: World: Renewables and Waste 2008–2013,” Municipal solid waste (MSW) values were assumed to be only 50% renewable, consistent with IEA assumptions. Calculations exclude industrial waste.
  12. Traditional use of biomass refers to the use of fuelwood, animal dung and agricultural residues in simple stoves with very low combustion efficiency. There are no precise universally accepted definitions for what comprises traditional use of biomass. The definition adopted by the IEA (op. cit. note 7) is “the use of solid biomass in the residential sector of non-OECD member countries, excluding countries in non-OECD Europe and Eurasia”. This, however, does not take into account the efficient use of biomass in developing countries nor the inefficient use within residential heating in some OECD countries. A discussion on this and other methodological issues associated with biomass can be found in Sustainable Energy for All, Progress Toward Sustainable Energy: Global Tracking Framework Summary Report (Washington, DC: June 2015),
  13. Projections for 2014 and 2015 from a linear extrapolation based on data (2005–13) from IEA, op. cit. note 7. Estimates of traditional biomass use vary widely, given the difficulties of measuring or even estimating a resource that often is traded informally. For example, one source (Helena Chum et al., “Bioenergy,” in Ottmar Edenhofer et al., eds., IPPC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2011), suggests that the national databases on which the IEA statistics rely systematically underestimate fuelwood consumption, and applied a supplement of 20–40% on these estimates based on country-specific analyses in over 20 countries.
  14. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), “Forest Products Statistics,”, viewed 18 March 2016.
  15. Based on a linear extrapolation to 2015 of charcoal production data (2010–14) in FAO, FAOSAT database,, viewed 18 March 2016.
  16. Total modern biomass use in 2015 based on IEA, estimate of total modern renewable heat in 2013 of 14.8 EJ, 91% of which was bioenergy (13.5 EJ) and assuming continuing growth at 3.5%/year, from IEA, op. cit. note 4, p. 242. Considerable uncertainties surround bioenergy use in industry, as some countries that are known to have significant uses of residues, for example in the paper industry, do not report this in statistical returns. Industrial heat estimate is based on an extrapolation assuming a continuing rate of growth at historical levels (2000–11) of 1.3%/year, up from 8 EJ/year in 2011, from Anselm Eisentraut and Adam Brown, Heating Without Global Warming: Market Developments and Policy Considerations for Renewable Heat (Paris: IEA, 2014), p. 30, The estimate of modern bioenergy use in buildings is calculated as the difference between the industrial and the total modern bioenergy demand.
  17. Estimate based on the following: 297 GWth of bioenergy heat plant capacity installed as of 2008, from Chum et al., op. cit. note 13. Projections based on this number have been made for past GSRs. The combination of the Chum et al. data, plus past GSR projections, was used to estimate 2014 values of 305 GWth using a linear regression. The 2015 value presented here assumes a 3.5% growth rate from that 305 GWth value, based on the same percent increase for modern heat generation as presented in IEA, op. cit. note 4, p. 242. Note that accurate heat data, including from bioenergy, are very difficult to obtain as most capacity installations and output are not metered. Even if plant capacities are known, there often is no knowledge of whether a 1 MWth plant, for example, is used for 80 hours or 8,000 hours per year.
  18. Eisentraut and Brown, op. cit. note 16.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Based on data in IEA, op. cit. note 4 and in EurObserv’ER, Solid Biomass Barometer (Paris: 2015),
  23. Each EU Member State is obligated under the Renewable Energy Directive to develop renewable energy to meet a mandatory national target for 2020 for the share of renewables in final energy consumption. To achieve this, each country has prepared a National Renewable Energy Action Plan that includes measures to promote renewable heat. This is leading to growing efforts to encourage renewable heating, which comes primarily from biomass.
  24. Pellets Forum, “Pellets industry discusses current legal framework and market prospects,” press release (Munich: 20 July 2015),
  25. Notably in the large cities of Kaunas, Jonava and Moletai. See Lithuanian Biomass Energy Association (LITBIOMA) and European Biomass Association (AEBIOM), “Biomass in Lithuanian Heat Sector – Benefits and the Future,” presentation, 29 September 2015,
  26. US EIA, “Increase in wood as main source of household heating most notable in the Northeast,” Today in Energy, 17 March 2014.
  27. Bruce Dorminey, “Low heating oil prices depress domestic wood pellet market,” Renewable Energy World, 29 February 2016,
  28. Eisentraut and Brown, op. cit. note 16, p. 31.
  29. European Commission Intelligent Energy Europe Projects Database, “Development of sustainable heat markets for biogas plants in Europe (BIOGASHEAT),”, viewed 13 May 2016.
  30. Xia Zuzhang, China’s Domestic Biogas Sector Must Adjust to Changing Conditions (London: International Institute for Environment and Development, January 2014),; MNRE, “Physical progress (achievements),”, viewed 1 February 2016.
  31. Bio-electricity capacity data based on the 2015 forecast data in IEA, op. cit. note 4, except for the following: US capacity data based on US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), “Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2015,”; Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL), “Banco de informacoes de geração,”, viewed 9 May 2016; China National Renewable Energy Centre, provided by Amanda Zhang, Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA), personal communication with REN21, 26 April 2016; Germany preliminary statistics from BMWi, op. cit. note 10; United Kingdom from UK DECC, op. cit. note 10; India from MNRE, op. cit. note 10; Japan from Hironao Matsubara, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), Tokyo, Japan, personal communication with REN21, 10 April 2016. Bio-electricity generation statistics based on 2015 forecast data from IEA, op. cit. note 4, except for the following: US data from US EIA, op. cit. note 10, corrected for difference between net and gross electricity generation; Germany preliminary statistics from BMWi, op. cit. note 10; United Kingdom from UK DECC, op. cit. note 10; India from MNRE, op. cit. note 10.
  32. Figure 8 based on IEA data for 2005–13, from IEA, op. cit. note 6, and on REN21 analysis of generation for 2013 and 2014 (see Endnote 31).
  33. Capacity data based on FERC, op. cit. note 31; US generation based on data in US EIA, op. cit. note 10.
  34. For example, plants that have been using almond tree wastes to produce electricity in California are threatened with closure, prompting problems with disposing of the residues from almond orchards, from Geoffrey Mohan, ”Solar is in, biomass energy is out – and farmers are struggling to dispose of woody waste,” Los Angeles Times, 31 December 2015,
  35. Europe is the leading market for production of electricity from biogas and bio-methane. As of early 2015, the region had more than 17,000 biogas plants and nearly 400 bio-methane plants in operation, with power generating capacity exceeding 8 GW,
    from European Biogas Association (EBA), Biogas Report 2015
    (Brussels: December 2015),
  36. Preliminary statistics from BMWi, op. cit. note 10. Growth in biomass energy capacity in Germany, based largely on biogas, has slowed due to a cap on newly installed bioenergy plants from 2015 onwards, set in the Renewable Sources Act (EEG) 2014. Feed-in tariffs also have been lowered. The only new installations are small-scale biogas installations under 75 kW based on more than 80% manure. The increase in output is due to the more flexible generation from biogas plants in order to produce electricity when the wind and sun are not providing generation, per Julie Münch, Fachverband Biogas e.V., personal communication with REN21, 8 April 2016.
  37. Münch, op. cit. note 36.
  38. Generation increased to 29.0 TWh, and capacity rose by 625 MW, reaching nearly 5.2 GW. Based on UK DECC, op. cit. note 10.
  39. Drax, “Drax set to become largest single renewable generator in the UK,” press release (Selby, North Yorkshire, UK: 9 December 2013),
  40. Growth in electricity generation from biogas was particularly strong in the UK, with 65 MW of new capacity commissioned under the feed-in tariff scheme, bringing total installed capacity to 282 MW with a further 1,274 MW of capacity from landfill gas and sewage gas already in place. UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, Feed-in Tariff (FIT): Quarterly Report, 1 March 2016,
  41. China National Renewable Energy Centre, op. cit. note 31.
  42. Estimated based on capacity figure of 10.3 GW.
  43. Abbie Clare et al., “Should China subsidize cofiring to meet its 2020 bioenergy target? A spatio-techno-economic analysis,” Global Change Biology – Bioenergy, vol. 8, no. 3 (May 2015), pp. 550–60,
  44. Matsubara, op. cit. note 31. Bio-electricity expansion is fuelled mainly by forestry products including imported chips and pellets and palm kernel shells. The domestic supply chain of chip from forestry is so far limited and high-cost.
  45. MNRE, op. cit. note 10.
  46. New projects with a capacity of 389 MW were awarded PPAs in April 2015 and are expected to be constructed and brought into operation between 2018 and 2019. See IEA and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Policies & Measures Database, “Brazil Renewable Energy Auctions,” Contracts for a further 1,993 MW were awarded in December 2015 to 22 existing biomass plants, 20 of which use sugarcane bagasse as fuel, and two which use wood residues, from Lucas Morais, “Brazil awards 1.9 GW of biomass contracts in Dec 11 auction,” SeeNews Renewables, 11 December 2015,
  47. Fuel ethanol data from F.O. Licht, “Fuel Ethanol: World Production by Country,” 2016; biodiesel data for Argentina, China, Germany, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain and Thailand from F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country,” 2016, with permission from F.O. Licht / Licht Interactive Data; biodiesel data for Belgium, Canada, Colombia, India, the Netherlands and Singapore from IEA, op. cit. note 4; biodiesel data for United States from US EIA, Monthly Energy Review (Washington, DC: April 2016), Table 10.4,; biodiesel data for Brazil from Brazil Ministry of Mines and Energy, based on Ministry of Agriculture statistics, Preliminary 2014 data that appeared in GSR 2015 have been updated where possible. Netherlands HVO production assumes that the Neste Oil facility in Rotterdam produced the same amount of HVO as in prior years, with data from F.O. Licht, 2015.
  48. Breakdown based on country analysis; see Endnote 47. Figure 9 based on idem.
  49. All fuel ethanol data from F.O. Licht, “Fuel Ethanol: World Production by Country,” op. cit. note 47.
  50. US EIA, “Petroleum and other liquids. Weekly US oxygenate plant production of fuel ethanol,”, viewed 10 May 2016.
  51. As the amount of gasoline in the market grows, so does the opportunity to add additional ethanol to maintain a 10% share of the total gasoline volume. The “blend wall” is the maximum amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline which is compatible with use of ethanol/gasoline blends in the current vehicle fleet. This depends on the levels which are covered by national standards or, for example, by the warranties for vehicles and customer acceptance. The technical limit is a matter of some debate amongst experts and industry spokesmen. It is possible to go beyond this notional limit, for example by adopting measures to encourage vehicles which can tolerate a higher level of ethanol (such as “flex-fuel” vehicles common in Brazil, Sweden and some other countries).
  52. Brazil Ministry of Mines and Energy, based on Ministry of Agriculture statistics, “Acompanhamento da produção sucroalcooleira,”
  53. Statistics Portal, “Total bioethanol production in Canada from 2007 to 2016 (in million liters),”, viewed 15 March 2016.
  54. Andrew Anderson-Sprecher and Jiang Junyang, People’s Republic of China Biofuels Annual: China’s 2014 Fuel Ethanol Production Is Forecast to Increase Six Percent (Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN), 4 November 2014),
  55. Market expansion has been achieved through a range of subsidies, for example for ethanol fuel distribution infrastructure and tax incentives for flex-fuel vehicles, from Sakchai Preechajarn and Ponnarong Prasertsri, Thailand Biofuels Annual 2015 (Washington, DC: USDA FAS, GAIN, 13 July 2015),
  56. F.O. Licht, “Fuel Ethanol: World Production by Country,” op. cit. note 47.
  57. Ibid.
  58. Ibid.; IEA, op. cit. note 4.
  59. Biodiesel data for Argentina, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain and Thailand from F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country,” op. cit. note 47; biodiesel data for Belgium, Canada, Colombia, India, the Netherlands and Singapore from IEA, op. cit. note 4; biodiesel data for United States from US EIA, op. cit. note 47; biodiesel data for Brazil from Brazil Ministry of Mines and Energy, op. cit. note 47. Preliminary 2014 data that appeared in GSR 2015 have been updated where possible.
  60. US EIA, op. cit. note 47.
  61. Brazil Ministry of Mines and Energy, op. cit. note 47.
  62. IEA, op. cit. note 4.
  63. F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country,” op. cit. note 47.
  64. “Argentina’s biodiesel production expected to fall 30% in 2015,” Biofuels International, 4 November 2015,
  65. Based on data in Endnote 59.
  66. F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country,” op. cit. note 47.
  67. Ibid.
  68. Ibid.
  69. Ibid.
  70. Ibid.
  71. EBA, op. cit. note 35.
  72. Conversion factor based on EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 22, calorific value of methane 39.8 GJ/tonne.
  73. Globally, in 2014 (the latest year for which data are available), there were over 10 industrial improved cook stove manufacturers with annual sales of over 100,000 units and over 40 with annual sales above 20,000 units – a major leap in scale and sophistication for the sector in just a few years, from World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), The State of the Global Clean and Improved Cooking Sector (Washington, DC: 2015),
  74. For example, a straw-fired power plant being constructed in 2015 at Snetterton in the east of England will use straw provided by farmers within a 30–40 mile (48–64 kilometre) radius, from Chris Hill, “Construction work starts on £160m straw-fired power plant at Snetterton,” Eastern Daily Press, 20 January 2015,
  75. IEA, Bioenergy for Heat and Power Roadmap, op. cit. note 3.
  76. AEBIOM, 2015 Statistical Report (Brussels: 2015),
  77. Argus Media, “Biomass leaders’ predictions for the industry 2015,”
  78. Based on US Census Bureau Trade Data, from Patrick Lamers, Idaho National Laboratory, personal communication with REN 21, 3 March 2016.
  79. Drax, “Drax’s Baton Rouge port facility opens for business,” press release (Baton Rouge, LA: 4 April 2015), news/news-articles/2015/04/draxs-baton-rouge-port-facility-opens-for-business/#sthash.80lj452p.dpuf.
  80. Statistics Canada, Canadian International Merchandise Trade Database, “Table 980-0044: Domestic exports – Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal,” Pellet sales from Canada to the UK rose by over 20% to 1.2 million tonnes, and to Japan rose by some 40% between 2014 and 2015. Canadian exports to Italy (0.85 million tonnes) decreased by 59%, and those to the Republic of Korea also declined significantly in 2015.
  81. Argus Media, op. cit. note 77.
  82. AEBIOM, op. cit. note 76.
  83. Sustainable Biomass Partnership, “What is the Sustainable Biomass Partnership?”, viewed 3 May 2016.
  84. Vega Biofuels, “Vega Biofuels signs exclusive agreement for the production of bio-coal,” press release (Norcross, GA: 19 February 2015),
  85. Based on US ethanol capacity data from “US Ethanol Plants,” Ethanol Producer Magazine, updated 23 January 2016,; Brazil from “The Ethanol czars,”
  86. Meghan Sapp, “Biofuels production capacity is still underutilized globally, but next generation opportunities are apparent,” LuxPopuli, 30 August 2015,
  87. The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Netherlands and Sweden) announced a partnership with Nigeria’s cassava growers association to produce ethanol, from Meghan Sapp, “Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund to team on cassava ethanol in Nigeria,” Biofuels Digest, 16 September 2015,
  88. Imports to the United States from Brazil declined by 0.22 billion litres (25%), and exports from the United States to Brazil rose by 0.20 billion litres. Exports from the United States to Canada went down by 0.36 billion litres (27%), but this was compensated by extra exports to the Philippines, India and the Republic of Korea (0.10 billion litres, 0.12 billion litres and 0.12 billion litres respectively). US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, "Biofuel Feedstock and Co-product Market Data, Ethanol Imports and Exports," Feed Grains Database Tables 32 and 33, biofuel-feedstock-coproduct-market-data.aspx#Imports, viewed 10 May 2016.
  89. During October 2015, the United States exported 0.46 billion litres of ethanol to China, valued at USD 57 million, 46% of total US ethanol exports for the month; previous US exports of ethanol to China averaged less than USD 3 million annually from 2005 to 2014, from USDA, “USDA trade mission spurs record ethanol exports to China,” press release (Washington, DC: 23 December 2015),
  90. Op. cit. note 59. The United States, Brazil and Germany produced 16%, 14% and 10%, respectively, of global biodiesel production in 2015. No other country produced more than 10% of global supply.
  91. Jim Lane, ”The 2016 US outlook for ethanol and biodiesel,” Biofuels Digest, 2 December 2015,
  92. IEA, Medium Term Oil Market Report (Paris: 2016).
  93. The aim of developing and commercialising advanced biofuels is to lead to fuels which can provide better overall carbon savings compared to fossil fuels than many biofuels produced from sugar, starch and oils. The goal is to produce the fuels from wastes and residues which have less impact on land use, thereby reducing indirect land-use change impacts and also reducing competition for food or for productive agricultural land. Some of the fuels also have properties that enable them to be used to directly replace fossil fuels in advanced transport systems such as aviation engines, or to be blended in high proportions with conventional fuels. For a fuller rationale, see, for example, IEA, Biofuels for Transport Roadmap, op. cit. note 3.
  94. See, for example, the description of a range of advanced biofuels value chains at European Biofuels Technology Platform, “The EIBI Value Chains,”
  95. See New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, “Tall oil production and processing,”
  96. UPM Biofuels, “Investment in the world’s first biorefinery producing wood-based diesel,”
  97. Total, “La Mède: Total’s first biorefinery,”, viewed 10 May 2016.
  98. DuPont, “The DuPont cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa: leading the way for commercialization,”, viewed 10 May 2016.
  99. Jim Lane, “Brazil’s President Roussef christens Raizen cellulosic biofuels plant,” Biofuels Digest, 23 July 2015,
  100. The produced fuel is sold under a long-term contract to a local dairy products company for steam raising – an important factor in enabling financing for the plant, from BTG Biomass Technology Group Newsletter, May 2015,
  101. Goteborg Energi, “Gothenburg Biomass Gasification Project, GoBiGas,”, viewed 10 May 2016.
  102. International Air Transport Association, “Fact Sheet: Alternative Fuels” (Geneva: December 2015),
  103. “United Airlines begins regular biofuel use for flights,” Renewable Energy World, 14 March 2016,
  104. Stena Line, “Stena Line launches the world’s first methanol ferry,”
    press release (Belfast: 31 March 2015),
  105. The refineries are expected to begin operations in 2016, with full production expected in 2017. David Alexander, “’Great Green Fleet’ using biofuels deployed by US Navy,” Reuters, 20 January 2016,
  106. US Navy, “Great Green Fleet,”, viewed 10 May 2016.
  107. Meghan Sapp, “Godavari Biorefineries raises $14 million to expand ethanol and specialty chemicals,” Biofuels Digest, 12 May 2015,
  108. Europe is the leading market for production of electricity from biogas and bio-methane. As of early 2015, the region had more than 17,000 biogas plants and nearly 400 bio-methane plants in operation, with power generating capacity exceeding 8 GW. EBA, op. cit. note 35. In the United States, there are around 645 landfill gas utilisation sites with more than 2 GW of capacity for electricity generation (which produced 11.2 TWh in 2015) and for industrial purposes; there also are some 247 farm digesters, 860 wastewater treatment plants and 38 stand-alone digesters, from American Biogas Council, “Current and Potential Biogas Production” (Washington, DC: undated),
  109. “Macedonia’s first AD plant begins operation,” Bioenergy News,
    29 January 2016,
  110. See, for example, Asia Biogas Group description of projects and sectors,, viewed 18 March 2016.
  111. “Asia Biogas begins commercial operation at Thai biogas plant,” Bioenergy Insight, 26 January 2016,
  112. REN21, SADC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report (Paris: 2015),
  113. “Africa’s first grid-connected AD plant fires up,” Bioenergy Insight,
    21 August 2015,
  114. Abdou Diop, ENDA Energy, Senegal, personal communication with REN21, 9 April 2016.

Geothermal Power and Heat

  1. Electricity generation global average capacity factor of 66.45% in 2014, derived from Ruggero Bertani, “Geothermal power generation in the world: 2010–2014 update report,” in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2015 (Melbourne, Australia: 19–25 April 2015), and capacity from inventory of existing and installed capacity in 2015 from Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), per Benjamin Matek, GEA, personal communication with REN21, March–May 2016. Heat capacity and generation is an extrapolation from five-year growth rates calculated from generation and capacity data for 2009 and 2014, from John W. Lund and Tonya L. Boyd, “Direct utilization of geothermal energy: 2015 worldwide review,” in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2015 (Melbourne, Australia: 19–25 April 2015).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Inventory of existing capacity and installed capacity in 2015 from GEA, op. cit. note 1; additional information on Japan from Toshihiro Uchida, Geological Survey of Japan (AIST), via Marietta Sander, International Geothermal Association (IGA), personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  4. Inventory of existing capacity and installed capacity in 2015 from GEA, op. cit. note 1. Figure 10 based on idem and on country-specific data and sources found throughout this section.
  5. Inventory of existing capacity and installed capacity in 2015 from GEA, op. cit. note 1. Figure 11 from idem.
  6. Inventory of existing capacity and installed capacity in 2015 from GEA, op. cit. note 1; additional information on Japan from Uchida, op. cit. note 3.
  7. Capacity at end-2015 at 623.9 MW from Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEİAŞ),; end-2014 capacity of 404.9 MW from TEİAŞ, Stratejik Plan 2015-2019 (Ankara: 2015),; capacity installation in 2015 from GEA, op. cit. note 1.
  8. Exergy S.p.A., “A world first: Turkish Akca plant successfully in operation,” press release (Bologna: 1 July 2015),
  9. Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey and Yenilenebilir Enerji Genel Müdürlüğü, National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Turkey (Ankara: December 2014),
  10. Generation from TEİAŞ, “ 2015 Yılı Üretim-Tüketim Karşılaştırması,”
  11. Ormat Technologies, “McGinness Hills Phase 2 geothermal power plant begins commercial operation,” press release (Reno, NV: 4 February 2015),; Ormat Technologies, “Don A. Campbell Phase 2 geothermal power plant in Nevada begins commercial operation,” press release (Reno, NV: 24 September 2015),
  12. Generation from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly, February 2016, Table ES1.B.,; installed nameplate capacity from GEA, op cit. note 1; net capacity from US EIA, op. cit. this note, Table 6.2.B.
  13. Benjamin Matek, 2016 Annual US & Global Power Production Report (Washington, DC: GEA, March 2016),
  14. Juan Luis Del Valle, Grupo Dragon, “Private geothermal projects in Mexico – development and challenges,” presentation at GEA US and International Geothermal Energy Showcase, Washington, DC, 17 March 2016.
  15. Total capacity and project additions from Luis C.A. Gutiérrez-Negrín, Mexican Geothermal Association, “Mexico: Update of the Country Update, and IRENA’s REmap,” IGA News, April-June 2015,, and from Geotermia, July–December 2015,
  16. Luis Carlos Gutiérrez Negrín, Mexican Geothermal Association, personal communication with REN21, February 2016.
  17. Capacity additions (20 MW) from GEA, op. cit. note 1, and (25 MW) from Green Energy Geothermal, “GEG and KenGen adding 25 MW to the national grid,” 10 June 2015,; installed capacity (607 MW) from GEA, op. cit. note 1, and (585 MW) from Kenya Electricity Generating Company, “KenGen wins EAPIC awards,” press release (Nairobi: 18 August 2015),
  18. Kenya Power, “Kenya Power signs power purchase agreements for 76 MW additional capacity,” press release (Nairobi: 12 August 2015),; Ram Energy Inc., “Current Projects,”!projects/c10my; Akira Geothermal Ltd., “Project 1,”
  19. Munich RE, “Munich Re provides geothermal exploration risk insurance for Akiira in Kenya,” press release (Munich: 30 July 2015),
  20. Turboden, “A 5.5 MW electric ORC power plant connected to the grid in Bavaria,” undated,; Geothermische Kraftwerksgesellschaft Traunreut website,; German Geothermal Association (Bundesverband Geothermie), ”Tiefe Geothermieprojekte in Deutschland,”; European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC), personal communication with REN21, March 2016.
  21. German Geothermal Association, op. cit. note 20; EGEC, op. cit. note 20.
  22. Turboden, “Turboden expands into the Asian geothermal market: 6 MW started up in Japan and 50 MW to be supplied in the Philippines,” press release (Brescia, Italy: 14 December 2015),; Uchida, op. cit. note 3.
  23. Junko Movellan, “Popular hot springs in Japan co-exist with binary geothermal power plants,” Renewable Energy World, 14 December 2015,
  24. “Japan starts building large geothermal plant after long hiatus,”
    Nikkei Asian Review, 26 May 2015,
  25. Enel Green Power, “Enel Green Power brings online world’s first integrated geothermal and biomass plant in Tuscany,” press release (Rome: 27 July 2015),
  26. Desmond Brown, “Nevis has a date with geothermal energy,” Inter Press Service, 25 January 2016,
  27. ZIZ, National Broadcasting Corporation of St. Kitts and Nevis, “Mister Liburd gives geothermal exploration update,” 27 March 2016,
  28. Sven Scholtysik, Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA), personal communication with REN21, March 2016; CanGEA, “Canadian National Geothermal Database and Provincial Resource Estimate Maps,”
  29. Justin Crewson, CanGEA, “Canada: Assessing geothermal energy’s potential to meet British Columbia’s increasing power demand,” IGA News, January–March 2015,
  30. Data from Lund and Boyd, op. cit. note 1, and from Luis C.A. Gutiérrez-Negrín, IGA and Mexican Geothermal Association, personal communication with REN21, March 2015. Capacity and generation for 2015 are extrapolated from 2014 values (from sources) by weighted-average growth rate across eight categories of geothermal direct use: space heating, bathing and swimming, greenhouse heating, aquaculture, industrial use, snow melting and cooling, agricultural drying, and other. The weighted-average five-year annual growth rate for capacity is 6.0%, compared to 5.9% simple growth rate for the same period. The weighted-average five-year annual growth rate for utilisation is 3.5%, compared to 3.3% simple growth rate for the same period.
  31. Lund and Boyd, op. cit. note 1.
  32. Capacity factors calculated from historical values from Ibid.
  33. Data and reference to data uncertainty from Ibid.
  34. Data from Ibid.; extrapolation through 2015, op. cit. note 30.
  35. Data from Ibid.; extrapolation through 2015, op. cit. note 30.
  36. Lund and Boyd, op. cit. note 1.
  37. Philippe Dumas, EGEC, personal communication with REN21, February 2016.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Burkhard Sanner, EGEC, personal communication with REN21, March 2016.
  40. Engie, “YGéo: an ambitious, sustainable and socially cohesive project,” undated,; Engie, “Geothermal drilling begins at Ivry-sur-Seine, symbolizing the city’s changing energy profile,” 23 December 2015,
  41. Stichting Platform Geothermie, “Deep geothermal energy in the Netherlands – 2014 statistics, trends & outlooks,” press release (The Hague: 25 February 2015),
  42. Lund and Boyd, op. cit. note 1; Gutiérrez-Negrín, op. cit. note 30; John Lund and Tonya Boyd, “Direct utilization of geothermal energy 2015 worldwide review,” Geothermics, vol. 60 (2016), pp. 66–93,
  43. Lund and Boyd, op. cit. note 1; Gutiérrez-Negrín, op. cit. note 30.
  44. Dumas, op. cit. note 37.
  45. EGEC, “Fuel switch to renewables in the heating and electricity sectors – an action plan for a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy” (Brussels: April 2015),
  46. Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Republic of France, “Ségolène Royal annonce la création de GEODEEP, un fonds de garantie pour accompagner le développement de la géothermie,” press release (Paris: 30 March 2015),
  47. Jack Hand, CEO, Power Engineers, “Importance of Geothermal Integration into the Grid,” presentation at the GEA US and International Geothermal Energy Showcase, Washington, DC, 17 March 2016.
  48. Ormat Technologies, “Ormat and Toshiba sign strategic collaboration agreement,” press release (Reno, NV and Tokyo: 14–15 October 2015),
  49. Engie, “ENGIE and Reykjavik Geothermal cooperate in the field of geothermal energy in Mexico,” press release (Paris: 7 December 2015),
  50. United Nations, Global Geothermal Alliance Action Statement and Action Plan (New York: 23 September 2014),; Global Geothermal Alliance, “Joint Communiqué on the Global Geothermal Alliance,” undated,


  1. Global capacity estimate based on International Hydropower Association (IHA), 2016 Hydropower Status Report (London: May 2016),, and on IHA, personal communication with REN21, February–April 2016. Total installed capacity of 1,212 GW (33.7 GW added), less 145 GW of pumped storage (2.5 GW added), yields 1,067 GW (31.2 GW added). The difference of 3 GW relative to the values reported here pertains to data for China. Due to uncertainty about full station commissioning dates falling between 2014 and 2015, IHA’s Hydropower Status Report is reporting 19 GW added in 2015, and REN21’s Global Status Report is reporting 16 GW.
  2. Country data from the following sources: China: capacity, utilisation, demand and investment from China National Energy Agency, summary of national electric industry statistics for 2015, (using Google Translate); generation (1.11 thousand TWh) from China Electricity Council, overview of China’s power industry in 2015, 3 February 2016,, and (1,126.42 TWh) from National Bureau of Statistics of China, “Statistical communiqué of the People’s Republic of China on 2015 national economic and social development,” press release (Beijing: 29 February 2016), Brazil: 2,506 MW (2,299 MW large hydro, 117 MW small hydro and around 90 MW very small hydro) added in 2015, per National Agency for Electrical Energy (ANEEL), “Resumo geral dos novos empreendimentos de geração,”ç, updated February 2016; large hydro capacity is listed as 86,366 MW at end-2015, small (1–30 MW) hydro at 4,886 MW and very small (<1 MW) hydro at 398 MW (compared to 308 MW in the previous year), for a total of 91,650 MW; generation from National Electrical System Operator of Brazil (ONS), “Geração de energia,” United States: capacity from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly, March 2016, Table 6.2.B,; generation from idem, Table 1.1. Canada: IHA, op. cit. this note; sources on individual projects as cited elsewhere in this section; Statistics Canada, “Table 127-0009 installed generating capacity, by class of electricity producer,”; generation from idem, “Table 127-0002 electric power generation, by class of electricity producer.” Russian Federation: capacity and generation from System Operator of the Unified Energy System of Russia, Report on the Unified Energy System in 2015 (Moscow: 1 February 2016), India: installed capacity in 2015 (units larger than 25 MW) of 42,623.42 MW from Government of India, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority, “All India installed capacity (in MW) of power stations,” December 2015,; capacity additions in 2015 (>25 MW) of 1,606 MW from idem, “Executive summary of the power sector (monthly),”; installed capacity in 2015 (<25 MW) of 4,176.9 MW from Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), “Physical progress (achievements),”, viewed 1 February 2016; capacity additions in 2015 (<25 MW) of 186 MW based on difference of year-end 2015 figure (above) and year-end 2014 figure (3,990.83 MW) from MNRE, idem; generation for plants larger than 25 MW from Government of India, Central Electricity Authority, “Executive summary of the power sector (monthly),” December 2015, op. cit. this note, on output from hydropower plants smaller than 25 MW estimated, based on capacity from MNRE, op. cit. this note, and on average capacity factor for large hydropower facilities in India; an additional 150 MW was completed in 2015 but not counted in official capacity total until January 2016, from Government of India, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority, “Executive summary of the Power Sector (monthly),” January 206, Norway: capacity and generation from Statistics Norway,, and from Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, Figure 12 based on capacity and generation sources provided in this note.
  3. Estimate based on 2014 hydropower output of 3,885 TWh from BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 (London: June 2015),, as well as on observed average year-on-year change in hydropower output (+1.4%) for many top producing countries (China, Brazil, Canada, the United States, the EU-28, Russian Federation, India, Norway, Japan, Mexico and Turkey), which together accounted for over three-fourths of global hydropower output in 2014; hydropower generation in 2015 for these countries from sources in Endnote 2 and from the following sources: Turkey: Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEİAŞ), Japan: Emi Ichiyanagi, Japan Renewable Energy Foundation (JREF), based on data from Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, personal communication with REN21, March 2016. Mexico: Mexico’s Secretary of Energy (Secretaría de Energía), Prospectiva de Energías Renovables 2015-2029,
  4. IHA, op. cit. note 1, both sources.
  5. China, Brazil, Canada and India from sources provided in Endnote 2; Turkey capacity end-2015 of 25,867.8 MW from Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEİAŞ), “Türkiye elektrik enerjisi kuruluş ve yakit cinslerine göre kurulu güç,”, viewed 28 March 2016, and capacity end-2014 of 23,643 MW from TEİAŞ, Stratejik Plan 2015-2019 (Ankara: 2015),; Vietnam, Malaysia, Colombia and Lao PDR based on IHA, op. cit. note 1, both sources, and on sources on individual projects as cited elsewhere in this section. Figure 13 based on capacity sources provided in this endnote and in Endnote 2.
  6. National Energy Agency of China, “National electric power industry statistics,” sourced from National Energy Board, 15 January 2016,; pumped storage capacity from IHA, op. cit. note 1, both sources.
  7. National Bureau of Statistics of China, op. cit. note 2; China Electricity Council, “Annual Report on Electricity Supply and Demand” (Beijing: 3 February 2016),
  8. National Energy Agency of China, op. cit. note 6; National Energy Administration of China, “National electric power industry statistics, sourced from the National Energy Board, 16 January 2015, These figures may include investment in pumped storage.
  9. David Stanway, “China’s environment ministry blocks hydro project,” Reuters, 9 April 2015,
  10. ANEEL, op. cit. note 2.
  11. ONS, op. cit. note 2; ANEEL, op. cit. note 2.
  12. IHA, personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  13. ANEEL, “Relatório de acompanhamento da implantação de empreendimentos de geração,” January 2016,
  14. Ibid.
  15. Ibid.; Alstom, “Alstom delivers last rotor to Teles Pires hydro plant,” press release (Saint-Ouen, France: May 2015),
  16. Michael Harris, “Brazil’s 11.2-GW Belo Monte hydroelectric project enters commercial operation,” Hydro World, 22 April 2016,; Luciano Costa, “UPDATE 1-Brazil power line delays to crimp Belo Monte electrical supply – Aneel,” Reuters, 17 November 2015,; Michael Place, “Brazil issues building permit for US$1.25bn Amazon power link,” Business News Americas, 7 January 2016,
  17. Target from Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey and Yenilenebilir Enerji Genel Müdürlüğü, National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Turkey (Ankara: December 2014), Figures 14 and 15,
  18. Capacity at end-2015 of 25.9 GW from TEİAŞ, “Türkiye elektrik enerjisi kuruluş ve yakit cinslerine göre kurulu gü.," op. cit. note 5.
  19. Generation for 2014 and 2015 from TEİAŞ, Stratejik Plan 2015-2019, op. cit. note 5.
  20. Installed capacity in 2015 (units larger than 25 MW) of 42,623.42 MW from Government of India, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority, “All India installed capacity (in MW) of power stations,” op. cit. note 2; capacity additions in 2015 (>25 MW) of 1,606 MW from Government of India, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority, “Executive summary of the power sector (monthly),” op. cit. note 2; installed capacity in 2015 (<25 MW) of 4,176.9 MW from Government of India, MNRE, op. cit. note 2; capacity additions in 2015 (<25 MW) of 186 MW based on difference of year-end 2015 figure (above) and year-end 2014 figure (3,990.83 MW) from idem; generation for plants larger than 25 MW estimated from Government of India, Central Electricity Authority, “Executive summary of the power sector (monthly),” op. cit. note 2; output from hydropower plants smaller than 25 MW estimated, based on capacity, from MNRE, op. cit. note 2, and from average capacity factor for large hydropower facilities in India; an additional 150 MW was completed in 2015 but not counted in official capacity total until January 2016, from Government of India, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority, “Executive summary of the Power Sector (monthly),” January 2006,
  21. “Koldam gets operational to boost power supply in northern grid,” Economic Times, 18 July 2015,
  22. “BHEL commissions 82.5 MW hydro power unit in Uttarakhand,” Economic Times, 11 June 2015,; GVK, “GVK’s Shrinagar Hydro Electric Project inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Akhilesh Yadav,” press release (Secunderabad, India: 4 March 2014),
  23. Tata Power, “Tata Power commissions second unit of 126MW Dagachhu hydro power project in Bhutan,” press release (Mumbai: 17 March 2015),
  24. Ibid.
  25. Nepal Electricity Authority, “Year in Review – Fiscal Year 2014/1015” (Kathmandu: 3 September 2015),; “Effects of the Gorkha earthquake tragedy on Nepalese hydro plants,” Hydropower & Dams, no. 3 (2015); “Earthquake damages over dozen hydropower projects,” Nepal Energy Forum, 5 May 2015,
  26. Ibid., all sources.
  27. Vietnam Electricity Corporation – National Electricity Center, press release (Hanoi: 16 December 2015),; Voice of “Generator 1 of Lai Chau hydro-power plant begins operations,” Voice of Vietnam World Service, 23 December 2015,
  28. Vietnam Electricity Corporation – National Electricity Center, press release (Hanoi: 4 January 2016),
  29. Vietnam Electricity Corporation – National Electricity Center, press release (Hanoi: 8 March 2016),
  30. Sarawak Energy, “Murum Hydroelectric Project,”; Toshiba, “Nam Ngiep II hydro power plant in Lao PDR to commence operation with hydro turbine and generator supplied by Toshiba Hydro Power (Hangzhou) Co., Ltd.,” press release (Tokyo: 20 October 2015),; Multiconsult, “Nam Ngiep 2 Hydroelectric Project,”; “Cambodia sees greater electricity supply after Chinese-built 338 MW dam begins operations,” Xinhua, 21 January 2015,
  31. Aung Shin, “Controversial Upper Paunglaung dam joins national grid, Myanmar Times, 11 March 2015,
  32. “Water diplomacy by China offers drought relief,” The Nation (Thailand), 19 March 2016,; Thitinan Pongsudhirak, “China’s alarming ‘water diplomacy’ on the Mekong,” Nikkei Asian Review, 21 March 2016,
  33. EIA, op. cit. note 2, Table 6.2.B; US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), “Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2015” (Washington, DC: December 2015),
  34. Annual generation data from EIA, op. cit. note 2, Table 1.1.
  35. IHA, op. cit. note 1, both sources; sources on individual projects as cited elsewhere in this section; Statistics Canada, op. cit. note 2, Table 127-0009 and Table 127-0002.
  36. Columbia Power, “Waneta Expansion Project is now generating clean, renewable, cost effective power,” 2 April 2015,
  37. Hydro-Québec, “Centrale de la Romaine-1 : un Jalon Important est Franchi,” press release (Montréal: 17 December 2015),
  38. System Operator of the Unified Energy System of Russia, op. cit. note 2.
  39. Ibid.
  40. RusHydro, “RusHydro has refurbished and modernized 14 hydropower units in 2015 as a part of its comprehensive modernization program,” press release (Moscow: 2 February 2016),
  41. RusHydro, “Boguchanskaya hydropower plant completes reservoir filling to the design level of 208 meters,” press release (Moscow: 17 June 2015),
  42. RusHydro, “RusHydro’s largest hydropower plant increased its available capacity to 5.1 GW,” press release (Moscow: 22 June 2015),
  43. Sonal Patel, “Ethiopia begins generating power from 1.87-GW Gibe III hydro plant,” Power, 1 December 2015,; “1 870 MW Gibe III to be commissioned just in time for Ethiopian new year,” Engineering News, 17 August 2015,
  44. UNESCO World Heritage Centre, “State of Conservation report on Lake Turkana National Parks,”, viewed 14 May 2016.
  45. Completion of two turbines from IHA, “2016 Key Trends in Hydropower,” briefing (London: March 2016),; Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, project description,
  46. Gregory B. Poindexter, “Guinea increases generating capacity with US$526 million 240-MW Kaleta hydroelectric facility,” Hydro World, 1 October 2015,; Tata Power, “Tata Power‘s JV commissions 120MW Itezhi Tezhi hydro power project in Zambia,” press release (Mumbai: 4 February 2016),
  47. Scottish Enterprise, “Isle of Mull’s first community hydroelectricity scheme at Garmony goes ahead with REIF & Charity Bank loan,” press release (Glasgow: 26 March 2015),; Local Energy Scotland, “Garmony Hydro,”; Mull and Iona Community Trust, “Garmony Hydro Scheme,”
  48. World Bank, “Overview on hydropower,”, viewed May 2016.
  49. World Bank, “Action plan: improving the management of safeguards and resettlement practices and outcomes,” press release (Washington, DC: 4 March 2015),
  50. IHA op. cit. note 1, both sources.
  51. Ibid.
  52. Toshiba, “Toshiba’s adjustable-speed pumped storage power system has started commercial operation (Hokkaido Electric Power Company 2nd Unit, Kyogoku Power Plant),” press release (Kanagawa, Japan: 7 December 2015),
  53. Verbund, “Additional work in tunnel delays start of Reisseck II operation,” press release (Mühldorf, Austria: 2 August 2015),
  54. IHA, op. cit. note 1, both sources.
  55. Ibid.
  56. IHA, op. cit. note 45.
  57. IHA, op. cit. note 1, both sources.
  58. Ibid.
  59. Hydropower Equipment Association, personal communication with REN21, February 2015.
  60. GE, “GE completes acquisition of Alstom power and grid businesses,” press release (Paris: 2 November 2015),
  61. Andritz, Annual Report 2015 (Graz, Austria: 2016), pp. 3–10,
  62. Voith, Annual Report 2015 (Heidenheim, Germany: November 2015), p. 58.
  63. Ibid., p. 53.
  64. Ibid., p. 58.
  65. Ibid., pp. 57–58.
  66. China Electricity Council, review of global hydropower activity,
  67. “China Three Gorges becomes Brazil’s No. 2 private power operator,” Bloomberg, 7 January 2016,; “China, Latin America see great potential in clean energy cooperation: experts,” Xinhua, 2 November 2015,

Ocean Energy

  1. The definition of ocean energy used in this report does not include offshore wind power or marine biomass energy.
  2. Capacity values from Ocean Energy Systems (OES), Annual Report 2015 (Lisbon: April, 2016),
  3. UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), letter to Alex Herbert, Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay) plc, conveying the planning consent application order, 9 June 2015,
  4. UK DECC, “Review of tidal lagoons,” press release (London: 10 February 2016),
  5. Tocardo, “Tocardo installs three turbines in Dutch ‘Afsluitsdijk’,” press release (Den Oever, The Netherlands: 20 February 2015),‘afsluitdijk.
  6. Tocardo, “Successful installation Eastern Scheldt project,” press release (Den Oever, The Netherlands: 24 September 2015),
  7. Power output from Tocardo, “Tidal power plant in Deltaworks put into service,” press release (Den Oever/Schiedam, The Netherlands: 26 November 2015),; BlueTEC Texel from Tocardo, “BlueTEC operation results successful,” press release (Hoofdorp: 12 October 2015),
  8. Atlantis Resources, “Construction of onshore facilities starts today at MeyGen site,” press release (Singapore: 21 January 2015),
  9. Atlantis Resources, “Cable deployment successfully completed at MeyGen tidal energy project,” press release (Edinburgh: 24 September 2015),
  10. MeyGen, “Project update,” Spring 2016,
  11. Tidal Energy Ltd., “Wales steps forward in marine renewable energy as the country’s first full-scale tidal energy demonstration device is installed,” press release (Cardiff: 13 December 2015),
  12. Minesto, “Welsh government invests 13 million euros of EU funds in marine energy leader Minesto to start the commercial roll out of marine power plants in Wales,” 20 May 2015,
  13. Minesto, “Minesto enters technology partnership with Schottel Hydro,” 7 December 2015,
  14. Sustainable Marine Energy, “PLAT-O powers up to drive cost of tidal energy down,” press release (East Cowes, Isle of Wight: 7 July 2915),
  15. Schottel, “Schottel Hydro sells 16 turbines to Sustainable Marine Energy,” February 2016,
  16. Nova Innovation Ltd., “Nova Innovation secure funding for next generation tidal turbine,” 24 March 2015,; Nova Innovation Ltd., “Shetland tidal array first turbine goes live,” 9 March 2016,
  17. Sabella SAS, “L’hydrolienne Sabella D10 est au fond du Fromveur!,”; Sabella SAS, “An innovative spirit, a tidal energy pioneer,” product brochure, undated,
  18. OpenHydro, “OpenHydro, a DCNS company, to supply two new tidal turbines for installation at Paimpol-Bréhat,” press release (Dublin: 4 June 2014),; OpenHydro, “The first of two OpenHydro tidal turbines on EDF’s Paimpol-Bréhat site successfully deployed,” press release (Dublin: 20 January 2016),
  19. OpenHydro, “OpenHydro and Nova Scotia Partners to build next generation tidal energy project in Bay of Fundy,” press release (Dublin: 28 March 2014),; Sustainable Development Technology Canada, “Minister MacKay and MP Armstrong announce investments in jobs and clean technology projects in Atlantic Canada,” press release (Parrsboro, Nova Scotia: 15 April 2015),
  20. OpenHydro, “Cape Sharp Tidal installs subsea connector cable and launches Scotia Tide deployment barge,” press release (Dublin: 14 December 2015),
  21. AW-Energy, “Portuguese minister of energy impressed by WaveRoller installation,” press release (Vantaa, Finland: 9 June 2015),
  22. Seabased, “Wave power generated to Nordic electricity grid!,” press release (Lysekil, Sweden: 21 January 2016),
  23. 40South Energy Ltd., “H24 wave energy converter installed off Marina di Pisa,” press release (London: 12 November 2015),; 40South Energy Ltd., “Company profile, history of the project,”
  24. Dan McCue, “Eco Wave Power installs second generation power plant in Israel,” Renewable Energy Magazine, 8 July 2015,
  25. “Israeli wave energy player gets industry accolades,” Tidal Energy Today, 21 March 2016,; “EU to fund 5 MW wave energy project in Gibraltar,” Tidal Energy Today, 3 December 2015,
  26. Australian Renewable Energy Agency and BioPower Systems, “Innovative wave energy device lands at Port Fairy,” press release (Canberra: 16 December 2015),
  27. Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd., “CETO 6 (Garden Island),”; Tim Sawyer, Carnegie Wave Energy, “From Successful Operation of the Perth Wave Energy Project to Commercialising CETO Technology,” presentation at the International Conference on Ocean Energy 2016, Edinburgh, 23–25 February 2016,; Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd., “Perth Project,”
  28. Northwest Energy Innovations, “Northwest Energy Innovations launches wave energy device in Hawai’i,” 9 June 2015,; Tim Ramsey, US Department of Energy (DOE), “United States Department of Energy: Status of Wave Energy Deployments and Data Collection,” presentation at the International Conference on Ocean Energy 2016, Edinburgh, 23–25 February 2016,; Northwest Energy Innovations, “Hawaii Demonstration Project,” undated,
  29. Ramsey, op. cit. note 28.
  30. Highlands and Islands Enterprise, “International search for innovative power take-off systems for wave energy results in £7m award to technology innovators,” press release (Inverness, Scotland: 31 July 2015),; Highlands and Islands Enterprise, “Search for novel wave energy converters results in £2.25m award to technology innovators,” press release (Inverness, Scotland: 2 November 2015),
  31. Basque Energy Agency (EVE), “Marine energy,”; José Luis Villate, “Country Reports: Spain,” in OES, op. cit. note 2,
  32. Hironao Matsubara, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), Tokyo, personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  33. Ni Chenhua, National Ocean Technology Center (NOTC), Tianjin, China, “The Analysis of Chinese Ocean Energy Market – Wave and Tidal Current,” presentation at the International Conference on Ocean Energy 2016, Edinburgh, 23–25 February 2016,
  34. OES, op. cit. note 2.
  35. Xia Dengwen, NOTC, “China,” in OEAS, Ocean Energy in the World database,
  36. Chenhua, op. cit. note 33.
  37. Makai Ocean Engineering, “Makai connects world’s largest ocean thermal plant to US grid,” press release (Oahu, HI: 29 August 2015),
  38. Makai Ocean Engineering, “Frequently asked questions,”
  39. Andrea Copping et al., Annex IV 2016 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World, prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on behalf of the US DOE and other partnering nations under the IEA OES initiative (Richland, WA: OES and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, April 2016),
  40. Ibid.
  41. Ocean Energy Europe, Draft Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap: Building Ocean Energy for Europe (Brussels: October 2015),
  42. Ramsey, op. cit. note 28; US Navy, “NSWC Carderock maneuvering, seakeeping basin undergoes upgrade,” press release (Bethesda, MD: 22 August 2013),; “US DoE launches Wave Energy Prize competition,” Tidal Energy Today, 28 April 2015,
  43. FloWave, “About FloWave,”
  44. European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), “Press release: Trans-Atlantic team to tackle tidal turbulence,” press release (Stromness, Orkney: 21 July 2015),
  45. FloWave, “FloWave and EMEC team up to help progress wave energy sector,” 15 September 2015,
  46. EMEC, “Press release: EMEC restructuring to meet market demand,” press release (Stromness, Orkney: 5 June 2015),; EMEC, “Blog: Turbulence in 2015 – EMEC end of year review,” 18 December 2015,
  47. Aquamarine Power, “Aquamarine Power’s Oyster yields ‘exceptional’ operational data,” 19 March 2015,’s-oyster-yields-exceptional-operational-data.aspx; Aquamarine Power, “Aquamarine Power calls in administrators,” 28 October 2015,; Aquamarine Power, “Aquamarine Power ceases trading,” 23 November 2015,
  48. Atlantis Resources, “Atlantis announces proposed acquisition of tidal projects from ScottishPower Renewables,” press release (Edinburgh: 17 December 2015),

Solar PV

  1. International Energy Agency (IEA) Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (PVPS), Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets 2015 (Paris: April 2016),; SolarPower Europe, “2015: A positive year for solar,” press release (Brussels: 3 March 2016), In 2014, 40 GW was added for a cumulative capacity of 178 GW, from SolarPower Europe, Global Market Outlook for Solar Power: 2015–2019 (Brussels: 2015).
  2. Global additions of 50 GW and total of 227.1 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1; estimated 50.1 GW added and total of close to 230 GW, from SolarPower Europe, Solar Market Report & Membership Directory 2016 Edition (Brussels: April 2016). Number of panels based on average of 270 W per panel, from Gaëtan Masson, Becquerel Institute and IEA PVPS, personal communications with REN21, March–May 2016. Other sources reported higher additions due to differences in methodology – some data providers count all installations, or shipments, whereas IEA PVPS and SolarPower Europe count grid-connected/operating capacity. For example: 59 GW was added (provisional figure), from GTM Research, cited in Tom Kenning, “Solar installations hit 59 GW in 2015, 64 GW to come in 2016 – GTM,” PV-Tech, 22 January 2016, Figure of 56 GW added from Frankfurt School–United Nations Environment Programme Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016 (Frankfurt: 2016), Note that some countries report data officially in alternating current (AC) (e.g., Canada, Japan and Spain); these data were converted to direct current (DC) for consistency across countries. This report attempts to report all solar PV data in DC units.
  3. Based on cumulative world capacity of 5.1 GW at the end of 2005, from European PV Industry Association (EPIA), Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014–2018 (Brussels: 2014), p. 17, Figure 14 from the following sources: IEA PVPS, Trends 2015 in Photovoltaic Applications: Survey Report of Selected IEA Countries between 1992 and 2014 (Paris: 2015), p. 60,; EPIA, op. cit. this note; Becquerel Institute, personal communication with REN21, 7 May 2015; IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1.
  4. Masson, op. cit. note 2; SolarPower Europe, Global Market Outlook for Solar Power: 2015–2019, op. cit. note 1.
  5. PV Market Alliance website,, viewed 18 January 2016; Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  6. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1.
  7. Masson, op. cit. note 2; SolarPower Europe, Global Market Outlook for Solar Power: 2015–2019, op. cit. note 1; Gregory F. Nemet et al., Characteristics of Low-Priced Solar Photovoltaic Systems in the United States (Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, January 2016), p. 1,; Apricum PV Market Model Q3 2015, cited in James Kurz, “Global PV’s five year outlook: from strength to strength,” Apricum Group, 3 August 2015, In many markets, including in Africa, Asia and Latin America, solar PV is viewed as a way to meet renewable energy and climate mitigation targets quickly and cost-effectively, from Mohit Anand, GTM Research, cited in Mike Munsell, “GTM Research: Global solar PV installations grew 34% in 2015,” Sonnenseite, 23 January 2016,
  8. Third consecutive year from Masson, op. cit. note 2. Share of global additions based on data from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, from Becquerel Institute, April 2016, and from country-specific sources cited in this section.
  9. Figure 15 based on IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 60, on country-specific data and on sources provided throughout this section.
  10. Rankings based on data from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, on Becquerel Institute, April 2016, and on data and sources elsewhere in this section.
  11. Masson, op. cit. note 2; IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1; Becquerel Institute, April 2016. There were 21 countries with 1 GW or more in 2014, from IEA PVPS, Snapshot of Global PV Markets 2014 (Brussels: 2015),
  12. Ranking based on the following: at the end of 2015, Germany had over 490 W per person, followed by Italy (308 W), Belgium (nearly 290 W), Japan (270 W) and Greece (nearly 238 W), based on solar PV data from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, on Becquerel Institute, April 2016, and on population data for 2014 from World Bank, “Population, total,” World Development Indicators,, updated 17 February 2016. Note that, as of mid-2015, Liechtenstein was determined to be the world leader in per capita installations, but year-end 2015 data were not available for the country as of time of publishing. Top ranking for Liechtenstein based on 480 W per capita, from SolarSuperState Association, “SolarSuperState Ranking 2015: Liechtenstein leads the world in terms of installed PV capacity per capita,” SolarServer, 30 June 2015,
  13. Increase generation and prop up domestic industry from Charlie Zhu and Adam Rose, “China solar expansion needs billions from wary investors,” Reuters, 30 April 2015,; pollution problems from Raj Prabhu, Mercom Capital Group, cited in Junko Movellan, “The 2016 global PV outlook: US and Asian markets strengthened by policies to reduce CO2,” Renewable Energy World Magazine, January/February 2016, pp. 34–40,
  14. Based on the following: China added 15.13 GW for a total of 43.18 GW, from China National Energy Board, cited in China Electricity Council, “2015 PV-related statistics,” 6 February 2016, (using Google Translate); added 15.15 GW for a total of 43.53 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18, and from Masson, op. cit. note 2; added 15.1 GW, but the official number includes several gigawatts that were installed in 2014 but commissioned in early 2015, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 20; added more than 16 GW in 2015, per BNEF, provided by Nico Tyabji, BNEF, personal communication with REN21, 9 April 2016. Figure 16 based on country-specific data and on sources provided throughout this section.
  15. Xinjiang added 2.1 GW, Inner Mongolia 1.87 GW and Jiangsu 1.65 GW, from China National Energy Board, op. cit. note 14.
  16. These included Jiangsu (4.22 GW total), Hebei (2.39 GW), Zhejiang (1.64 GW), Shandong (1.33 GW), Anhui (1.21 GW) and Shanxi (1.13 GW), from Ibid.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Figure of 7 GW in 2012 from REN21, Renewables 2013 Global Status Report (Paris: 2013), and from Gaëtan Masson, EPIA and IEA PVPS, personal communications with REN21, February–May 2013; grid congestion and delays from Julia Pyper, “Apple tackles supply-chain emissions with 2 GW clean energy initiative in China,” Greentech Media, 22 October 2015,, and from Movellan, op. cit. note 13.
  19. Gansu and Xingjiang from China National Energy Board, op. cit. note 14; national average from Chinese National Academy of Sciences, provided by Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  20. Kathy Chen and Chen Aizhu, “China raises solar installation target for 2015,” Reuters, 9 October 2015,
  21. Kathy Chen and Dominique Patton, “China steps up efforts to tackle curtailment of renewable energy,” Reuters, 21 October 2015,
  22. Data for 2015 from China National Energy Board, op. cit. note 14; figure of 57% based on generation of 25 billion kWh in 2014, from China National Energy Administration (CNEA), “2014 PV industry development,” 15 February 2015, (using Google Translate). This was enough to account for nearly 0.7% of China’s electricity generation in 2015, based on wind-generated electricity (186.3 TWh) accounting for 3.3% of total generation, from China National Energy Board, cited by CNEA, “2015 wind power industry development,” 2 February 2016, (using Google Translate).
  23. Japan added 11 GW for a total of 34.41 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1. Japan added 10 GW in 2015, up from 9.7 GW in 2014, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 20. Note that Japan officially reports data in AC; these sources have converted those data to DC for consistency across countries. Japan added 9,940 MW for a total of 30,300 MW, from Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), “Announcement regarding the present status of introduction of facilities generating renewable energy as of October 30, 2015” (Tokyo: February 2016). Capacity at end of 2015 is estimated from monthly installation capacity, provided by Hironao Matsubara, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), Tokyo, personal communication with REN21, February 2016.
  24. Residential capacity (systems <10 kW) amounting to 0.9 GW was connected to the grid in 2015 for a year-end total of 8 GW. An estimated 5 GW of commercial plants (under 1 MW) was added in 2015 for a total of 14 GW, and 4 GW of utility-scale (over 1 MW) plants was connected to the grid, for a total of almost 8 GW, from Hironao Matsubara, ISEP, Tokyo, personal communication with REN21, 10 April 2016.
  25. Kenji Kaneko, “PV systems for abandoned farm land increasing in Japan,” Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute, 13 January 2016,; golf courses from Steve Mollman, “A matter of course: Japan is building solar energy plants on abandoned golf courses – and the idea is spreading,”, 6 July 2015,, from Andrew Burger, “Utility solar still attractive in Japan despite FIT cut,” Renewable Energy World, 7 August 2015,, and from Christopher Hooton, “Japan is turning its abandoned golf courses into solar power plants,” The Independent (UK), 20 July 2015,
  26. Figure of 10% from Daisuke Hirabayashi, “Solar power proved its worth this summer,” Asahi Shimbun Asia & Japan Watch, 3 September 2015,; figure of 3% for annual generation estimated from data of Japan’s FIT scheme from Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, METI, provided by Matsubara, op. cit. note 24.
  27. Junko Movellan, “Japan passes FIT peak: now what for 87 GW renewable queue, 2030 energy mix?” Renewable Energy World, 25 November 2015,; Joe Jackson, “Despite nuclear fears, Japan solar energy sector slow to catch on,” Al Jazeera, 23 January 2016, Rules introduced in 2015 allowed Japan’s power companies to stop accepting power from solar PV plants, including some uncompensated curtailments; these rules were cited as a barrier to investment in solar PV during 2015 due to concerns about uncertainty and the potential for lost income, from Andy Colthorpe, “Japan’s FIT degression back to previous levels as utility curtails solar output,” PV-Tech, 23 February 2016,
  28. “Energy markets liberalization: Japan Inc. makes big renewables push,” Nikkei Asian Review, 17 March 2015, In April 2016, Japan went from having 10 regional utilities to an open retail market; as of early April, Japan had nearly 280 licensed electricity retailers, although most electricity was still purchased by existing large utilities, from Matsubara, op. cit. note 24. Note that as of December 2015, more than 750 applicants had signed up to provide electricity, from Bloomberg, cited in Becky Beetz, “Japan: Solar tax breaks will be removed, PV accounts for 3.3% in Q3,” PV Magazine, 3 December 2015,
  29. Figure of 2,000 MW added in 2015 for year-end total of 5,200 MW from Shaurya Bajaj, Bridge to India, personal communication with REN21, 13 April 2016; 2,000 MW added also from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18.
  30. India’s total year-end capacity was 5,200 MW, from Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), “Physical progress (achievements),” undated,, and from Bridge to India, both provided by Bajaj, op. cit. this note; total capacity was 5,046 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18; state-level capacity data from Becky Beetz, “India: Solar capacity passes 5 GW, 750 MW project receives IFC support,” PV Magazine, 18 January 2016,
  31. Delays in several states from “India adds 2 GW of utility scale solar capacity in 2015; to install 4.8 GW in 2016,” Bridge to India, 11 January 2016,, and from “Telangana yet another example of policy uncertainty in India,” Bridge to India, 30 November 2015,; “India’s burgeoning solar pipeline defies skeptics,” Bridge to India, 7 September 2015,; solar PV has achieved “grid parity” in many states, from “India trying to position itself as a leader in solar power,” Bridge to India, 26 October 2015,; for commercial rooftop systems, grid parity has been achieved in 19 Indian states, while it has been reached in 17 states for the industrial segment, from Ian Clover, “India’s rooftop PV capacity hits 525 MW, says Bridge to India,” PV Magazine, 18 November 2015,; for more on project pipeline, see “Indian solar industry gets busy as the financial year draws to a close,” Bridge to India, 21 March 2016,
  32. Mostly ground-mounted from Ioannis-Thomas Theologitis, SolarPower Europe, personal communication with REN21, 7 April 2016; as of November, India had added about 525 MW of rooftop solar PV capacity in 2015, from Clover, op. cit. note 31.
  33. “What will it take for India to achieve its massive renewable energy goals?” Renewable Energy World Magazine, March/April 2016, p. 14.
  34. Republic of Korea estimate of 1,011 MW for cumulative year-end capacity of 3,427 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18.
  35. Data for Pakistan are highly uncertain. Figure of 500 MW for capacity added is unofficial and subject to change, from Masson, op. cit. note 2. An estimated 600 MW added for total of 1 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18. About 800 MW was reported for the fiscal year (July 2014–June 2015) through customs statistics, and at least one 100 MW plant was completed, from Pakistan Solar Association, provided by Frank Haugwitz, Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Co. Ltd. (AECEA), personal communication with REN21, 17 April 2016. Data for actual installations and calendar-year additions and cumulative capacity were not available from this source at time of publication. Chronic power shortages from Saleem Shaikh, “Pakistan turns desert into a sea of solar panels,” Climate News Network, 19 May 2015, Other incentives included removal of import and sales taxes on solar panels and a new mortgage finance scheme for rooftop installations, from idem.
  36. Heba Hashem, “Pakistan’s new tariffs spur influx of developers from East and West,” PV Insider, 10 August 2015, As of August 2015, 24 independent solar projects were at various stages of development, with cumulative capacity of almost 800 MW, from idem.
  37. The Philippines added 122 MW for a total of 155 MW, and Thailand added 121 MW for a total of 1.42 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has seen a significant increase in solar PV use as costs have plummeted, reflecting a rising demand for electricity to charge mobile phones, provide lighting and other services, from James Pearson, “In North Korea, solar panel boom the gives power to the people,” Reuters, 22 April 2015,
  38. Based on data from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, and from Becquerel Institute, April 2016.
  39. Based on data for the United States and for Canada. See other endnotes in this section for full references.
  40. Canadian Solar Industries Association, provided by Masson, op. cit. note 2; IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18. Note that Canada officially reports data in AC; these sources converted data to DC for consistency across countries.
  41. The United States added 7,260 MW of solar PV for a total of 25.6 GW, from GTM Research and US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), US Solar Market Insight: 2015 Year-in-Review, Executive Summary (Washington, DC: March 2016), p. 4; added 5,942 MW of natural gas in 2015, from US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), “Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2015,”; and added 6,573.2 GW of natural gas, from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly with Data for December 2015 (Washington, DC: February 2016), Table 6.1, Note that both FERC and EIA report lower capacity additions for solar PV and wind power because they omit plants with capacity below 1 MW. See also GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. this note.
  42. GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 41, p. 4.
  43. PV Market Alliance website, op. cit. note 5; ITC also from IHS, cited in Katie Fehrenbacher, “There is a flood of solar farms in the US that are racing to beat a government deadline,” Fortune, 8 June 2015, The federal ITC will remain at 30% through 2019 and then step down to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021 and 10% in 2022 for all projects but direct-owned residential, for which it will expire; projects that commence construction can qualify, from GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 41, p. 7.
  44. GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 41, p. 10. The US residential market was up 66% over 2014, and 2015 was the fourth consecutive year with annual growth of over 50%, from idem, pp. 6, 10. Direct ownership and new loan products from Nicole Litvak, “US residential solar financing 2015–2020,” Greentech Media, 29 July 2015, It also is driven by innovative business models, such as third-party ownership, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 20.
  45. An estimated 4,150 MW of utility solar was added in 2015 for a total exceeding 19.8 GW, from GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 41, p. 6.
  46. California and North Carolina from Ibid., p. 9. Hawaii from the following sources: Herman K. Trabish, “17% of Hawaiian electric customers now have rooftop solar,” Utility Dive, 1 February 2016,; Duane Shimogawa, “Hawaiian Electric has 77,000 installed solar PV systems across Hawaii,” Bizjournals, 28 January 2016,; an estimated 12% of all homes in Hawaii had solar, from Brian Korgaonkar, “How Hawaii has empowered energy storage and forever changed the US solar industry,” Renewable Energy World, 21 December 2015, Most capacity added (87%) was in the top 10 states, from GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 41, p. 7; however, growth is becoming widespread due to improving economics, from Miriam Makyhoun, Ryan Edge, and Nick Esch, Utility Solar Market Snapshot: Sustained Growth in 2014 (Washington, DC: Solar Electric Power Association, May 2015),
  47. This is true especially in Texas and the US Southeast, where some utilities are replacing retired coal plants with utility-scale solar PV and combined-cycle natural gas, from GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 41, p. 11. Some utilities have begun to report that they approached solar PV as a least cost resource, from Makyhoun, Edge, and Esch, op. cit. note 46, p. 10. See also Becky Beetz, “Solar becoming ‘least-cost option’ for US utilities,” PV Magazine, 5 May 2015,
  48. GTM Research, The Next Wave of US Utility Solar, cited in Colin Smith, “What drives utility solar growth in a post-ITC-extension world?” Greentech Media, 24 March 2016,
  49. Establish own programmes from the following sources: Julia Pyper and Eric Wesoff, “Georgia Power is launching its own rooftop solar business,” Greentech Media, 1 July 2015,; Ray Henry and Susan Montoya, “Big utilities enter market for small rooftop solar,” Associated Press, 29 September 2015,; Krysti Shallenberger, “Utilities are getting ready for life with distributed generation – report,” Environment & Energy News, 11 August 2015,; Herman K. Trabish, “New software offerings help utilities boost community solar programs,” Utility Dive, 16 July 2015,; Kristi E. Swartz, “Southern Co. goes all in on solar, storage, smart homes,” Environment & Energy News, 28 May 2015,; “Major Texas coal power producer hops on solar train,” Environment & Energy News, 9 September 2015, Fight for change from Krysti Shallenberger, “Utility adapts to the future, but battles others for market share,” Environment & Energy News, 14 September 2015,
  50. Shayle Kann, “Executive Briefing: The Future of US Solar - Getting to the Next Order of Magnitude,” Greentech Media, November 2015, p. 15, Regulatory disputes and more on the net metering debate from, for example: Paula Mints, “Notes from the solar underground: the US utility war against metering,” Renewable Energy World, 23 February 2016,; Paula Mints, “Fifteen things to watch out for in 2016,” Renewable Energy World, 8 January 2016,; Shallenberger, op. cit. note 50; GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 41, p. 8. For more on Nevada and impacts on solar PV market and companies, see also Davide Savenije, “NV Energy hits net metering cap ahead of schedule, adding fuel to solar debate,” Utility Dive, 24 August 2015,
  51. Nicole Litvak, Solar Research, cited in Shayle Kann, “The ITC awakens: what the extension of a key federal tax credit means for solar,” Greentech Media, 22 December 2015,
  52. Three years of decline from Masson, op. cit. note 2; 2011 peak based on 22.4 GW from EPIA, Market Report 2013 (Brussels: March 2014), p. 4,; Photovoltaics market: Europe is in decline, but Asia is booming,” Sun & Wind Energy, 22 July 2014, Policy shift and general uncertainty from Michael Schmela, SolarPower Europe, “SolarPower Webinar: Market report and solar developments in Europe,” 23 March 2016,, and from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2.
  53. Based on data from Becquerel Institute, 2016, and from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1. The EU added 7,572 MW; all of Europe added 8.1 GW for a total of 96.9 GW, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2.
  54. UK figure of 3.7 GW from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, and from Masson, op. cit. note 2. The UK added 3,537 MW according to preliminary data from UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), “Energy Trends Section 6 – Renewables” (London: March 2016), Germany added 1,355 MW for a total of 39,698 MW, from Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi), Erneuerbare Energien in Deutschland, Daten zur Entwicklung im Jahr 2015 (Berlin: February 2015), p. 4,, and added 1,453 MW for a year-end total of 39,702.9 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, and from Masson, op. cit. note 2. France added an estimated 879 MW for a total of 6.58 GW, from idem, p. 18. Share of total EU installations based on data from Becquerel Institute, April 2016, and IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1. One-third of France’s capacity additions were in one 300 MW plant, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 11.
  55. The Netherlands added an estimated 450 MW for a total of 1.57 GW, and Italy added 300 MW for a total of 18.92 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 9; Italian market down dramatically (most developers have left Italy for markets overseas) from Masson, op. cit. note 2; the Netherlands added about 400 MW in 2015, and additions there as well as in Denmark (about 180 MW) were driven mainly by net metering, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 12.
  56. In 2008, Spain added 2.6 GW of capacity, which represented half of global installations that year, from REN21, Renewables Global Status Report 2009 Update (Paris: 2009); added about 56 MW in 2015 for a total of 5.44 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1; and added 49 MW in 2015, up from 22 MW in 2014, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 11; situation in 2015 from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 1; SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 19; Ilias Tsagas, “Spain approves ‘sun tax,’ discriminates against solar PV,” Renewable Energy World, 23 October 2015,; Blanca Diaz Lopez, “Spain’s supreme tribunal rules against PV system owners,” PV Magazine, 22 January 2016, Spain added 56 MW for a total of 5.44 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18; Spain had 4,667 MW of capacity at end-2015, based on preliminary data from RED Eléctrica de España (REE), El Sistema Eléctrico Español: Avance 2015 (Madrid: 2016), p. 4,
  57. Subsidy expiration and FIT cuts from Jonathan Gifford, “UK: Solar outshines hydro, drives down coal in 2015,” PV Magazine, 7 January 2016,, and from Chris Roselund, “2015: The year in solar,” PV Magazine, 5 January 2016, The UK had about 9.1 GW at year-end, per Masson, op. cit. note 2, and the country had 8,915 MW, according to preliminary estimates from UK DECC, op. cit. note 54.
  58. Gifford, op. cit. note 57.
  59. Reduction relative to 2014 based on 1.9 GW added in 2014, from BMWi, Marktanalyse Photovoltaik-Dachlagen (Berlin: 2015), Germany added 1.89 GW in 2014 (compared with 3.14 GW in 2014 and 7.27 GW in 2012) for a total of 38.23 GW, from German Federal Network Agency, cited in “Germany added only 1.89 GW of PV capacity in 2014,” Photon, 3 February 2015,; Germany added 1.9 GW for a total of 38.2 GW at the end of 2014, from Bundesverband Solar Wirtschaft e.V. (BSW-Solar), “Statistische Zahlen der deutschen Solarstrombranche (Photovoltaik),” March 2015, Official target (EEG corridor) of 2.4–2.6 GW, from BMWi, op. cit. note 54, p. 4.
  60. Germany’s year-end capacity totalled 39,698 MW (1,355 MW added in 2015), preliminary data from BMWi, op. cit. note 54; Germany’s cumulative capacity was 39,703.9 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1.
  61. SolarPower Europe, “2015: A positive year for solar,” op. cit. note 1. Self-consumption is becoming the primary driver for distributed PV, from Schmela, op. cit. note 52. However, self-consumption policies are very complicated, particularly in France, Germany and Spain, and thus not supporting solar PV deployment, from Masson, op. cit. note 2. The list of countries constraining self-consumption in some way is long (e.g., Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain), from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, pp. 17–18.
  62. Alexandre Roesch, SolarPower Europe, personal communication with REN21, 17 March 2016.
  63. Market design from Ibid.; business models from Masson, op. cit. note 2. See also Giles Parkinson, “Graph of the day: solar reaches 9.1% of demand in France,” REnew Economy, 14 April 2015,
  64. Australia added 935 MW for a total of 5,065 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18; one panel per inhabitant from “Australian solar industry celebrates the new year by ticking over 1.5m PV systems and one solar panel per person,” SunWiz, 3 January 206,
  65. Residential from Jonathan Pearlman, “Australia taking solar power to the next level,” Straits Times, 31 January 2016,; Jo Chandler, “Despite hurdles, solar power in Australia is too robust to kill,” Yale Environment 360, 11 June 2015,; Jonathan Gifford, “Australia leads world in residential solar penetration,” PV Magazine, 29 September 2015, About 1.5 million households had rooftop solar PV, with the highest share (nearly 30%) in Queensland, from Pearlman, op. cit. this note; commercial and large-scale from Chandler, op. cit. this note; SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 21. Two large-scale plants opened in New South Wales in early 2016, from Pearlman, op. cit. this note. Residential solar PV actually contracted some in 2015, whereas small- and medium-scale commercial as well as industrial- and utility-scale increased significantly, from “Australian solar industry celebrates the new year…,” op. cit. this note.
  66. Based on Melbourne Energy Institute and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Five Years of Declining Annual Consumption of Grid-Supplied Electricity in Eastern Australia: Causes and Consequences, cited in Giles Parkinson, “Graph of the day: how solar PV slashed electricity demand,” REnew Economy, 4 September 2015, See also Giles Parkinson, “Solar makes its mark on unsuspecting global energy markets,” REnew Economy, 31 March 2015,, and Ian Clover, “Half of all Australian households could adopt solar by 2018, finds the Climate Council,” PV Magazine, 22 October 2015,
  67. Chandler, op. cit. note 65.
  68. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3, pp. 11, 30.
  69. Estimate of 1.1–1.2 GW added for a year-end total of 1.9–2 GW across the region, from Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  70. Chile added 446 MW (DC) for a total of 848 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1; Chile added 316 MW (AC) in 2015 for a total of 536 MW (AC) in operation at year’s end, but including projects in the test phase, total capacity was 848 MW at end-2015, up from 402 MW (AC) at the beginning of the year, with 2,195 MW (AC) under construction by end-2015, from Chile National Center for Innovation and Promotion of Sustainable Energy (CIFES), Ministry of Energy,, cited in Blanca Diaz Lopez and Christian Roselund, “Chile: 316 MW–AC of solar PV came online in 2015,” PV Magazine, 20 January 2016,; 316 MW of commercial capacity added in 2015 for a year-end total of 848 MW, from CIFES, Reporte CIFES—Energías Renovables en el Mercado Eléctrico Chileno (Santiago: January 2016), p. 2, Rapid growth was due mainly to very large-scale projects, driven by Chile’s renewable energy law and very high spot market prices thanks to the country’s mining industry, from Movellan, op. cit. note 13.
  71. Deutsche Bank, cited in Becky Beetz, “Chile: Solar cheaper than fossil fuels,” PV Magazine, 5 November 2015,
  72. The country added nearly 0.4 GW to make solar its fastest growing power source, from Honduras National Electric Energy Company, cited in Blanca Diaz Lopez, “389 MW of solar comes online in Honduras in 2015 to date,” PV Magazine, 19 November 2015,; year-end capacity of 389 MW also from Becquerel Institute, April 2016; generous FIT (for the first 300 MW) and regulatory certainty that set it apart from its neighbours, from Christian Roselund, “Honduras: 232 MW of PV projects receive three cent bonus,” PV Magazine, 27 August 2015,; Adam Critchley, “Honduras emerges as Central America’s solar success story,” Greentech Media, 7 September 2015, Figure 17 based on country-specific data and on sources provided throughout this section. Data for Taipei, China from PVPS, op. cit. note 1.
  73. The decline in oil prices hurt the solar market in Mexico, from Adam James, “Mexico: Where oil prices really do impact solar,” Greentech Media, 28 April 2015,; deployment in Mexico was on hold awaiting the Energy Transition Law, and Brazil’s market was affected by the country’s economic woes, from GTM Research, cited in Kenning, op. cit. note 2; Brazil’s challenges also from Vanessa Dezem, “Brazil state shelves auction for 200 MW of solar power,” Renewable Energy World, 29 February 2016, Both Brazil and Mexico had substantial capacity in the pipeline: Mexico had over 5 GW of permitted projects, and Brazil had over 2 GW contracted, from GTM Research, cited in Kenning, op. cit. note 2. Mexico added 103 MW for a total of 282 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18. Mexico was the region’s leading market for distributed solar PV with more than 50 MW added through the national net metering programme, from Blanca Díaz López, “Mexico remains the leading distributed solar market in Latin America,” PV Magazine, 3 March 2016,, and had a cumulative 114 MW at end-2014, from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CRE), “Estadísticas: Contratos de interconexión en pequeña y mediana escala – año ٢٠١٥,” p. ٥,٢١٠٩.pdf. In Brazil, 833 MW of new capacity was awarded out of a total 11.2 GW of total qualified bids, from Eric Wesoff, “Brazil announces the winners of its 833 MW solar auction,” Greentech Media, 7 September 2015, Construction began late in the year on a 254 MW plant in Bahia state, with power contracted at USD 0.08/kWh, from Ian Clover, “Enel Green Power begins construction of 254 MW Brazil solar plant,” PV Magazine, 29 December 2015, In Peru, 144 MW was bid by Enel Green Power at USD 47.98/MWh, and another 40 MW was bid by Enersur at USD 48.50/MWh, from Henry Lindon, “Tremendously low 4.8¢/kWh solar price in Peru, unsubsidized,” CleanTechnica, 25 February 2016,, and from Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  74. See, for example, Robert Muhn, Yingli Chile, cited in Movellan, op. cit. note 13.
  75. Masson, op. cit. note 2 and March 2015. Deployment of solar PV is driven largely by decisions of large banks to support specific projects that they consider to pose relatively low risk, from idem.
  76. Some of the fastest markets and drivers from Apricum PV Market Model Q3 2015, cited in Kurz, op. cit. note 7; IHS, MENASOL 2015, cited in Heba Hashem, “PV hit grid parity and Jordan, UAE as MENA capacity surges,” PV Insider, 29 May 2015,
  77. Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  78. See, for example: “Solar developments in Jordan,” Renewable Energy World Magazine, September/October 2015, p. 10; “Cleaner, cheaper energy sources,” Jordan Times, 29 December 2015,; Ilias Tsagas, “Jordan’s second PV tender leads to record low tariffs,” PV Magazine, 18 May 2015,; IHS, MENASOL 2015, cited in Hashem, op. cit. note 76. Jordan also has been busy installing solar panels on rooftops of homes, mosques and universities, from Ilias Tsagas, “Jordan’s rooftop PV sector thriving,” PV Magazine, 11 February 2015,, from Edgar Meza, “Jordan launches plan to install solar on 6,000 mosques,” PV Magazine, 16 March 2015,, and from Ilias Tsagas, “Jordan’s universities install solar,” PV Magazine, 2 March 2015,
  79. Israel added 200 MW for a total of 880.7 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1. See also Anna Hirtenstein, “Israel’s 340-MW solar goal on hold as industry waits for government policies,” Renewable Energy World, 10 August 2015, Progress was slow in Israel due to a large discovery of natural gas offshore in recent years and to uncertainty about government regulations, per idem. Kuwait, the State of Palestine and Saudi Arabia all had some capacity in operation at end-2015, from Becquerel Institute, April 2016. Andrew Burger, “Egypt’s renewable energy drive gains steam,” Renewable Energy World, 9 June 2015,; Damian Carrington, “Saudi Arabia is hedging its bets with solar power,” Business Insider, 23 May 2015,; “Gaza to get 30 megawatts of solar energy,” World Bulletin, 16 April 2015,
  80. See, for example: Becky Beetz, “Solar activity heats up in Africa,” PV Magazine, 16 November 2015,; Madilitso Mwando, “Zimbabwe capital turns to solar streetlights to cut costs, crime,” Reuters, 30 March 2015,; in addition, a 300 MW solar PV plant is in the pipeline in the Zimbabwean province of Matabeleland South, from Stanley Tshoga, Biogas Solar Engineering Zimbabwe, personal communication with REN21, 10 April 2016.
  81. In 2015, Algeria added 268 MW of solar PV for total of 271.38 MW (up from 3.38 MW at the end of 2014); 75 MW was in the pipeline for installation in 2016, and 400 MW of new capacity was in progress, from Samy Bouchaib, Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables, Algeria, personal communication with REN21, February 2016; Algeria added 268 MW, from SKTM, “Projet 400 MW,”; Algeria ended the year with a total of 271.4 MW, from “14 solar plants commissioned in High Plateaus, South regions in 2015,” Algeria Press Service, 3 January 2016,; Algeria added 270 MW for a total of 300 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18. South Africa added about 200 MW for a year-end total of 1,122 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 18; Algeria added 270 MW and South Africa added around 200 MW, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 21.
  82. The announced pipeline for private investments under Egypt’s FIT is 2,300 MW, there are 0.5 GW of projects under a competitive bidding scheme, as well as state-owned plants, for a total of 3 GW, from Maged Mahmoud, Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), personal communication with REN21, 10 April 2016; Egypt added a few utility-scale plants in 2015, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 21; plans to finance, develop and construct up to 5 GW, from Masson, op. cit. note 2. Other Egypt information from: Edgar Meza, “Solar developers flocking to Egypt,” PV Magazine, 30 March 2015,; Edgar Meza, “Egypt signs deals for 200 MW of solar,” PV Magazine, 4 May 2015,; Ian Clover, “Scatec Solar launches Egyptian activities towards building 250 MW of solar,” PV Magazine, 26 October 2015,; Burger, op. cit. note 79.
  83. Beetz, op. cit. note 80. See also: Ian Clover, “SkyPower announces $440m, 200 MW Djibouti solar plans,” PV Magazine, 2 October 2015,; “Akuo Energy: Signature of the largest solar project in West Africa, with the Malian government,” Tecsol, 24 October 2015, (using Google Translate); Ian Clover, “Nigeria signs $100m development deal for 50 MW solar farm,” PV Magazine, 11 November 2015,; Katherine Tweed, “Ignite Power will bring solar to 250,000 homes in Rwanda by 2018,” Greentech Media, 1 February 2016,; Solar Solutions West Africa, “Top 20 – largest solar PV projects West Africa,”, viewed 6 April 2016; REN21, SADC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report 2015 (Paris: 2015),
  84. Becky Beetz, “Off-grid solar market worth $300 million annually,” PV Magazine, 27 October 2015,
  85. Shem Oirere, “Coping with a lack of skilled solar workers in Africa,” Solar Novus, 22 March 2016,
  86. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 59.
  87. Early 2016 data (through February 2016) from the following sources: Denis Lenardic, “Large-scale PV power plants – Top 50,” pvresources,, updated 28 February 2016; Denis Lenardic, “Large-scale PV power plants – Ranking 51–100,” pvresources,, updated 18 February 2016; Denis Lenardic, “Large-scale PV power plants – Ranking 101–150,” pvresources,, updated 1 January 2016; Denis Lenardic, pvresources, personal communication with REN21, 29 February 2016. Uruguay commissioned La Jacinta Solar Farm (50 MW) in 2015, from Uruguay Secretary of Energy, Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Minería, personal communication with REN21, 29 April 2016. Note that towards the end of 2015, the Wiki-Solar Database included over 5,000 utility-scale projects (defined as 4 MW (AC) and up) that represented more than 120 GW of solar generating capacity worldwide, from Wiki-Solar, “The Wiki-Solar Database,”, viewed 29 March 2016. There were at least 70 projects and 14 countries in early 2015, based on idem and Lenardic, personal communication, op. cit. this note.
  88. Lenardic, “Large-scale PV power plants – Top 50,” op. cit. note 88; Lenardic, “Large-scale PV power plants – Ranking 51–100,” op. cit. note 88; Lenardic, “Large-scale PV power plants – Ranking 101–150,” op. cit. note 88.
  89. Denis Lenardic, pvresources, personal communication with REN21, 6 March 2016.
  90. Figure of 33 from Denis Lenardic, pvresources, personal communications with REN21, 29 February and 6 March 2016. For large-scale projects of about 4 MW and up, see “Global utility-scale solar reaches annual record yet again,” Solar Industry Magazine, 7 March 2016,; Eric Wesoff, “Solar Star, largest PV power plant in the world, now operational,” Greentech Media, 26 June 2015,; Solar Star’s capacity in DC is 747.3 MW, from Mortenson, “Solar Star I and II, Rosamond, CA,”, viewed 15 April 2016. The Longyangxia Project in Qinghai Province is a hybrid plant with solar PV coupled directly to one of four turbines at the nearby 1,280 MW hydropower station. The 320 MW solar PV plant was expanded to 850 MW, and became operational in 2015, per Frank Haugwitz, AECEA, personal communication with REN21, April 2016, and Mathis Rogner, International Hydropower Association (IHA), personal communication with REN21, 26 April 2016. See also IHA, “Briefing: 2016 Key Trends in Hydropower” (London: 2016),, p. 3, and China State Power Investment Corporation, “World’s largest hydro/PV hybrid project synchronized,” 31 December 2014,
  91. Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Current Status of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Technology (Freiburg, Germany and Golden, CO: February 2016), pp. 6, 7, CPV entered the marketplace only in the mid-2000s, with the first plant exceeding 1 MW installed in Spain during 2006. The technology is still young and a small player, and there remains a lack of reliable data on all fronts, from idem, pp. 7, 10.
  92. Simon P. Philipps et al., Current Status of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Technology (Freiburg, Germany and Golden, CO: Fraunhofer ISE and NREL, January 2015), p. 6,; Alexandre Roesch, SolarPower Europe, personal communication with REN21, 7 April 2016.
  93. Projects came online in China, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, the United States and some countries in Europe, based on data provided at CPV Consortium, “Listing projects,”, viewed 19 March 2016, and from Fraunhofer ISE and NREL, op. cit. note 91, p. 11; cancelled from Masson, op. cit. note 2. In 2015 around 17 MW was newly installed, from Fraunhofer ISE and NREL, op. cit. note 91. For additional information, see also IHS, Top Solar Power Industry Trends for 2015 (Englewood, CO: 2015),
  94. Fraunhofer ISE and NREL, op. cit. note 91, p. 5. More than 90% of capacity was high-concentration PV (HCPV) with two-axis tracking, from idem, p. 6.
  95. In Italy, solar PV generated 24,676 GWh of electricity in 2015, up by 13% over 2014, according to preliminary statistics from Terna, cited in Ilias Tsagas, “Solar PV provides 7.8 percent of Italy’s electricity in 2015,” Renewable Energy World, 11 February 2016,; Greece based on 3,658 GWh of solar PV generation and total electricity consumption of 56.4 TWh in 2015, for a solar PV share of 6.48%, from ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΟΣ ΑΓΟΡΑΣ ΗΛΕΚΤΡΙΚΗΣ ΕΝΕΡΓΕΙΑΣ A.E., Μηνιαίο Δελτίο Ειδικού Λογαριασμού ΑΠΕ & ΣΗΘΥΑ (Pireas: December ٢٠١٥), provided by Ioannis Tsipouridis, R.E.D. Pro Consultants S.A., Athens, personal communication with REN٢١, ٢٥ April ٢٠١٦; Germany data is preliminary and for gross electricity consumption, from BMWi, op. cit. note 54; solar PV generation of 5.9% (share of gross electricity generation), from AG Energiebilanzen, “Bruttostromerzeugung in Deutschland ab 1990 nach Energieträgern,” 28 January 2016, provided by AGEE-Stat, personal communication with REN21, 4 April 2016.
  96. Figures of 3.5% and 7% from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 6; estimated nearly 4% of total from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 4; data for 2008 from Gaëtan Masson, “Editorial: 2013, a qualified record-year for photovoltaics,” EPIA, March 2014,
  97. Figure of 22 countries from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, pp. 6, 16. An estimated 17 out of 28 EU member states had enough to generate at least 1% of electricity with solar PV at end-2015, from Schmela, op. cit. note 52.
  98. Frank Haugwitz, AECEA, personal communication with REN21, 11 April 2016.
  99. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, pp. 17, 18. Estimate for electricity generation is theoretical calculation based on average yield and installed solar PV capacity as of 31 December 2015.
  100. Back on their feet from Haugwitz, op. cit. note 98; consolidate from Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  101. Consolidation into downstream (including O&M and EPC) from Theologitis, op. cit. note 32; focusing on markets elsewhere from Alexandra S. Mebane, “An in-depth interview with JinkoSolar’s CSO & Head of Emerging Markets: Arturo Herrero,” Solar Plaza, 20 February 2015,; many Italian companies, for example, have turned to overseas markets, from Becquerel Institute and IEA PVPS, personal communication with REN21, 18 March 2016; shipments to all markets outside of Europe were on the rise by early 2014, from Shyam Mehta, 5 crucial solar manufacturing stats for 2014,Greentech Media, 17 March 2014,
  102. See, for example, Fraunhofer ISE and NREL, op. cit. note 91; Oscar de la Rubia, Institute for Concentration Photovoltaics Systems, Spain, cited in “CPV’s golden opportunity in the MENA region,” Solar GCC Alliance, 11 February 2015,; Paula Mints, “Fifteen things to watch out for in 2016,” Renewable Energy World, 8 January 2016, For CSP, see CSP section in this GSR.
  103. See, for example: Justin Doom, “Canada imposes tariff on imported Chinese solar equipment,” Renewable Energy World, 9 March 2015,; Tom Miles and David Lawder, “US wins WTO dispute against India’s solar rules,” Reuters, 25 February 2016,; BNEF and Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), 2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook (London and Washington, DC: 2016),; Ilana Solomon and Ben Beachy, “The WTO just ruled against India’s booming solar program,” Huffington Post, 24 February 2016,
  104. Jason Deign, “Europe’s module import verdict to test price convergence with China,” PV Insider, 16 October 2015,” Module prices tend to be more global than soft costs; however, US module prices are largely driven by trade policy, including anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese module suppliers, from SEIA and GTM Research, “US Solar Market Insight 2015 Q4” (Washington, DC: 9 March 2016),
  105. GTM Research, PV Pulse, April 2016. The cheapest offers were below USD 0.5/Wp, and probably as low as USD 0.44/Wp, per PV Insights, provided by Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  106. Vince Font, “How innovations in BOS will keep solar affordable in a post-ITC world,” Renewable Energy World Magazine, November/December 2015, pp. 26–31,
  107. Galen Barbose and Naïm Darghouth, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), “Tracking the Sun VIII: The Installed Price of Residential and Non-Residential Photovoltaic Systems in the United States,” Report Summary (Berkeley, CA: August 2015), Soft costs also include marketing and customer acquisition, system design, installation labor, and permitting and inspections, from idem.
  108. Galen Barbose and Naïm Darghouth, Tracking the Sun VIII: The Installed Price of Residential and Non-Residential Photovoltaic Systems in the United States (Berkeley, CA: LBNL, August 2015), pp. 23–24, Soft costs in Germany are well below those in Japan and the United States, from Masson, op. cit. note 2. Costs continue to be higher in Japan than many other countries, however; see, for example, Andy Colthorpe, “Japan’s government confirms plans for solar tender,” PV-Tech, 4 March 2016,
  109. Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  110. Brazil’s solar auctions contracted at around USD 80/MWh, from “Modules, large-scale PV see big price drop in 2010-2014,” PV Insider, 9 November 2015,, and from Clover, op. cit. note 73; Chile had a tender in October 2015 in which three solar PV farms were offered for USD 65–68/MWh, compared to new coal at rates up to USD 85/MWh, from Deutsche Bank, cited in Beetz, op. cit. note 71; India from Anindya Upadhyay, “India’s largest solar power auction reflects further drop in solar energy costs,” Renewable Energy World, 4 August 2015,; Jordan’s tender brought record-low tariffs, with the four lowest in the range of USD 61.3–76.7/MWh, from Tsagas, op. cit. note 78, and from “Modules, large-scale PV see big price drop in 2010-2014,” op. cit. this note. In Mexico, solar bids in March 2016 averaged USD 40.5/MWh, from Vanessa Dezem and Adam Williams, “Mexico first power auction awards 1,720 MW of wind, solar,” Renewable Energy World, 30 March 2016,; the lowest price bid in Mexico for solar was USD 35/MWh (v. USD 42/MWh for wind power), which some experts believe was to ensure a foothold in the market and expect prices to rise in future bidding rounds, from Steve Sawyer, Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), personal communication with REN21, 6 April 2016. Peru awarded 185 MW of new solar PV contracts at record low prices for a country without financial incentives, including tax breaks; of the total, 144 MW was bid by Enel Green Power at USD 47.98/MWh, and another 40 MW was bid by Enersur at USD 48.50/MWh, from “Tremendously low 4.8¢/kWh solar price In Peru, unsubsidized,” op. cit. note 73, and from Masson, op. cit. note 2. Dubai, UAE’s tender was with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority for what was then the lowest-cost unsubsidised electricity to date, just under USD 60/MWh, from “Modules, large-scale PV see big price drop in 2010-2014,” op. cit. this note, and from Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA), “Middle East to tender 2 GW; Masdar to build 200 MW in Jordan,” PV Insider, 2 February 2016, Note that between the tender in Dubai and early 2016, Memorandums of Understanding were signed in Jordan and Saudi Arabia for PPAs as low as USD 50/MWh, from idem. It is important to be cautious about these figures because tenders can be considered successful only if projects are actually delivered. In some cases (e.g., UK), winners have clearly under-bid and then have not been able to deliver, from Roesch, op. cit. note 92.
  111. Germany from Roselund, op. cit. note 57; pilot tenders brought successful bids averaging EUR 0.092 per kWh in April 2015, EUR 0.085/kWh in August and as low as EUR 0.08/kWh in December 2015, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 2, p. 18; United States from GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 41, p. 11. See also: Roselund, op. cit. note 57; BNEF and BCSE, op. cit. note 103, pp. 55, 56; David Ferris, “Solar power crosses threshold, gets cheaper than natural gas,” Environment & Energy News, 21 August 2015,; Herman K. Trabish, “Austin Energy gets record low solar bids at under 4 cents/kWh,” Utility Dive, 2 July 2015,
  112. Trajectories from US Department of Energy, Revolution…Now: The Future Arrives for Five Clean Energy Technologies – 2015 Update (Washington, DC: November 2015),; competitive from SolarPower Europe, Global Market Outlook for Solar Power: 2015-2019, op. cit. note 1, p. 7.
  113. Theologitis, op. cit. note 32.
  114. Paula Mints, “Trying to understand PV shipment numbers: do the math,” Renewable Energy World, 22 March 2016,; Paula Mints, “The top ten PV manufacturers in 2014 and why this list can lack meaning,” Renewable Energy World, 12 February 2015,; Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  115. Preliminary estimates of 62,227 MW of cell production capacity and 69,081 MW of module assembly capacity from Paula Mints, “2015 top ten PV cell manufacturers,” Renewable Energy World, 8 April 2016,; estimates of 61.2 GW for cells and 63.1 GW for modules from GTM Research, op. cit. note 105.
  116. GTM Research, op. cit. note 105; 2014 from GTM Research, PV Pulse, March 2015.
  117. Paula Mints, “Reality check: the changing world of PV manufacturing,” Renewable Energy World, 5 October 2011,; Paula Mints, “The solar pricing struggle,” Renewable Energy World, 28 August 2013,; Mints, op. cit. note 115.
  118. GTM Research, op. cit. note 105; China accounted for 75% of global module production in 2015, per China PV Industry Association, provided by Haugwitz, op. cit. note 98; Asia accounted for 87% in 2014 and 85% in 2013, and China accounted for 64% both years, from GTM Research, op. cit. note 116; Asia accounted for 87% of global module assembly capacity in 2014, and China plus Taiwan accounted for 62%, from Mints, “The top ten PV manufacturers in 2014…,” op. cit. note 114.
  119. Figures for 2015 from GTM Research, op. cit. note 105. Europe’s share fell from 8% in 2014, and 10% in 2013, from GTM Research, op. cit. note 116.
  120. Based on preliminary data based on actual module shipments through September 2015 and guidance figures as well as detailed analysis of over 45 leading manufacturers’ expected shipments for the full year, from Mark Osborne, “Top 10 solar module manufacturers in 2015,” PV-Tech, 21 January 2016, Lists of top 10 companies vary according to source, depending on methodology. The top 10 manufacturers of solar PV cells were Trina, JA Solar, Hanwha Q-Cells, Canadian Solar, First Solar, Jinko Solar, Yingli, Motech, NeoSolar and Shungfeng-Suntech, from Mints, op. cit. note 115.
  121. Osborne, op. cit. note 120.
  122. Wesoff, op. cit. note 73; manufacturers added more module assembly capacity and less cell capacity in 2014 and 2015, from Mints, “Trying to understand PV shipment numbers: do the math,” op. cit. note 114. See also: Christian Roselund, “Hanwha Q Cells returned to profitability during 2015, reports strong results,” PV Magazine, 28 March 2016,; Mark Osborne, “Trina Solar starts ramping cell and module production in Thailand,” PV-Tech, 29 March 2016,; IEA, World Energy Outlook 2015 (Paris: 2015), p. 358.
  123. New facilities based on the following: Algerian ENIE opened a 25 MW solar panel factory in 2015, from “ENIE se lance dans la fabrication des panneaux solaires,” Algeria Press Service, 21 July 2015,; in Brazil, Globo Brasil inaugurated a 180 MW module factory in 2015, BYD was constructing a 400 MW module factory due to open in 2016 and SunEdison announced plans to build a module factory, all from Wesoff, op. cit. note 73; Ian Clover, “Egypt unveils 50 MW PV project and 50 MW module fab,” PV Magazine, 29 June 2015,; IGD and SkyPower announced plans to build a 600 MW PV fabrication and assembly plant in Egypt, from Burger, op. cit. note 79; a PV module line with 50 MW of annual production capacity was installed in Iran during 2015, from Christian Roselund, “Iran to pay 35% premium for solar, wind plants with domestic content,” PV Magazine, 5 February 2016,; Jason Deign, “South Africa’s module industry grows on local content push,” PV Insider, 2 February 2016,; “Talesun inaugure une usine ultra automatisée de 800 MW de capacité en Thaïlande,” Tecsol, 22 November 2015,ée-de-800-mw-de-capacité-en-thaïlande.html. In response to trade tariffs from, for example: Doug Young, “New energy: trade wars push China solars offshore,” Young China Biz, 17 March 2015,; Bridge to India, “166 GW of solar investment interest in India in the coming years,” India Solar Weekly, 9 February 2015; Liu Yuanyuan, “The Chinese viewpoint: what solar manufacturers plan to do about the US trade rulings,” Renewable Energy World, 24 February 2015, Expansion plans based on the following: Feifei Shen, “China’s Tongwei Group plans world’s biggest solar-cell plant,” Renewable Energy World, 19 November 2015,; Mark Osborne, “SolarWorld adding 500MW of monocrystalline ingot production,” PV-Tech, 13 March 2015,٥٠٠mw_of_monocrystalline_ingot_production; Bridge to India, “Global solar manufacturers look to India for new manufacturing capacity,” India Solar Weekly, 4 May 2015; Anindya Upadhyay, “JA Solar, Essel set to begin building solar cell, module plants,” Renewable Energy World, 1 September 2015,; Junko Movellan, “Panasonic ramps up Japanese solar manufacturing to meet domestic rooftop demand,” Renewable Energy World, 21 May 2015,; Ian Clover, “Property deal signed for phase one of planned 1 GW Saudi PV fab,” PV Magazine, 11 January 2016,; Eric Wesoff, “1366 Technologies to build 250MW ‘direct’ silicon wafer factory in upstate NY,” Greentech Media, 7 October 2015,
  124. Bloomberg, from Alex Nussbaum, “Solar goes on a building boom despite memories of past bust,” Renewable Energy World, 24 December 2015, Note that there have been many announcements, but it is not realistic that all will be carried out, and some companies could be replacing existing lines, improving technologies and mixing wafers, etc., from Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  125. Kieran Cooke, “Clouds over China’s solar power industry,” Climate News Network,” 10 August 2015,
  126. Tianwei was a manufacturer of electrical transformers, and then of polysilicon, from Doug Young, “New energy: solar weaklings shutter on Tianwei collapse,” Young China Biz, 21 September 2015,; Doug Young, “New energy: government bails out Yingli, sort of…,” Young China Biz, 14 October 2015,; Yingli also from Nussbaum, op. cit. note 124. Hanergy came under investigation after its stock value plummeted in May 2015 and, in early 2016, posted its first annual loss since 2009, from the following: Brian Spegele and Wayne Ma, “Hanergy’s prospects dimmed by solar panels’ quality, analysts say,” Wall Street Journal, 22 June 2015,; “Hanergy,” Wikipedia,, viewed 31 March 2016; Antoine Gara, “Hanergy’s stock collapse is a frustrating win for handcuffed short sellers,” Forbes, 20 May 2015,; “Hanergy thin film posts loss four times bigger than revenue,” Bloomberg, 31 March 2016,
  127. Solar project developers have reported subsidy payment delays of up to 18 months, which has caused cash flow problems, from Raj Prabhu, Mercom Capital Group, cited in Movellan, op. cit. note 13.
  128. Eric Wesoff, “The mercifully short list of fallen solar companies: 2015 edition,” Greentech Media, 1 December 2015,
  129. Christopher Martin and Brian Eckhouse, “SunEdison caps 2015 with deals boosting balance sheet,” Renewable Energy World, 4 January 2016,; Stephen Lacey, “SunEdison to reassure investors about its growth path: ‘we’re going to acknowledge reality’,” Greentech Media, 7 October 2015,; Eric Wesoff, “SunEdison: A timeline of the biggest corporate implosion in US solar history,” Greentech Media, 7 March 2016,; Steven Davidoff Solomon, “The financial alchemy that’s choking SunEdison,” New York Times, corrected 17 March 2016,; Eric Wesoff, “Breaking: SunEdison just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” Greentech Media, 21 April 2016,
  130. In addition to those in text, examples of mergers and acquisitions include: Solar Frontier (Japan), the second largest thin film module supplier, acquired the project pipeline of Gestamp Solar to enter the US market, from Eric Wesoff, “Solar Frontier acquires Gestamp’s 280MW US PV project pipeline,” Greentech Media, 10 March 2015,; SolarCity (US) acquired ISIOSS, a leading Mexican solar developer, to move into the Mexican market, from David Ferris, “SolarCity moves beyond US border with acquisition,” Environment & Energy News, 5 August 2015,, and from Christian Roselund, “SolarCity to slow growth and focus on cost reduction,” PV Magazine, 29 October 2015,; Hanwha Solar Holdings merged Hanwha SolarOne and Hanwha Q Cells Investment Co. to form Hanwha Q Cells, from Ehren Goossens, “Hanwha to sell NextEra solar panels in record 1.5-gigawatt deal,” 20 April 2015,; Eric Wesoff, “Canadian Solar finally acquires Recurrent Energy for $265 million in cash,” Greentech Media, 2 February 2015,; Jennifer Runyon, “Duke Energy takes equity stake in REC Solar, embraces distributed generation,” Renewable Energy World, 9 February 2015, Additional examples of partnerships from the following: Shubhankar Chakravorty, “SunPower, Apple to build solar projects in China,” Reuters, 17 April 2015,; Andrew Burger, “US, China solar PV players team up, Invest $100M in Chile, Uruguay and Japan,” Renewable Energy World, 23 September 2015,; Doug Young, “New energy: solar finance entices, frustrates plant builders,” Young China Biz, 13 February 2015,
  131. Eric Wesoff, “Breaking: Shunfeng acquires majority stake in US solar manufacturer Suniva for $57 million,” Greentech Media, 12 August 2015,; Liu Yuanyuan, “Developing trends in China’s solar PV industry for 2016,” Renewable Energy World, 10 March 2016,
  132. Doug Young, “Canadian Solar charges plant unit, Jumei looks homeward,” Renewable Energy World, 19 February 2016,; Doug Young, “New energy: Solar Shift in new financing for Canadian Solar, Trina,” Young China Biz, 30 October 2015,
  133. The aim was to tap into high-demand regions with higher risk and thus higher cost of capital, from Stephen Lacey, “SunPower investing ‘significantly and aggressively’ to scale Cogenra’s novel solar production line,” Greentech Media, 24 November 2015,
  134. Alex Nussbaum, “Chinese solar to jump fourfold by 2020, official tells Xinhua,” Renewable Energy World, 14 October 2015,
  135. Cedric Brehaut, “Utility-scale PV O&M: a crowded vendor landscape,” Greentech Media, 2 December 2014,; Ioannis-Thomas Theologitis, SolarPower Europe, personal communication with REN21, 17 April 2016.
  136. Christian Roselund, “First Solar reaches 5 GW of solar assets under O&M contracts,” PV Magazine, 10 March 2016,; Brehaut, op. cit. note 135.
  137. Theologitis, op. cit. note 135.
  138. Warranty coverage from Glenna R. Wiseman, “Defining an industry: solar PV operations & maintenance versus asset management,” Renewable Energy World, 7 March 2014,; construction slows from Mike Munsell, “Global megawatt-scale PV O&M market to surpass 488 GW by 2020,” Greentech Media, 23 November 2015,
  139. Figure of 130 GW from Theologitis, op. cit. 135, and from Greentech Media, cited in “O&M market to triple in next five years,” PV Insider, 9 December 2015,
  140. Cedric Brehaut, “The growing split between solar operations and maintenance,” Greentech Media, 21 January 2016,; the rate of occurrence differs by country, with the trend most obvious in Germany and the United States, from idem; Cedric Brehaut, “The fastest-growing vendor category in solar O&M: affiliated service providers,” Greentech Media, 2 December 2015,
  141. “SoftBank, Sharp team on plant installation, maintenance,” Nikkei Asian Review, 29 October 2015,; Christopher Martin, “SolarCity offering rooftop solar power to DirecTV customers,” Renewable Energy World, 11 March 2015,; SolarCity’s partnership with Nest is “a sign that two major trends of the decade – distributed solar power and the connected home – are starting to combine in ways that make them greater than the sum of their parts,” from David Ferris, “SolarCity and Nest offer a glimpse of the future,” Environment & Energy News, 14 April 2015,; there are plans for major initiatives in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, from “Sungevity leaves Australian solar market,” PV Insider, 6 August 2015,; Diarmaid Williams, “E.ON and Sungevity announce ‘Go Solar’ programme,” COSPP, 30 July 2015,
  142. Junko Movellan, “Post-FIT Japan: manufacturers promote PV systems with inverter-integrated energy storage systems,” Renewable Energy World, 19 March 2015,; Meg Cichon, “Leasing option now available for Solar Plus flow battery energy storage systems,” Renewable Energy World, 26 February 2015,; Australian Renewable Energy Agency, “Residential rooftop solar with battery storage a step closer,” 17 March 2015,
  143. Raj Prabhu, Mercom Capital Group, cited in Katherine Steiner-Dicks, “Yieldcos require pipeline growth to recover from oil, fiscal policy impact,” PV Insider, 14 September 2015,
  144. Other causes were concern about a possible US Federal Reserve interest rate increase and the fact that several renewable energy firms were in search of funds from public capital markets, from Varun Sivaram, Council on Foreign Relations, cited in Steiner-Dicks, op. cit. note 143; see also Saqib Rahim, “Much-loved investment tool for renewables is oil’s latest victim,” Environment & Energy News, 16 September 2015, SunEdison’s twin yieldcos suffered more than others because investors believed they were the cure for the company’s over-leveraged balance sheet, from Tom Konrad, “What yieldco managers are saying about the market meltdown,” Greentech Media, 27 November 2015, Attracting investors in other ways based on, for example, Trina announced in September that it would form a “growthco” to sell shares to the public in its portfolio of power plants, increasing value by using cash flow to add power plants to its portfolio instead of paying dividends from their income, from Chris Martin, “SunEdison’s yieldco overreach stirs angst at solar companies,” Bloomberg, 17 September 2015, Earlier in 2015, First Solar and SunPower Corp, the two largest US solar panel manufacturers, joined forces to create a yieldco to make money from the booming residential sector, but the yieldco differs in that investors receive payments from power generated by rooftop systems, from Justin Doom, “First Solar, SunPower joint venture will own rooftop systems,” Bloomberg, 10 March 2015,
  145. Navigant Research, cited in “Global revenue from solar PV installations is expected to total more than $1.2 trillion from 2015 to 2024,” Sonnenseite, 25 January 2016,; Feifei Shen, “United PV turns to crowdfunding after stocks in China plunge,” Renewable Energy World, 13 October 2015,; behind-the-meter PPAs from Christian Gertig, independent consultant, Schoeneiche, Germany, personal communication with REN21, 9 April 2016, and from, for example, Embark, “Selling your power and solar PPAs,”, viewed 16 April 2016. Solar leasing continued to spread to more developed and developing countries, from, for example, Chandler, op. cit. note 65; Jennifer Runyon, “Off Grid Electric raises $25M to help power a ‘solar revolution’ in Africa,” Renewable Energy World, 22 October 2015, Many pay-as-you-go companies (including M-KOPA, Mobisol, BBOXX) are operating across Africa and elsewhere in the developing world; see Distributed Renewable Energy chapter for more information.
  146. Nichola Groom, “SolarCity, BofA create tax equity fund for smaller investors,” Reuters, 29 May 2015,; Ehren Goossens, “SunEdison, Goldman agree to form $1 billion Clean-Power Fund,” Bloomberg, 17 August 2015, SunPower, SolarCity, Clean Power Finance, Sunrun, NRG, Sungevity, SunEdison, Kilowatt Financial, Sungage, Mosaic and Dividend Solar have all entered the solar loan business, from GTM Research, US Residential Solar Financing 2014–2018, cited in Eric Wesoff, “$200 million more flows to residential solar loans through Sungage and Mosaic,” Greentech Media, 20 October 2014,; as have Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Google, from Jerry Farano, “Renewable energy and carbon markets,” Jones Day, Winter 2015, David Appleyard, “Domestic on-site solar fund backed by big Google investment,” COSPP, 2 March 2015,; Christopher Martin, “Google invests $300 million in SolarCity rooftop solar installations,” Renewable Energy World, 26 February 2015,
  147. For example: Wunder Capital website,, viewed 24 March 2015; Power Clouds (Singapore), launched in 2013, enables citizens from around the world to collectively build solar PV power plants, from Power Clouds website,, viewed 24 March 2015.
  148. CrossBoundary Energy, “CrossBoundary Energy formally announces raise of $8M in equity to bring solar power to African businesses,” press release (New York/Washington, DC/Nairobi: 7 December 2015),
  149. See, for example, “Mirrors, pods, printed panels: solar innovation heats up,” Greenbiz, 8 July 2015,; Natcore Technology, “Natcore Technology develops solar cell that eliminates use of silver,” press release (Rochester, NY: 18 August 2015),
  150. 25x’25, “Companies vie over claims to world’s ‘most efficient’ rooftop solar panel,” Weekly REsource, 9 October 2015,; Steve Hanley, “Panasonic quickly beats SolarCity’s solar module efficiency record,” CleanTechnica, 9 October 2015,; Fraunhofer ISE, “20% efficient solar cell on EpiWafer,” press release (Freiburg: 14 September 2015),; Suntech, “Suntech solar cell efficiency climbs to a new high,” press release (Wuxi: 9 July 2015),; First Solar, “First Solar achieves world record 18.6% thin film module conversion efficiency,” press release (Tempe, AZ: 15 June 2015),; TSMC Solar, “TSMC Solar commercial-size modules (1.09m2) set CIGS 16.5% efficiency record,” press release (Taichung, Taipei, China: 28 April 2015),; “PV cheapest energy source in Chile; China hits new cell performance record,” PV Insider, 23 November 2015,; Solar Frontier, “Solar Frontier achieves world record thin-film solar cell efficiency: 22.3%,” press release (Tokyo: 8 December 2015),; Communication EEMCS, “The ‘marriage’ of two cheap photovoltaic technologies delivers record-efficiency hybrid thin-film solar cells,” TU Delft, 12 February 2016,
  151. Perovskites achieved 18% efficiency in the lab in late 2015, but they still need to overcome problems of lead content and long-term stability (such as durability and sensitivity to water), from “Monolithic perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell achieves record efficiency,” Helmholtz, 28 October 2015,, from Jonathan Gifford, “Perovskite flaws revealed, points to major efficiency upside,” PV Magazine, 11 May 2015,, and from “Research improves efficiency from larger perovskite solar cells,” Sonnenseite, 19 October 2015,
  152. See, for example, Meyer Burger, “MB PERC,”, viewed 30 March 2015; Giles Parkinson, “PERC solar cell could usher in dramatic drop in cost of solar,” CleanTechnica, 9 July 2015,; Mark Osborne, “SNEC 2015: Zhongli Talesun’s PERC cell ‘Hipro’ module to be produced in Thailand,” PV-Tech, 27 April 2015,; Tanja Peschel, “New world record for PERC solar cell efficiency,” Sun & Wind Energy, 21 July 2015,; Jake Richardson, “Neo Solar Power announces 21.1% efficient Mono-PERC solar cell,” CleanTechnica, 15 November 2015,
  153. Solar windows and spray-on solar from “Mirrors, pods, printed panels: Solar innovation heats up,” op. cit. note 149; Brendon Lee, “Printed solar cells hold promise for unlit rural areas,” SciDevNet, 10 June 2015,; Merck (Germany) announced in late 2015 that its semi-transparent gray organic PV modules were commercially available for curtain-wall building façades, from Belectric, “Gray modules: new dimension in organic photovoltaics for buildings,” press release (Darmstadt and Nuremberg: 26 November 2015),; Merck KGaA, “Photovoltaic windows: energy efficient and energy generating,” press release (Darmstadt, Germany: 15 March 2016),$File/Merck_BIPV_20160315_EMD.pdf; Emirates Insolaire (UAE) produced and installed its first coloured solar panels for building façades in Europe, from “Emirates Insolaire’s coloured solar panels take skyscrapers’ facades to new heights,” Dubai Investments, 11 May 2015,
  154. Companies manufacturing such products include Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, JinkoSolar, Hanwha, Sunpower and LG, from Christian Roselund, “Smart and AC module market to grow nine-fold by 2020,” PV Magazine, 4 November 2015,
  155. Jeff St. John, “First Solar joins $50M investment in Younicos, stakes claim in energy storage market,” Greentech Media, 8 December 2015,
  156. Ibid.
  157. About 75% of those surveyed offered storage solutions to customers in Europe, per EuPD Research 2015, cited in “European PV Installer Monitor 2015/2016: Three quarters of PV installers in Germany offer energy storage systems,” Sonnenseite, 12 April 2015,; US markets from, for example, Duke Energy’s renewables unit announced that its subsidiary, REC Solar, plans to offer combined systems in Southern California and Hawaii, from Herman K. Trabish, “Duke Energy’s commercial solar business to offer energy storage,” Utility Dive, 9 December 2015,
  158. Jason Deign, “Germany’s top residential battery company ramps up its US strategy to rival Tesla,” Greentech Media, 18 December 2015,; Jason Deign, “Sonnenbatterie launches Solar-Plus-Storage storage system for $10,645,” Greentech Media, 25 November 2015,; Katie Fehrenbacher, “Amid a solar boom, batteries draw attention and dollars,” Fortune, 16 July 2015,
  159. Paula Mints, “Notes from the solar underground: 2015, out with the old, In with the new,” Renewable Energy World, 16 December 2015,; “Defective panels threatening profit at China solar farms: energy,” Bloomberg, 19 January 2015,
  160. Paula Mints, “2015 supply side update: estimates of 2015 shipments, inventory, defective modules and prices,” Renewable Energy World, 9 November 2015,
  161. Masson, op. cit. note 2.
  162. Jason Deign, “Inverter makers focus on cutting O&M costs to increase market share,” PV Insider, 23 November 2015,
  163. David Appleyard, “Intelligent inverters stealing the show,” Renewable Energy World Magazine, September/October 2014, pp. 30–38,; grid services from Roesch, op. cit. note 92.
  164. Katherine Tweed, “Enphase launches an upgraded smart home energy-management system,” Greentech Media, 8 September 2015,; Peter Maloney, “Tesla collaborator SolarEdge rolls out inverter to work with Powerwall battery,” Utility Dive, 15 January 2016,
  165. Jason Deign, “Smart inverter market grows on rise of virtual power plants,” PV Insider, 9 November 2015,; Tweed, op. cit. note 164; Katherine Tweed, “Solar firms join smart home vendors in the quest to be full-service energy providers,” Greentech Media, 31 March 2015,
  166. Trina Solar was one of first module developers to introduce utility-scale modules that can operate at 1,500 volts (up from standard of 1,000 volts, from Font, op. cit. note 106; Charles W. Thurston, “Intersolar 2015 inverters on parade,” Renewable Energy World Magazine, September/October 2015, pp. 30–37.
  167. Ian Clover, “Global adoption of Chinese inverters limiting revenue growth, IHS says,” PV Magazine, 1 December 2015,; Scott Moskowitz and M.J. Shiao, “The global PV inverter landscape 2015: technologies, markets and prices,” Greentech Media, 12 February 2015,
  168. Eric Wesoff, “Enphase microinverter course correction includes layoffs of 7% of staff,” Greentech Media, 5 November 2015,; Eric Wesoff, “Enphase aims to reduce microinverter cost by 50% in 2 years,” Greentech Media, 18 November 2015,; Ian Clover, “One-third of SMA staff to lose their jobs,” PV Magazine, 27 January 2015,
  169. Anke Baars, “Erfolgsgeschichte: Weltweit 1 Million Wechselrichter Sunny Boy TL verkauft,” SMA-Sunny, 13 July 2015,; “UPDATE 1-SMA Solar eyes first payout since 2012 on turnaround,” Reuters, 30 March 2016,
  170. Annual production capacity will be around 1 GW, equivalent to about 2,000 units, from “Saudi Arabia starts inverter production,” PV Insider, 12 October 2015,
  171. Fraunhofer ISE and NREL, op. cit. note 91; a new record was achieved for efficiency of HCPV mini-modules, at 43.4%, from idem, p. 5; as of early 2015, CPV held records for module efficiency (36.7%) and cell efficiency (46%), and the efficiency of many commercially available modules exceeds 30%, from idem, p. 6; declining prices from J.E. Haysom et al., “Learning curve analysis of concentrated photovoltaic systems,” Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, in press (2014), cited in Fraunhofer ISE and NREL, op. cit. note 91, p. 7; difficulties competing with conventional solar PV on cost from idem, p. 9; difficulties competing and economies of scale from Oscar de la Rubia, Institute for Concentration Photovoltaics Systems, Spain, cited in “CPV’s golden opportunity in the MENA region,” op. cit. note 102.
  172. Jennifer Runyon, “Soitec to give up on solar CPV,” Renewable Energy World, 20 January 2015,; Eric Wesoff, “The zero-billion-dollar CPV business claims another victim,” Greentech Media, 25 January 2015,; in addition to being a leader in CPV technology, Soitec was a key provider of dual-axis tracking systems, and the only non-US tracker supplier, from IHS, cited in “Global PV tracker market increased by more than 60 percent, reaching 4 GW in 2014,” Sonnenseite, 18 May 2015,
  173. Fraunhofer ISE and NREL, op. cit. note 91, pp. 9, 11; Giles Parkinson, “Silex shuts down Solar Systems dense array solar power business,” REnew Economy, 24 September 2016,
  174. Fraunhofer ISE and NREL, op. cit. note 91; “CPV’s golden opportunity in the MENA region,” op. cit. note 102; IHS, op. cit. note 93, pp. 5, 6. New products from, for example, Arzon Solar, “Arzon Solar introduces the 2.70 kW uModule, the highest power, highest efficiency PV module in the world,” press release (Seal Beach, CA: 19 February 2015),, and from Conor Ryan, “Heliotrop and Magpower set to form CPV conglomerate,” PV-Tech, 29 January 2015,


  1. Global CSP data are based on commercial facilities only; demonstration or pilot facilities are excluded. Data are compiled from the following sources: CSP Today, “Projects Tracker,”, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 23 March 2015; US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), “Concentrating solar power projects by project name,”, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 23 March 2015; Luis Crespo, European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA), Brussels, personal communication with REN21, 21 February 2016; REN21, Renewables 2015 Global Status Report (Paris: 2015), pp. 64–65,; International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Capacity Statistics 2016 (Abu Dhabi: 2016), p. 32, Differences between IRENA and REN21 data are due primarily to inclusion of pilot and demonstration facilities in the IRENA report. In some cases, information from the above sources was verified against additional country-specific sources, as cited in the rest of the endnotes for this section. Figure 18 based on idem.
  2. Op. cit. note 1, all sources; Heba Hashem, “Global CSP capacity forecast to hit 22 GW by 2025,” CSP Today, 20 September 2015,
  3. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. Mike Stone, “Morocco set to bring 160MW of concentrating solar power on-line,” Greentech Media, 8 December 2015,
  4. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. Australia from “Australian CSP farm build starts; Brazil calls for solar thermal projects; New trough mirror responds to molten salt growth,” CSP Today, 16 October 2015,, and from NREL, “Sundrop CSP Project,”, updated 28 March 2016; Chile from NREL, “Atacama-1,”, updated 1 July 2015; China from NREL, “Delingha Solar Thermal Power Project,”, updated 17 April 2015; India from Heba Hashem, “India’s PV-led solar growth casts eyes on performance of CSP projects,” CSP Today, 9 November 2015,, and from NREL, “Gujarat Solar One,”, updated 12 February 2014; Israel from Ari Rabinovitch, “Solar tower poised to energize market,” Reuters, 15 February 2016,, and from NREL, “Ashalim Plot B,”, updated 22 March 2016; Mexico from NREL, “Agua Prieta II,”, updated 30 October 2013; Saudi Arabia from Heba Hashem, “Saudi Arabia’s first ISCC plant to set record low CSP cost,” CSP Today, 23 February 2016,, and from NREL, “ISCC Duba 1,”, updated 25 February 2016.
  5. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. NREL, “Concentrating solar power projects in South Africa,”, updated 17 February 2014; CSP Today, PV Insider, and Wind Energy Update South Africa, International investment in the South African Renewable Energy Market (Cape Town: January 2016), p. 5,; “One million South Africans receiving power from world’s largest storage solar farm,” Times Live, 17 December 2015,
  6. Luis Crespo, ESTELA, Brussels, CSP technology questionnaire provided to REN21, 21 February 2016.
  7. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. Facilities added included Crescent Dunes (United States) and KaXu Solar One and Bokpoort (South Africa), all of which incorporate TES. See also: “CSP could provide 10% of South Africa’s power if grid links improved,” CSP Today, 9 July 2015,; NREL, op. cit. note 5; CSP Today, PV Insider, and Wind Energy Update South Africa, op. cit. note 5, p. 5; “One million South Africans receiving power from world’s largest storage solar farm,” op. cit. note 5; Parthiv Kurup and Craig Turchi, NREL, “CSP Data - US plants V2,” presentation (Golden, CO: 19 February 2016), p. 2.
  8. The Noor I facility was inaugurated in early 2016 but was connected to the grid in 2015; therefore it is considered as capacity added in 2015, per Luis Crespo, ESTELA, Brussels, personal communication with REN21, 5 May 2016; Christian Roselund, “Morocco inaugurates 160 MW solar CSP plant as first phase of Noor complex,” PV Magazine, 4 February 2016,
  9. “South Africa starts up first tower plant; Morocco opens Noor facility,” CSP Today, 8 February 2016,
  10. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. NREL, op. cit. note 5; CSP Today, PV Insider, and Wind Energy Update South Africa, op. cit. note 5; “One million South Africans receiving power from world’s largest storage solar farm,” op. cit. note 5.
  11. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. “US guarantees South Africa plant; DoE supplies $32 mil to cost-cutting research; TSK builds in Kuwait,” CSP Today, 25 September 2015,; “South Africa: An overview of the CSP market in 2015,” CSP Today, 20 March 2015,; South Africa Department of Energy, “Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme,”, updated December 2015.
  12. “CSP could provide 10% of South Africa’s power if grid links improved,” op. cit. note 7.
  13. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. Kurup and Turchi, op. cit. note 7, p. 2.
  14. REN21, op. cit. note 1.
  15. GTM Research and Solar Energy Industries Association, US Solar Market Insight: Executive Summary: Q3 2015 (Washington, DC: December 2015), p. 17,; REN21, op. cit. note 1, p. 64.
  16. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. NREL, “Concentrating solar power projects in Spain,”, updated 17 February 2014.
  17. “South Africa starts up first tower plant; Morocco opens Noor facility,” op. cit. note 9; Heba Hashem, “MENA’s pool of developers ready to absorb Abengoa sales,” CSP Today, 9 February 2016,
  18. “Weekly Intelligence Brief: February 23 – March 2,” CSP Today, 2 March 2015, See also op. cit. note 1, all sources.
  19. “Israel’s 121 MW Ashalim Plot B plant set for 50% expansion but regulation stunts other projects,” CSP Today, 10 July 2015,; NREL, “Ashalim,”, updated 21 July 2015; NREL, “Ashalim Plot B,”, updated 12 June 2015.
  20. NREL, “ISCC Duba 1,”, updated 25 February 2016; “UPDATE 1-Saudi Electric signs $980 mln Waad Al Shamal power plant deal,” Reuters, 30 December 2015,
  21. Aisha Abdelhamid, "Focusing on CSP, Saudi Arabia to add 41GW solar power by 2032," Planetsave, 18 May 2015,; "Localization, innovation to drive CSP in MENA: Rioglass," CSP Today, 11 May 2015,
  22. Frank Haugwitz, “China’s future solar ambitions – at home and abroad,” PV-Tech, 21 May 2015,; Crystal Guo, “China will target CSP capacity of 10 GW in the 13th Five-year Plan (2016-2020),” CSP Plaza, 29 December 2015,; Heba Hashem, “Influx of PV firms into China CSP set to boost funding, cut tech costs,” CSP Today, 16 October 2015,
  23. Crystal Guo, “Official start of Delingha 50MW parabolic trough CSP power project of Qinghai Broad Youth,” CSP Plaza, 28 December 2015,
  24. NREL, “Qinghai Delingha Solar Thermal Generation Project,”, updated 29 June 2015.
  25. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. NREL, “Concentrating solar power projects in China,”, updated 17 February 2014; Lily Zhao, “Progress statistics of large-scale commercial CSP projects in China,” CSP Plaza, 28 July 2015,
  26. Heba Hashem, “India’s PV-led solar growth casts eyes on performance of CSP projects,” CSP Today, 9 November 2015,
  27. Jason Deign, “Abengoa will likely need to sell many of its renewable energy projects to avoid financial collapse,” Greentech Media, 7 December 2015,
  28. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. Facilities added included Crescent Dunes (United States) and KaXu Solar One and Bokpoort (South Africa), all of which incorporate TES. See also: “CSP could provide 10% of South Africa’s power if grid links improved,” op. cit. note 7; NREL, op. cit. note 5; CSP Today, PV Insider, and Wind Energy Update South Africa, op. cit. note 5, p. 5; “One million South Africans receiving power from world’s largest storage solar farm,” op. cit. note 5.
  29. Hashem, op. cit. note 2; “Arab countries' energy shortage caused by distribution problems,” Al-Monitor, 26 October 2014,; Heba Hashem, “Influx of PV firms into China CSP set to boost funding, cut tech costs,” CSP Today, 16 October 2015
  30. Partnerships with Chinese manufacturers from Hashem, op. cit. note 29, and from Rioglass, “RioHuan set to offer state of the art products for CSP,” 16 September 2014,
  31. “Localization, innovation to drive CSP in MENA: Rioglass,” CSP Today, 11 May 2015,; Bhavtik Vallabhjee, “Build a good energy programme and the investors will come,” BusinessDay, 11 March 2016,
  32. “Spain’s Abengoa reaches agreement with creditors,” Financial Times, 10 March 2016,; Macarena Munoz Montijano, Luca Casiraghi, and Katie Linsell, “Abengoa signs debt deal to avoid Spain’s largest insolvency,” Bloomberg, 10 March 2016,
  33. “Spain’s Abengoa reaches agreement with creditors,” op. cit. note 32.
  34. Jorge Alcauza, “ACWA beats Abengoa and wins $2 B deal for Noor II & III CSP plants in Morocco,” CSP-World, 13 January 2015,
  35. Leading companies in the CSP sector were identified on the basis of a broad assessment of plants that came online or were in construction during 2015. The size and complexity of CSP facilities means that project equity, EPC contracts and O&M contracts often are split amongst more than one (and sometimes several) partners. Information on the ratios of these splits as well as the exact value of the projects typically is not in the public domain. It therefore is not possible to determine exact hierarchies in terms of the value of equity or CSP contracts. Leadership is defined in general terms, based on engagement in active projects in the market. Involvement of companies in projects coming online or under construction in 2015 from sources detailed in Endnote 1.
  36. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. “South Africa starts up first tower plant; Morocco opens Noor facility,” op. cit. note 9.
  37. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.
  38. “Egypt to receive $500m solar funding; Rioglass to buy Schott receiver division,” CSP Today, 15 December 2015,; “Localization, innovation to drive CSP in MENA: Rioglass,” op. cit. note 31; Rioglass, “Locations: Offices,”, viewed 24 April 2016.
  39. Hedy Cohen, “Israeli thermo-solar receivers co Rioglass in major acquisition,” Globes, 9 December 2015,
  40. Lisa Beilfuss, “GE completes Alstom power acquisition,” Wall Street Journal, 2 November 2015,
  41. Based on author’s involvement in South Africa’s REIPP Procurement Program.
  42. Dry cooling from Heba Hashem, “Morocco’s first CSP plant forges path to tech-led cost cuts,” CSP Today, 2 December 2015,, and from Pancho Ndebele, South Africa Solar Thermal and Electricity Association (SASTELA), Technology Innovations: Solar Grid-based (CSP), prepared for SAIREC 2015, Cape Town, 21 July 2015,
  43. Susan Kraemer, “Crescent Dunes 24-hour solar tower is online,” CleanTechnica, 22 February 2016,; SolarReserve, “Crescent Dunes,”, viewed 24 April 2016; NREL, “Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project,”, updated 9 March 2016; Luis Crespo, ESTELA, Brussels, personal communication with REN21, 8 April 2016.
  44. Hashem, op. cit. note 42.
  45. Ibid.; Tina Casey, ”Solar power plant in oil-rich Abu Dhabi beats expectations – again,” CleanTechnica, 17 January 2016,
  46. J. Jorgenson, P. Denholm, and M. Mehos, Estimating the Value of Utility Scale Solar Technologies in California Under a 40% Renewable Portfolio Standard (Golden, CO: NREL, May 2014), pp. v, 27,
  47. Prices for rounds 1–3 from Anton Eberhard, Joel Kolker, and James Leigland, South Africa’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Program: Success Factors and Lessons (Cape Town: PPIAF, 2014), Expected prices in 2016 from author’s involvement in the REIPPPP.
  48. Hashem, op. cit. note 42; Ndebele, op. cit. note 42.
  49. Rabia Ferroukhi, IRENA, personal communication with REN21, March 2016; Mariyana Yaneva, “Morocco sees solar grid parity just around the corner,” SeeNews Renewables, 27 August 2015,; “Saudi solar tender highlights falling technology costs,” Energy Intelligence, 31 January 2013,; World Bank, “Morocco to make history with first-of-its-kind solar plant,” 20 November 2015,
  50. “Weekly Intelligence Brief: December 15 – 22,” CSP Today, 22 December 2014,
  51. UAE from Heba Hashem, “UAE’s MISP center accelerates pre-commercial tech development,” CSP Today, 27 January 2016,, and from “Dubai to tender within weeks; UAE launches one tank storage demo,” CSP Today, 22 February 2016,; United States from Susan Kraemer, “US energy-dense storage system set to raise tower efficiency,” CSP Today, 16 December 2015,; Italy from Flavia Rotondi and Alessandra Migliaccio, ”Italian company uses sun-heated sand to produce energy,” Bloomberg, 21 May 2015,
  52. Susan Kraemer, “Why taxpayer-backed Abengoa is not another Solyndra,” Renewable Energy World, 16 December 2016,; Hashem, op. cit. note 51; Kraemer, op. cit. note 51.
  53. Incremental improvements from Heba Hashem, “Stellio heliostat set to cut CSP tower costs by 20%,” CSP Today, 12 January 2016,, from “Oman EOR project ahead of schedule; EIB tenders in Namibia; lighter steam system cuts CAPEX,” CSP Today, 8 November 2015,, and from “Australian CSP farm build starts…,” op. cit. note 4; reduction of water usage from “Dubai to tender within weeks…,” op. cit. note 51, and from Hashem, op. cit. note 51; reduction of land from “Nexus targets process heat, micro-grids with land-saving design,” CSP Today, 12 May 2015,

Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling

  1. Bärbel Epp, Big ups and downs on global market,“ Solar Thermal World, 26 April 2016, Figure 19 based on latest market data available at time of publication for countries that together represent 93–94% of the world total. Data from original country sources provided in idem, as follows: David Ferrari, School of Engineering at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia; Klaus Mischensky, Austria Solar, Vienna, Austria; Marcelo Mesquita, Solar Heating Department (DASOL), Brazilian Association of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Heating (ABRAVA), São Paulo, Brazil; Hongzhi Cheng, Dezhou, Shandong SunVision Management Consulting, Dezhou, China; Denmark from Jan Erik Nielsen, PlanEnergi, Skørping, Denmark, and Jan-Olof Dalenbäck, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden; Richard Loyen, Enerplan, La Ciotat, France; Marco Tepper, BSW Solar, Berlin, Germany; Costas Travasaros, Greek Solar Industry Association (EBHE), Piraeus, Greece; Jaideep Malaviya, Solar Thermal Federation of India (STFI), Pune, India; Eli Shilton, Elsol, Kohar-yair, Israel; Kumiko Saito, Solar System Development Association (SSDA), Tokyo, Japan; Daniel Garcia, Solar Thermal Manufacturers Organisation (FAMERAC), Mexico City, Mexico; Janusz Staroscik, Association of Manufacturers and Importers of Heating Appliances (SPIUG), Warsaw, Poland; Pascual Polo, Spanish Solar Thermal Association (ASIT), Madrid, Spain; David Stickelberger, Swissolar, Zurich, Switzerland; Kutay Ülke, Ezinç Metal, Kayseri, Turkey; United States from Les Nelson, Solar Heating & Cooling Programs at the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Ontario, Canada, all personal communications with REN21, March–April 2016.
  2. Epp, op. cit. note 1.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Franz Mauthner, AEE-Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC), Gleisdorf, Austria, personal communications with REN21, March–May 2016; Franz Mauthner, Werner Weiss, and Monika Spörk-Dür, Solar Heat Worldwide. Markets and Contribution to the Energy Supply 2014 (Gleisdorf, Austria: International Energy Agency (IEA) Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC), 2016). Figure 20 is based on latest market data from Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Turkey and the United States, which represented 87% of the cumulated installed capacity in operation in the year 2014. The other countries were projected according to their trend over the past two years as per Mauthner, op. cit. note 5.
  6. Mauthner, op. cit. note 5; Mauthner, Weiss, and Spörk-Dür, op. cit. note 5.
  7. Mauthner, op. cit. note 5; Mauthner, Weiss, and Spörk-Dür, op. cit. note 5. Figure 21 based on idem.
  8. Epp, op. cit. note 1.
  9. Bärbel Epp, “China: “Now we should concentrate on technological progress and new applications in industry and agriculture,” Solar Thermal World, 28 March 2016,
  10. Market data on total capacity in operation in China from Mauthner, op. cit. note 5. Chinese market figures assume a 10-year lifetime for Chinese-made systems, resulting in 2015 gross additions of 30.45 GWth and net additions of 19.92 GWth.
  11. Epp, op. cit. note 9.
  12. Flat plate collectors continued to gain market share to 12.7% over evacuated tubes in 2015, but even so, total flat plate collector installations (5.5 million m2) were down relative to 2014. Peak year was 2013 with 7.6 million m2 flat plate collector area newly installed, per Epp, op. cit. note 9.
  13. Bärbel Epp, “Turkey: Great achievements with little policy support,” Solar Thermal World, 5 August 2015, Annual market volume of flat plate and vacuum tube collectors for 2015 from Kutay Ülke, Ezinç Metal San., Kayseri, Turkey, personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  14. Annual market volume of flat plate and vacuum tube collectors between 2007 and 2015 from Kutay Ülke, Ezinç Metal San., Kayseri, Turkey, personal communication with solrico, and from various editions of IEA SHC, Solar Heat Worldwide.
  15. Market figures for 2015 from Marcelo Mesquita, DASOL ABRAVA, personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  16. Based on data for 2010–2014, from Ibid.
  17. As of September 2015, not all housing units of the second phase of MCMV (2011–2015) had been planned, built, handed over and paid off, since Brazil was facing an economic crisis and the government budget had come under pressure, per Vanessa Kriele, “Brazil offers new green building credit terms,” Solar Thermal World, 29 September 2015,
  18. Market figures for 2015 from Jaideep Malaviya, STFI, Pune, India, personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  19. Jaideep Malaviya, “India: Solar system suppliers call for solar process heat obligation,” Solar Thermal World, 11 November 2015,
  20. Market research of solrico cited in Epp, op. cit. note 1.
  21. As per Mauthner, op. cit. note 5.
  22. Bärbel Epp, ISOL Navigator December 2015 (Bielefeld, Germany: solrico, December 2015); solrico market research.
  23. Preliminary estimates for the EU-28 market at end-2015 is based on glazed collectors only, and from Pedro Dias, European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), Brussels, Belgium, personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  24. Preliminary estimates for EU-28 total installed capacity in operation at end-2015 from Ibid. Preliminary estimates for global total installed capacity in operation from Mauthner, op. cit. note 5.
  25. Epp, op. cit. note 1.
  26. Costas Travasaros, EBHE, Athens, Greece, personal communication with REN21, February 2016.
  27. German Heating Manufacturers Association (BDH), “Dynamisches Wachstum in 2015: Deutsche Heizungsindustrie zieht Jahresbilanz,” press release (Cologne: 24 February 2015),; estimated cumulative capacity from Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi), Development of Renewable Energy Sources in Germany 2015, Statistical Data from the Working Group on Renewable Energy-Statistics (AGEE-Stat), as at February 2016,
  28. Bärbel Epp, “Germany: National subsidy scheme gets significant amendment,” Solar Thermal World, 24 March 2015,
  29. In Spain the market was off by 6%, following a 10% uptick in 2014, due to expiration of Andalusia’s incentive scheme in June 2015 and to a 5% decline in the housing construction market throughout the year, per Pascual Polo, ASIT, Madrid, Spain, personal communication with REN21, March 2016. In Italy, the bureaucratic process with the national subsidy scheme led to a small number of applications accounting for less than 10% of the Italian market in 2014, per Riccardo Battisti, “Italy: First 18-months results of Conto Termico subsidy scheme,” Solar Thermal World, 17 June 2015, The dramatic drop in both the single- and multi-family building segments in France was caused by a decline in new construction and competition with cheaper heating technologies, such as heat pumps, per Epp, op. cit. note 22.
  30. Franz Mauthner, AEE INTEC, Gleisdorf, Austria, personal communications with REN21, January–April 2016; Mauthner, Weiss, and Spörk-Dür, op. cit. note 5.
  31. Mauthner, op. cit. note 30; Mauthner, Weiss, and Spörk-Dür, op. cit. note 5. Figure 22 based on data from Mauthner, op. cit. note 5, and from Mauthner, Weiss, and Spörk-Dür, op. cit. note 5. The MENA region includes Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the State of Palestine and Tunisia. Latin America includes Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. Asia includes India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taipei (China) and Thailand. Sub-Saharan Africa includes Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
  32. Bärbel Epp, “Global view: solar thermal markets transitioning from residential to commercial,” Solar Thermal World, 3 March 2015,
  33. In 2015, the Chinese retail market in the residential sector was on the decline again, whereas the segment of commercial projects in cities was growing rapidly, per Hongzhi Cheng, head of Chinese market research company The Sun’s Vision, in an interview on Solar Thermal World, 2 October 2015,; Epp, op. cit. note 9; Poland´s market statistics from Janusz Starościk, SPIUG, Poland, personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  34. Epp, op. cit. note 9.
  35. The project business in Poland grew again in 2015 by 5–10%, whereas the residential market declined significantly, per Janusz Starościk, SPIUG, Poland, personal communication with REN21, March 2016. Poland’s current residential subsidy scheme, Prosument, is more a solar PV than a solar thermal scheme; solar thermal applications were accepted only in combination with a renewable electricity system until August 2015, per Bärbel Epp, “Poland: From renewable heat to renewable electricity funding,” Solar Thermal World, 6 January 2015,; Bärbel Epp, “Poland: Separate but capped solar thermal subsidy,” Solar Thermal World, 11 September 2015,
  36. Bärbel Epp, “Europe: 23 new and upgraded solar district heating plants of 190 MWth start operation in 2015,” Solar Thermal World, 5 April 2016,, based on market statistics of Jan-Olof Dalenbäck, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden.
  37. Ibid.
  38. Ibid.; Jan Erik Nielsen, “Solar District Heating in Denmark, Status 2015,” presentation at Task Definition Workshop, Solar District Heating, Graz, Austria, November 2015.
  39. Denmark also has a high share of renewable electricity in summer that makes it economically advantageous to shut down combined heat and power facilities that feed into district heating plants, per Nielsen, op. cit. note 38.
  40. Epp, op. cit. note 36.
  41. Ibid.
  42. The 1,422 m2 collector field in the German town of Simmern was finished in December 2015 and will start operation once the block heating centre is built, with a delay of around six months, per Rolf Meissner, Ritter XL Solar, Karlsbad, Germany, personal communication with REN21, March 2016. The German town of Senftenberg mandated the construction of a 8,300 m2 gross vacuum tube collector area for district heating, per Maren Schmidt, Ritter Energy- and Umwelttechnik, Karlsbad, Germany, press release, 27 February 2016. The German town of Chemnitz published a tender at the end of 2015 for a solar district heating system, per Guido Broer, “Kollektorfeld für Chemnitz,” Solarthemen, 24 December 2015 (in German). The Spanish company Aiguasol searched for financing for a collector field with around 4,000 m2 to feed into the biomass-supplied network La Marina operated by Ecoenergies Barcelona, per Angel Carrera, Aiguasol, Barcelona, Spain, personal communication with REN21, March 2016.
  43. Bärbel Epp, “IEA SHC: Attractive solar process heat markets,” Solar Thermal World, 28 August 2015,
  44. EDF Optimal Solutions, France, runs a 1,500 m2 collector field as an ESCO to provide heat for the French dairy processor Bonilait Protéines, which has its factory near the town of Poitiers, per Bärbel Epp, “Bonilait Dairy: Largest solar process heat installation in France,” Solar Thermal World, 24 September 2015, In June 2015 the Indian ESCO Aspiration Energy realised a 1,000 m2 collector field for the Indian Heat Seating Systems, per Viji Suresh, Aspiration Energy, Chennai, India, personal communication with REN21, May 2015; Fresnel collectors with 290 m2 mirror area supply steam to the Sardinio dairy Nuova Sarda Industria Casearia, per Riccardo Battisti, “Italy: Solar steam for cheese production,” Solar Thermal World, 24 July 2015,; 180 flat plate collectors preheat water for Indian garment manufacturer Sharman Showls, per Jaideep Malaviya, “India: Solar process heat with less than 18-month payback period,” Solar Thermal World, 14 July 2015,; Bärbel Epp, “Jordan: Fresnel collectors supply 160 °C steam to pharmaceuticals producer Ram Pharm,” Solar Thermal World, 26 May 2015,
  45. The 1 GWth plant is installed by the California-based company GlassPoint. The steam is used to heat the heavy crude oil to improve flow and make it easier to pump it to the surface, per Bärbel Epp, “Oman: Construction starts for world’s largest solar steam power plant Miraah,” Solar Thermal World, 20 April 2016,
  46. Epp, op. cit. note 45.
  47. AEE INTEC, Solar Heat for Industrial Processes database,, as of March 2016, per Wolfgang Glatzl, AEE INTEC, Gleisdorf, Austria, personal communication with REN21, March 2016.
  48. Solar heat could contribute 8.9 EJ in the residential segment by 2050 and 7.2 EJ in the industrial segment, per IEA, Technology Roadmap Solar Heating and Cooling (Paris: 2012),
  49. According to the online Solar Heat for Industrial Processes database (, Chile, China and the United States lead in volume of installed solar process heat collector area. Chile boasts the world’s largest solar process heat installation – the 27.5 MWth plant at the Gaby copper mine. Austria and Germany lead in the number of projects, with 23 and 21 projects, respectively. German systems are by far the smallest of all key market installations, per Bärbel Epp, op. cit. note 43.
  50. To tackle the obstacle of having few planning guidelines, the research group of the IEA Task 49 (Solar Heat in Industrial Processes) developed and published the so-called Integration Guideline (, a step-by-step guide on how to integrate solar heat in industrial processes, per Wolfgang Glatzl, AEE INTEC, Gleisdorf, Austria, personal communication with REN21, April 2016; Bärbel Epp, “Very few countries have policies explicitly supporting renewable deployment in the industry sector,” interview with Ruud Kempener, Technology Roadmap Analyst at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn, Germany, Solar Thermal World, 2 March 2015,; IRENA, Renewable Energy Options for the Industry Sector: Global and Regional Potential until 2030 (Abu Dhabi: 2015),
  51. Gabi Sartori, Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Canberra, Australia, personal communication with solrico, March 2016.
  52. Epp, op. cit. note 43.
  53. Virach Maneekhao, Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), Bangkok, Thailand, personal communication with solrico, November 2015.
  54. Daniel Mugnier, Tecsol, Perpignan, France, personal communication with REN21, March 2016.
  55. Ibid.
  56. Estimating the number of newly installed solar cooling systems in 2015 is difficult because of the growing number of sorption chiller manufacturers and of PV cooling systems, and the diversification of markets in the Middle East, Asia and Australia; thus, it is no longer possible to assess a global market overview at end-2015, per Uli Jakob, Green Chiller Association for Sorption Cooling, Berlin, Germany, personal communication with REN21, March 2016.
  57. Annual newly installed solar cooling systems from Solem Consulting / Tecsol within TASK 48 of IEA SHC, per Jakob, op. cit. note 56.
  58. The German Chiller manufacturer Invensor commissioned the largest solar cooling installation in its company history in March 2015 at the German weighing technology manufacturer Wipotec. The installation has 100 kW of cooling capacity and 480 m2 of collector field (the collector field and cooling load are separate units) for air conditioning of the production and office buildings, per Hayo Angerer-Wachenfeld, Invensor, Berlin, Germany, personal communication with REN21, April 2016. As of early 2016, a 3,000 m2 solar process heating and cooling system was under construction in Graz at the industry company AVL, per Christian Holter, S.O.L.I.D., Graz, Austria, personal communication with REN21, April 2016. The Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center in Abu Dhabi is partly cooled by a 1,134 m² collector field, which drives a 352 kW capacity lithium absorption chiller, per Bärbel Epp, “UAE: Museum in Al Ain Garden City receives 5-Pearl Estidama rating,” Solar Thermal World, 4 May 2015,
  59. For the first time, a solar cooling week was organised in March 2015 by IEA SHC TASK 48, in co-operation with Professor Yajun Dai from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, per Eva Augsten, “Solar Cooling Week in China: sector still growing in Asia and Europe,” Solar Thermal World, 30 April 2015, Favorable countries for 100 kW solar cooling systems are Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the State of Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen, per United Nations Environmental Programme, Assessment on the Commercial Viability of Solar Cooling Technologies and Applications in the Arab Region (Nairobi: 2014),
  60. Daniel Mugnier, Tecsol, Perpignan, France, personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  61. Desiccant cooling (DEC) systems lack commercial offers and seriously aggressive actors in comparison with absorption and adsorption chiller technologies. The complexity of DEC systems often lead to the selection of absorption technology for solar cooling projects in 2015, per Mugnier, op. cit. note 54.
  62. Bärbel Epp and Stephanie Banse, “Success and crisis close together,” Sun & Wind Energy 6/2015, November 2015, pp. 22–35, SWE_S_06__2015/index.html#/22 .
  63. Jaideep Malaviya, “India: First mirror manufacturer for concentrating collector application,” Solar Thermal World, 26 January 2016, The United Nations Development Programme is subsidising the installation of 90 demonstration and replication projects totalling 45,000 m² of collector area between 2012 and 2017, from Jaideep Malaviya, “India: UNDP supports 53 new concentrating solar thermal projects,” Solar Thermal World, 23 February 2015,
  64. Alejandro Diego Rosell, “Mexico: First local vacuum tube manufacturer to start production in 2018,” Solar Thermal World, 16 October 2015,; Alejandro Diego Rosell, “Mexico: Pilot polymer water heater factory by 2016,” Solar Thermal World, 26 June 2015,
  65. The three vacuum tube collector manufacturers reached a production capacity of at least 10 million tubes in 2014, enough to cover the demand of newly installed vacuum tube collector systems with 1,024,665 m2 in 2015, per Bärbel Epp, “Turkey: Market development 2015 and forecast 2016,” Solar Thermal World, 26 November 2015, Market figures for Turkey for 2015 from Ülke, op. cit. note 14.
  66. Costas Travasaros, EBHE, Piraeus, Greece, personal communication with REN21, February 2016; Klaus Mischensky, Austria Solar, Vienna, Austria, personal communication with REN21, March 2016.
  67. Over the last two years, maybe 90% of the companies active in solar thermal have gone out of business, per Javier Ferrada, Britec, Santiago, Chile, personal communication with REN21, February 2016. See Alejandro Diego Rosell, “Chile: New tax credits – better late than never,” Solar Thermal World, 2 March 2015,
  68. Linuo New Materials did not make money in the last few years because of the decreasing prices of raw glass tubing and because its manufacturing technology was outdated, per Epp and Banse, op. cit. note 62. The world´s largest manufacturer of vacuum tubes and systems, the Sunrise East Group with its two brands Sunrain and Micoe, purchased a 30% stake in Pengpusang, known internationally as Prosunpro, per idem.
  69. Bärbel Epp, Europe: Market decline claims four victims in collector industry,” Solar Thermal World, 17 November 2015,
  70. Ensol and Hewalex announced strong growth rates in 2014, according to the world map survey, per Epp and Banse, op. cit. note 62.
  71. Novasol and Sumersol have begun to offer innovative financing schemes to decrease the dependency of stop-and-go support schemes. Navasol’s clients can pay back the investment in monthly instalments equivalent to the monthly energy bills they used to pay, plus a certain discount. Sumersol offers energy service contracts, selling solar heat instead of solar systems to customers, per Alejandro Diego Rosell, “Spain: Market growth despite incentive scheme stop and go, Solar Thermal World, 2 February 2016,
  72. According to Skyline Innovations, the company had completed 104 ESCO projects by February 2014; 96 were in design/build phase at that time and another 41 were signed to be built, per Justin Schafer, Product Manager, Skyline, in an interview, “We try to take the complication out of the energy business, not only for our customers, but also for our industry partners,” Solar Thermal World, 28 February 2014, S.O.L.I.D. in Austria had 13 plants under ESCO contracts with a total collector area of 26,427 m2 in May 2015, per Harald Blazek, S.O.L.I.D., Graz, Austria, personal communication with REN21, April–May 2015.
  73. Sumersol from Spain has been experiencing continuous growth in offering heat delivery contracts as an ESCO. Founding Partner Juan José Rojo confirms: “Five years ago, we set up maybe two to three systems per year. Now, we are installing more than ten and intend to reach 50 over the medium term,” as quoted in Rosell, op. cit. note 71. Sunti, a French start-up founded in November 2014, offers solar process heat to firms as an ESCO, per Bärbel Epp, “France: New ESCO focuses on process heat, Solar Thermal World, 2 May 2015, The German company Enertracting, founded in 2011, focuses on the ESCO business; at the end of 2015, it had under contract six systems with a total collector area of more than 1,000 m2, per Roland Heinzen, Enertracting, Kassel, Germany, personal communication with solrico, April 2015. The solar process heat company Sunvapor offers the sale of heat as opposed to equipment, per Steven Meyers, Visiting Scientist, Sunvapor, personal communication with REN21, March 2016.
  74. Austrian installation company Mysolar specialises in replacing 18 year old on average solar water heaters that have been losing efficiency because of ageing collectors. At a fixed price, the company replaces old collectors with new ones – a growing business field, as the increasing number of partners in different federal states shows, per Eva Augsten,Austria: Mysolar offers to replace old solar thermal collectors,” Solar Thermal World, 9 November 2015,
  75. An average 88% of the annually installed collector units in Israel were replacing existing systems, and only 12% were new ones between 2010 and 2014, per Eddie Bet-Hazavdi, Department of Energy Conservation within the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, Tel Aviv, Israel, personal communication with solrico, June 2015.
  76. Epp and Banse, op. cit. note 62.
  77. Ibid.
  78. The largest brands of vacuum tube collectors in China in 2015 were Micoe, Sunrain, Himin and Linuo-Paradigma, per Cheng Hongzhi, SunVision Management Consulting, Dezhou, China, personal communication with REN21, April 2016. Micoe and Sunrain are the two brands of the manufacturer Sunrise East Group.
  79. The TASK on Price Reduction of Solar Thermal Systems was launched in October, per Eva Augsten, IEA SHC: Industry invited to join research community for lower solar heat costs, Solar Thermal World, October 2015,
  80. Bärbel Epp, “Germany/Belgium: Container solutions to standardise commercial solar thermal systems, Solar Thermal World, 2 February 2016,
  81. Domestic hot water supply stations have been used mainly in German-speaking countries to date but have become increasingly popular in southern and eastern Europe, especially for large buildings that are equipped with buffer tanks, per Eva Augsten, “Tap water stations: top marks for hygiene,” Sun & Wind Energy, November 2015,
  82. Viessmann from Bärbel Epp, “Germany: ISH 2015 and its prominent novelties,” Solar Thermal World, 30 March 2015,; Sunlumo from Bärbel Epp, “Germany: Two national awards for solar thermal specialists,” Solar Thermal World, 27 January 2016, The Sunlumo collector received the German Federal Ecodesign Award in the Product category, from idem.
  83. The Global Solar Certification Network (GSCN) was developed within TASK 43, called Solar Rating and Certification – Global Collector Certification, per Bärbel Epp, “IEA SHC: Mutual recognition of test and inspection reports saves industry costs,“ Solar Thermal World, 4 August 2015,
  84. Epp, op. cit. note 83; An example of the cost-saving possibilities: a manufacturer that certifies eight different collector types on three regional market would pay around EUR 288,000. Under the new scheme of mutual recognition the fees go down to only EUR 96,000, per Jan Erik Nielsen, Solarkey Int., Hvalsø, Denmark, head of GSCN (, personal communication with solrico, November 2015.
  85. Bärbel Epp, “ISH 2015: Letter A with or without + dominates International Heating Fair,” Solar Thermal World, 13 March 2015,
  86. Ibid. Another critical point is the dependency of collector and tank manufacturers from the installer, which should calculate the so-called package label for a solar system with an arbitrary boiler, whereas boiler manufacturers sell already-labelled heating and hot water systems, including solar, per Bärbel Epp, “European energy labelling: solar manufacturers have doubts,” Solar Thermal World, 27 October 2015,
  87. The relevant solar thermal institutions in Europe – ESTIF, Solar Keymark Network and BSW Solar – have difficulties implementing Solergy because the initiative lacks broad industry support and is not anchored in the EU regulations, per Bärbel Epp, “Germany: Debate about voluntary collector output label Solergy,” Solar Thermal World, 4 November 2015,; Bärbel Epp, “Solergy collector label: EU commission confirms clear distinction from energy labelling,” Solar Thermal World, 28 December 2015, By end-January 2016, around 200 collector types were labelled partly by the German certification body Din Certco, per Marisol Oropeza, “News from Solergy,” Solar Heat Initiative newsletter, 15 February 2016,
  88. Vanessa Kriele, “Quality infrastructure crucial to emerging markets,” Solar Thermal World, 11 January 2016,; IRENA, Quality Infrastructure for Renewable Energy Technologies: Solar Water Heaters (Abu Dhabi: December 2015),
  89. Alejandro Diego Rosell, “MENA: First online training program on solar water heaters certification,” Solar Thermal World, 21 June 2015, The Initiative of the Pan American Standards Commission (Copant) aims to develop regional standards for solar water heaters with the aim of harmonising them with ISO standards, per Vanessa Kriele, “Latin America on its way to solar thermal quality standards,” Solar Thermal World, 31 August 2015,
  90. A total of 39 suppliers with 76 collectors was analysed in a survey, with 76% of the supplied collectors based on parabolic trough technology, followed by 16% with lineal Fresnel technology, per Ana Huidobro, “Medium temperature solar collectors database, TASK 11.1 – small scale and low cost installations for power and industrial process heat applications,” Tecnalia, July 2015,
  91. Database STAGE-STE, cited in Tecnalia, Medium temperature solar collectors manufacturers and models database” (Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain: November 2015),
  92. Artic Solar manufactures the XCPC collectors, which provide enough heat for commercial buildings as well as high-temperature applications, per the company’s website, Skyven Technologies is developing a solar thermal panel which concentrates radiation to a closed, controllable piping network, per the company’s website, Oorja Solar develops concentrating solar thermal collectors for new industrial applications, per the company’s website,
  93. Database STAGE-STE, op. cit. note 91.
  94. Among the more than 9,600 buildings of the US General Services Administration, appropriate candidates for PV-T are those which have a larger domestic hot water load that is provided by electricity not gas, per Jesse Dean et al., Photovoltaic-Thermal New Technology Demonstration (Golden, CO: US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, January 2015).
  95. Ibid., op. cit. note 94.
  96. The annual electrical co-efficient of performance (COPel) of 12 monitored solar cooling systems between 10 and 1,750 kWcool was between 6 and 25, with an average value of 12.9, which is three times higher than the state of the art compression chiller systems, per Uli Jakob, “Best Practice Brochure from IEA SHC TASK 48 Quality Assurance & Support Measures for Solar Cooling Systems” (Germany: Green Chiller Association for Sorption Cooling, June 2015), A COPel of 12.9 means that the system produces the equivalent of 12.9 kWh of cooling energy from each kWh of electricity. Riccardo Battisti, „Solar cooling 2.0: new generation growing up,” Solar Thermal World, 1 October 2015,
  97. Bärbel Epp, “Denmark/Italy: Green cooling kit from Purix addresses growing split chiller market,” Solar Thermal World, 23 December 2015,; Solarinvent and Solabcool from Riccardo Battisti, “Solar cooling: from research to market competitiveness,” Solar Thermal World, 6 October 2015, Meibes developed a 5 kW sorption chiller and will offer complete system kits including space heating and cooling energy distribution, per Andre Breuer, Meibes, Gerichshain, Germany, personal communication with REN21, April 2016.
  98. Compact Thermal Energy Storage has a huge potential for latent heat and sorption materials in the long run – in seasonal solar heat storage for small and medium applications, as well as in the building sector, per Wim van Helden and Matthias Rommel, Compact Thermal Energy Storage. IEA SHC Position Paper (Cedar, MI: August 2015),
  99. Ibid.
  100. The experts calculated that based on the costs of substituted energy, the maximum acceptable storage capacity costs of a compact storage were in the range of EUR 2–4 per kWh of installed storage capacity for seasonal storage systems with a 25-year lifetime and a 1% interest loan, per Ibid.

Wind Power

  1. Figure of 22% and capacity data based on the following: global additions in 2015 were 63,792 MW for a year-end total of 433,119 MW, from FTI Consulting, Global Wind Market Update—Demand & Supply 2015 (London: 2016), Demand-Side Analysis, p. iv; additions were 63,467 MW for a total of 432,883 MW, from Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update 2015 (Brussels: April 2016), p. 11,; additions were 62,732.3 MW for a global total of 432,560.4 MW, from EurObserv’ER, Wind Energy Barometer (Paris: February 2016), p. 3,; additions were 64,164.2 MW for a total of 435,465.1 MW, from World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), World Wind Energy Report 2015 (Bonn: May 2016); and net additions were 62,937 MW for a total of 431,948 MW, from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Capacity Statistics 2016 (Abu Dhabi: April 2016), Figure 23 based on historical data from GWEC, op. cit. this note, and from WWEA, op. cit. this note; data for 2015 from sources in this note.
  2. Based on data from GWEC, “Global Wind Statistics 2015” (Brussels: February 2016),
  3. GWEC, op. cit. note 1. Countries with more than 1 GW included 17 countries in Europe, 4 in Asia-Pacific, 4 in the Americas (Brazil, Canada, United States, Mexico) and 1 in Africa (South Africa), from idem, p. 9. Note that 112 countries/regions had wind installations as of end-2015, per Jean-Daniel Pitteloud, WWEA, personal communication with REN21, 8 April 2016.
  4. Leading source of new capacity from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Wind Farm Owner-Operators, p. 1; generation from Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA), Foreword in GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 6. The increase in wind generation during 2015 was equal to almost half of global electricity growth, from Birol, op. cit. this note.
  5. GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11; WWEA, op. cit. note 1.
  6. GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11. Figure 24 based on country-specific data and sources provided throughout this section.
  7. GWEC, op. cit. note 1; WWEA, op. cit. note 1; Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 14 January 2016; Stefan Gsänger, WWEA, personal communication with REN21, 3 December 2015; WWEA, “Special: World Wind Energy Report 2014,” Quarterly Bulletin, Special Issue 2015,
  8. GWEC, op. cit. note 1; Djordje Daskalovic, “Energy min says Serbia’s first wind park to go on stream by end-2015,” SeeNews Renewables, 14 October 2015,; Serbia added 9.9 MW for a total of the same, from European Wind Energy Agency (EWEA), Wind in Power: 2015 European Statistics (Brussels: February 2016), p. 4; Samoa installed 0.6 MW in 2015, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 16,; Mauritius joined the list in early 2016, from “Mauritius wind farm soon to be operational,” ESI Africa, 17 December 2015,
  9. The top five in 2015 were estimated to be Denmark (898.1 W per person), Sweden (621.4 W), Germany (558.1 W), Ireland (539.3 W) and Spain (494.6 W); Portugal was not far behind with 488.3 W per person, and the island of Bonaire (with 10.8 MW of capacity) had 620.4 W per person, all per WWEA, op. cit. note 1. The top five in 2014 were Denmark (876.8 W per person), Sweden (557.9 W), Germany (499.6 W), Spain (481.5 W) and Ireland (470.1 W), followed by Portugal (454.4 W), Canada (278.3 W), Austria (254.8 W), Estonia (240.6 W) and the United States (206.2 W), from WWEA, World Wind Energy Report 2014 (Bonn: 2015).
  10. Policy uncertainty from EWEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 10, and from GWEC, op. cit. note 1. Other drivers from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 4, and from WWEA, “Worldwide wind market booming like never before: wind capacity over 392 gigawatt,” press release (Bonn: 9 September 2015),
  11. Sawyer, op. cit. note 7; GWEC, op. cit. note 1.
  12. Eighth consecutive year based on GWEC, Global Wind Report 2014: Annual Market Update (Brussels: April 2015), p. 8,, and on GWEC, op. cit. note 1; shares based on idem., both sources, and on FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1. North America includes the United States and Canada. By contrast, the EU accounted for 23% of the global market in 2014 and 32% in 2013, and North America accounted for 13% in 2014 and less than 8% in 2013, from GWEC, both sources.
  13. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. 1.
  14. Addition of 30,753 MW for a total of 145,362 MW, from Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA), cited in GWEC, op. cit. note 1, and in FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. 25. China added 32,970 MW for total of 148,000 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 1.
  15. Based on additions of 32,970 MW for total of 129,340 MW, from China National Energy Board, cited in China National Energy Administration (CNEA), “Energy Board: 2015 national wind power industry to continue to maintain strong growth momentum,” 4 February 2016, (using Google Translate); additions of 33,900 MW for total of 129,710 MW, from China Electricity Council, provided by Shi Pengfei, CWEA, personal communication with REN21, 15 March 2016. Differences in statistics result, at least in part, from differences in what is counted and when. Note that most of the capacity added in 2015 was feeding the grid by year’s end. The difference in statistics among Chinese organisations and agencies is explained by the fact that they count different things: installed capacity refers to capacity that is constructed and usually has wires carrying electricity from the turbines to a substation; capacity qualifies as grid-connected, i.e., included in China Electricity Council statistics, once certification is granted and operators begin receiving the FIT premium payment, which can take weeks or even months. It is no longer the case that thousands of turbines stand idle awaiting connection in China because projects must be permitted in order to start construction; however, there is still often a several month lag from when turbines are wire-connected to the substation until the process of certification and payment of FIT premium is complete. Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 30 March 2016.
  16. Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 14 January and 10 February 2016.
  17. GWEC, “China wind power blows past EU,” press release (Washington, DC/Beijing/Tokyo/Delhi/Cape Town/Mexico City: 10 February 2016), Energy security was a driver, but not as important as climate change, per Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 21 October 2015.
  18. Top provinces and shares based on data from China National Energy Board, cited by CNEA, “2015 Wind Power Industry Development,” 2 February 2016, (using Google Translate).
  19. GWEC, op. cit. note 8.
  20. As of early February, estimated average curtailment over the year 2015 was 15%, from China National Energy Board, op. cit. note 18, and from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 9, 36; curtailment averaged 20% during 2015, from Frank Haugwitz, Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Co. Ltd. (AECEA), personal communication with REN21, 11 April 2016, from David Stanway, “China wasted 20 percent of wind power generation in 2015,” Reuters, 17 March 2016,, and from “Lots of wind power wasted: energy administration,” Xinhua, 17 March 2016, Note that curtailment rates were 8% in 2014 and 17% in 2012, from China National Energy Board, cited by CNEA, “Wind Power Industry Monitoring,” 12 February 2015, (using Google Translate). It should be taken into account that 2014 was a low wind speed year compared to average, from Shi Pengfei, CWEA, personal communication with REN21, 1 April 2015.
  21. Sue-Lin Wong and Charlie Zhu, “Chinese wind earnings under pressure with fifth of farms idle,” Reuters, 17 May 2015,
  22. Wind generation and share of output from China National Energy Board, op. cit. note 18. This is up from 156.3 GWh in 2014, from China Electricity Council, available in Chinese at, provided by Liming Qiao, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 16 April 2015; 2.8% of output in 2014 from China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute (CREEI), Wind Power Statistical Evaluation Report of China (in Chinese), 14 April 2015, provided by Shi, op. cit. note 15. China’s wind-generated electricity in 2012 was just over 100 TWh, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 9.
  23. Based on 22,465.03 MW at the end of 2014, from Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Resources (MNRE), “Physical progress (achievements) up to the month of December 2015,”, viewed 21 January 2015, and on 25,088.19 MW at end-2015, from MNRE, idem, viewed 1 February 2016. Additions of 2,623 MW for a year-end total of 25,088 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11, and 2015 added capacity was 2,621 MW for a total of 25,088 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, pp. 7, 25. Note that 2,294 MW was added for a total of 24,759 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 1.
  24. “India adding 2800 MW of wind capacity in 2015,” GWEC Newsletter, January 2016,; Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 10 February 2016.
  25. Japan added 245 MW for a total of 3,038 MW, the Republic of Korea added 225 MW for a total of 835 MW, and all of Asia added 33,859 MW for a total of 175,831 MW, all from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11. Japan added 244.6 MW for a total of 3,038.2 MW, and the Republic of Korea added 225 MW for a total of 834 MW, both from WWEA, op. cit. note 1. All of Asia added 33,606 MW in 2015 for a total of 175,573 MW, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1. Asia added a net of 33,882 MW (including additions also in Taipei (China), Kazakhstan, the Philippines and Vietnam, from IRENA, Renewable Capacity Statistics 2016 (Abu Dhabi: April 2016), Note that Vietnam is not included here, but by some reports the country added capacity in 2015. See endnotes for offshore wind developments. Capacity also was added in the Philippines, Taipei (China) and Thailand, per FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. 3.
  26. Projects from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), “China approves 34 GW of new wind projects,” Week in Review, 19 May 2015, No new capacity came online in 2015, per GWEC, op. cit. 1, p. 11, and IRENA, op. cit. note 1. Note, however, that an estimated 80 MW was installed in Pakistan during 2015, per FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. 3.
  27. The United States added 8,598 MW for a total of 73,992 MW, from American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), “US Wind Industry 2015 Annual Market Update: US Wind Power Capacity and Generation Growth in 2015” (Washington, DC: April 2016), Rankings based on data in this section. The United States added a net of 8,346.4 MW in 2015 for a total of 72,577.9 MW, from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly with Data for December 2015 (Washington, DC: US Department of Energy (DOE), February 2016), Table 6.1., p. 129,; wind power generated 190.927 TWh of electricity in 2015, from EIA, idem, Table 1.1.A., p. 15, Note that EIA data do not include facilities smaller than 1 MW and do not include off-grid capacity.
  28. Based on figure of 41% from AWEA, op. cit. note 27.
  29. Fourth quarter from AWEA, “American wind power posts second strongest quarter ever, readies to help states meet Clean Power Plan affordably,” press release (Washington, DC: 27 January 2016),; increase of 77% from AWEA, “US Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2015 Market Report” (Washington, DC: 27 January 2015), p. 1,; drivers from BNEF and Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE), 2016 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook (London and Washington, DC: 2016), p. 60,
  30. AWEA, “US wind industry leaders praise multi-year extension of tax credits,” press release (Washington, DC: 18 December 2015),
  31. Texas added 1,307 MW, followed by Oklahoma (853 MW), Kansas (599 MW) and Iowa (502 MW), from AWEA, “US Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2015 Market Report,” op. cit. note 29.
  32. AWEA, “American wind power posts second strongest quarter ever…,” op. cit. note 29. Going beyond state mandates (Renewable Portfolio Standards) includes utilities in, for example, Colorado and Alabama, from David Labrador, “US wind power demand: corporations take the lead,” RMI Outlet, 22 February 2016, At the same time, a growing number of utilities have met state RPS mandates and are slowing their new contracts, from Brian Eckhouse, “Google’s clean-power deal shows wind farms finding new customers,” Bloomberg, 5 December 2015,
  33. Labrador, op. cit. note 32. Corporate procurement in the United States continues to accelerate, from AWEA, “American wind power posts second strongest quarter ever…,” op. cit. note 29. An estimated 52% of the megawatts contracted through PPAs in 2015 (2,074 MW wind power) were signed by non-utility purchasers (including corporations, universities, cities) to reduce emissions and secure low-cost, fixed price electricity, from AWEA, “US Wind Industry 2015 Annual Market Update: Non-utility buyers increase wind demand in 2015” (Washington, DC: April 2015), Cost-competitiveness from Eckhouse, op. cit. note 32.
  34. AWEA, “American wind power posts second strongest quarter ever…,” op. cit. note 29.
  35. Canada added 1,506 MW for a total of 11,205 MW, from Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), “Wind energy continues rapid growth in Canada in 2015,” press release (Ottawa: 12 January 2016),
  36. Ibid. Growth slowed based on GSR 2015 and FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. iv.
  37. Ontario added 871 MW (for a total of 4,361 MW), followed by Québec (added 397 MW) and Nova Scotia (added 186 MW), from CanWEA, op. cit. note 35.
  38. CanWEA, op. cit. note 35. As of early 2016, Prince Edward Island got an estimated 40% of its electricity supply from wind energy, and Nova Scotia about 10%, from idem.
  39. EWEA, op. cit. note 8, pp. 4, 6; GWEC, op. cit. note 1. The EU added 12,518.8 MW for a total of 141,718.2 MW, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1.
  40. EWEA, op. cit. note 8, pp. 4, 5.
  41. Ibid., pp. 4, 6. The EU added an estimated 6,581 MW of new fossil capacity in 2015 (including 4,714 MW of coal and 1,867 MW of natural gas; plus 100 MW of nuclear), but the region decommissioned about 15,587 MW of fossil capacity (including 8,051 MW of coal, 4,254 MW of natural gas and 3,282 MW of fuel oil, plus 1,825 MW of nuclear), from EWEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 6.
  42. EWEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 8.
  43. GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 13, 15.
  44. Preliminary statistics from Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi), Erneuerbare Energien in Deutschland, Daten zur Entwicklung im Jahr 2015 (Berlin: February 2016),, and from BMWi, “Development of Renewable Energy Sources in Germany 2015,” statistical data from the Working Group on Renewable Energy-Statistics (AGEE-Stat), as at February 2016, Considering decommissioned onshore capacity of 195 MW, Germany’s capacity increased by a net of 5.8 GW for a year-end total of 44.9 GW, from Deutsche WindGuard, Status of Land-Based Wind Energy Development in Germany, January 2016, p. 1, Added (gross) 6,013 MW for a year-end total of 44,947 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11; added a national record of 5,926 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. 1; added 4,919 MW for a total of 45,192 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 1.
  45. EWEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 10; Deutsche WindGuard, op. cit. note 44.
  46. Wind power generated 87,975 GWh in 2015, up from 57,357 GWh in 2014, for an increase of over 53%, based on data from Working Group on Renewable Energy-Statistics (AGEE-Stat) and BMWi, Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland (Berlin: February 2016), p. 7, Reasons for increase from BMWi, Erneuerbare Energien in Deutschland, op. cit. note 44.
  47. EWEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 4. Poland added 1,266 MW for a total of 5,100 MW, France added 1,073 MW for a total of 10,369 MW and the UK added 1,201 MW for a total of 13,453 MW, all from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, pp. 2, 7. Poland added 1,266 MW for a total of 5,100 MW, France added 997 MW for a total of 10,293 MW and the UK added 1,174 MW for a total of 13,614 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 1. Poland added 1,264 MW for a total of 5,100 MW, France added 999 MW for a total of 10,312 MW and UK added 867.5 MW for a total of 13,855 MW, all from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 6, The UK had a year-end 2014 total of 12,987 MW, with an estimated 1,204 MW added based on a preliminary year-end total of 14,191 MW, from UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), “Energy Trends: Renewables, Energy Trends Section 6: Renewables” (London: updated 31 March 2016), France added 999 MW in 2015 for a total of 10,312 in 2015, from RTE Réseau de transport d’électricité, 2015 Bilan Électrique (Paris: 2015), p. 3,
  48. EWEA, op. cit. note 8, pp. 4, 10.
  49. Ibid., p. 4. See also Asociación Empresarial Eólica (AEE), “The Spanish wind power sector installs zero megawatts in 2015, an unknown situation since the 80s,” press release (Madrid: 26 January 2016),
  50. Across the region, 4,366 MW was added for a total of 15,293 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11; Latin America installed 4,440 MW for a total of 15,278 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. iv.
  51. Brazil’s woes from Vanessa Dezem, “Brazil wind-power deals fall short of expectations in auction,” Bloomberg, 27 April 2015,, and from GWEC, “China wind power blows past EU,” press release (Washington, DC/Beijing/Tokyo/Delhi/Cape Town/Mexico City: 10 February 2016), Brazil added 2,754 MW for a total of 8,715 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11, and from WWEA, op. cit. note 1; added 2,754 MW for a total of 8,682 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. 25. Share of regional additions based on data from GWEC, op. cit. note 1.
  52. Capacity of 356.8 MW from Associação Brasileira de Energia Eólica, provided by Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 28 April 2016; commissioned but not all was grid-connected from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 16.
  53. Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 8 September 2015; Brazilian Power Trading Chamber (CCEE), cited in Lucas Morais, “Brazil’s installed wind capacity increases 45% y/y in 2015,” SeeNews Renewables, 9 March 2016, The top states were Rio Grande do Norte (2,493 MW), Ceara (1,573.5 MW) and Rio Grande do Sul (1,514 MW), from CCEE, op. cit. this note.
  54. Other countries adding capacity were Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala, all from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, and from WWEA, op. cit. note 1. Mexico passed 3 GW total from Asociación Mexicana de Energía Eólica (AMDEE), “Mexico passes 3,000 MW milestone in 2015,” March 2016,; Chile added 169 MW and the Dominican Republic added 50 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis 2015, pp. 4, 67; Uruguay added 375.5 MW for total of 856.8 MW, from Uruguay Secretary of Energy, Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Minería, personal communication with REN21, early 2016; in addition, Jamaica installed 24 MW, from idem; Chile ended 2015 with 904 MW of wind power capacity, from CIFES Ministerio de Energía, Gobierno de Chile, Reporte CIFES—Energías Renovables en el Mercado Eléctrico Chileno (Santiago: January 2016), p. 2,
  55. Turkey added 956.2 MW in 2015 (up from 803.65 MW added in 2014) to end 2015 with 4,718.3 MW, from Turkish Wind Energy Association, Turkish Wind Energy Statistics Report (Ankara: January 2016), pp. 4, 5,
  56. Jordan increased its operating capacity from 2 MW to 119 MW in 2015, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11. The completed project was the Tafila Wind Farm with 117 MW of capacity, from “King inaugurates Tafila wind farm project,” Jordan News Agency, 17 December 2015, and from Masdar Clean Energy, “Tafila Wind Farm,” Jordan also had additional capacity under development, from Tsvetomira Tsanova, “Kuwaiti fund to add 14 MW to Maan wind farm in Jordan – report,” SeeNews Renewables, 13 July 2015,, and from Philippa Wilkinson, “Jordan signs wind power purchase agreement,” Middle East Business Intelligence, 27 May 2015, Jordan added 180 MW, Israel installed 21 MW and the Middle East in total added 296 MW in 2015, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, pp. iv, 74-75.
  57. Iran had at least 155 MW in operation at the end of 2015, per Iran Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR), Iran’s Electric Power Industry Statistics, Electric Power Production, year 1393 (Tehran: May 2015), p. 27,; plans for additional capacity from Jan Dodd, “German-Iranian developer plans 106 MW in Iran,” Windpower Monthly, 3 September 2015,, and from Renewable Energy Organization of Iran (SUNA), “Table of contracts concluded with private sector,”, viewed 7 April 2014. Iran had 117.5 MW at year-end from WWEA, World Wind Energy Report 2015 (Bonn: forthcoming 2016). Kuwait is advancing on a 10 MW demonstration project, from David Weston, “Gamesa to supply first Kuwaiti project,” Windpower Monthly, 29 September 2015,
  58. Sawyer, op. cit. note 24. Nearly 1 GW was added across Africa in 2014, from GWEC, op. cit. note 12.
  59. South Africa added 483 MW for a total of 1,053 MW, surpassing Morocco with a total of 787 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11; continent-wide figure of 3 GW from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. iv; South Africa added 483 MW for a total of 1,053 MW, and Morocco added no capacity for a total of 795 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 57.
  60. GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11; Ethiopia also from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. 4; Ethiopia added 153 MW for a total of 324 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 57; Egypt added 200 MW at Gulf of El-Zayt, bringing total capacity to 745 MW, from Maged Mahmoud, Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), personal communication with REN21, 10 April 2016.
  61. Both the Kinangop and Lake Turkana wind projects, with combined capacity of 360 MW, were stalled due to disputes over land that have halted the 60 MW Kinangop project and slowed construction of the Lake Turkana wind park, from Maina Waruru, “East Africa’s biggest renewable power projects face land challenges,” Renewable Energy World, 22 March 2016,; Bella Genga, “Lake Turkana Wind Power of Kenya sees electricity supply delayed,” Bloomberg, 22 March 2016,
  62. Egypt and Morocco from Sawyer, op. cit. note 24. Countries across the continent included Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, Sudan and Tanzania, from Steve Sawyer, GWEC, cited in Vince Font, “Wind energy setting records, growing still: the wind energy outlook for 2016,” Renewable Energy World, 3 February 2016,; Tanzania also from “50 MW wind power project in Tanzania to cost more than US$ 132m,” Construction Review Online, 11 March 2015,
  63. Australia and Samoa added capacity per GWEC, op. cit. note 1, and per WWEA, op. cit. note 57; Australia (380 MW), New Zealand (7 MW) and Pacific Islands (9 MW) added capacity per FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. 4.
  64. Australia added 380 MW for total of 4,187 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 11, and added 380 MW for a total of 4,186 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 57. Five wind farms became operational in 2015, adding 196 turbines and 380 MW of generating capacity. These additional projects took the Australian wind industry to a total of 76 wind farms with a capacity of 4,187 MW, made up of 2,062 turbines, from Alicia Webb, Clean Energy Council Australia, personal communication with REN21, April 2016. Figure of 5% from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 26.
  65. Figure of 3,398 MW added to the grid for a total of 12,107 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 49, and adjusted for lower additions in Germany, from BMWi, Erneuerbare Energien in Deutschland, op. cit. note 44. A total of 3,856 MW was grid-connected in 2015, using a different methodology from other sources (including Siemens turbines that were not delivered to clients according to the company’s project reference list for 2014), from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Supply-Side Analysis, p. 14.
  66. Europe added 3,034.5 MW to its grids for a total of 11,039.3 MW, and decommissioned seven turbines (in the UK and Sweden), from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 49; 10 MW of offshore capacity was decommissioned in Sweden and 6 MW in the UK, from GWEC, op. cit. note 2. Europe added 3,019 MW of net installed, grid-connected capacity in 2015 (108% more than in 2014), for a total of 11,027 MW; most of this capacity (69.4%) was in the North Sea, with the rest in the Irish Sea (17.6%), the Baltic (12.9%) and the Atlantic, from EWEA, The European Offshore Wind Industry – Key Trends and Statistics 2015 (Brussels: February 2016), pp. 3, 11, Europe (namely Germany, the UK and the Netherlands) added 3,014.6 MW of offshore capacity to its grids, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 7.
  67. Figure of 2,234 MW from preliminary statistics from BMWi, Erneuerbare Energien in Deutschland, op. cit. note 44. Other information based on GWEC, op. cit. note 2. Additions came to 2,282 MW per GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 44. Germany brought 2,589 MW online offshore in 2015 and accounted for 67.1% of new offshore capacity, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, pp. v, 8.
  68. The UK (572.1 MW), China (361 MW) and the Netherlands (180 MW) from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 49; Japan from Japan Wind Power Association, provided by Feng Zhao, FTI Consulting, personal communication with REN21, 11 April 2016. The UK added 773.7 MW, China added 361 MW and the Netherlands added 129 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. v; the UK added an estimated 617 MW based on 4,501 MW offshore at end-2014 and a preliminary figure of 5,188 MW at end-2015, from UK DECC, op. cit. note 47. Note that Vietnam also had an offshore (intertidal) wind farm operating by end-2015, but it was not commissioned until 17 January 2016, per Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 10 April 2016. Vietnam added 62 MW of offshore capacity for total of 92 MW (and 114 MW of wind overall), from Peter Cattelaens, REN21 country contributor and GIZ Energy Support Programme Vietnam, personal communication with REN21, February 2016. Vietnam saw 83.2 MW commissioned in late December for Phase 2 of the Bac Lieu project, for a total capacity of 99.2 MW; feasibility studies for a further 300 MW offshore were under way in early 2016, from “Vietnam commissions Bac Lieu phase two,” 4COffshore, 29 December 2015, Some offshore capacity also was decommissioned in 2015, with 10 MW removed in Sweden and 6 MW in the UK, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Demand-Side Analysis, p. 8.
  69. Policy changes in the UK from Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 7 October 2015. An announcement regarding the UK Contract for Difference, the country’s support mechanism for renewables, was missed, causing uncertainty in the industry and the loss of around six months of work, from Giorgio Corbetta, EWEA, personal communication with REN21, 30 March 2016. Total year-end offshore capacity in the UK was 5,066 MW, followed by Germany (3,295 MW), Denmark (1,271 MW), China (1,015 MW), Belgium (712 MW), the Netherlands (427 MW), Sweden (202 MW), Japan (53 MW), Finland (26 MW), Ireland (25 MW), the Republic of Korea and Spain (5 MW each), Norway (2 MW), Portugal (2 MW) and the United States (0.02 MW), from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 49. The UK added 566.1 MW in 2015 for a total of 5,061 MW, from Giorgio Corbetta, WindEurope, personal communication with REN21, 28 April 2016; Germany had a total of 3,283 MW, from preliminary statistics from BMWi, Erneuerbare Energien in Deutschland, op. cit. note 44; the UK had 5,188 MW at end-2015, based on preliminary data from UK DECC, op. cit. note 47; China had a total of 1,015 MW offshore at end-2015, including 612 MW of inter-tidal capacity, from Shi, op. cit. note 15.
  70. IEA, World Energy Outlook 2015 (Paris: OECD/IEA, 2015), p. 346.
  71. Delay and causes from Yang Jianxiang, “Analysis: China to reevaluate offshore in new Five-Year Plan,” Windpower Offshore, 16 June 2015,; Vince Font, “Creating an offshore wind industry,” Renewable Energy World Magazine, November/December 2015, pp. 20-25; Militsa Mancheva, “China Longyuan plugs in 4 turbines at 400-MW offshore wind park,” SeeNews Renewables, 5 January 2016,
  72. Press Trust of India, “Tenders to lease sea blocks for wind farms early next year,” Business Standard, 6 October 2015,
  73. Deepwater Wind, “Block Island wind farm caps off successful first offshore construction season,” press release (Providence, RI: 8 December 2015),; Herman K. Trabish, “Feds approve North Carolina ocean tract for offshore wind developments,” Utility Dive, 21 September 2015,; Fatima Maria Ahmad, “White House recognizes momentum for offshore wind,” GWEC, October 2015, As of late 2015, the continental United States had 21 offshore wind projects totalling 15.65 GW of potential capacity in various stages of development, from Aaron Smith, Tyler Stehly, and Walter Musial, 2014-2015 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report (Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory: September 2015), p. 33, See also Michael Copley, “Offshore wind advocates try to broaden debate beyond straight economics,” SNL, 30 September 2015,
  74. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Wind Farm Owner-Operators, p. 2.
  75. In the United States, for example, industries, universities, government agencies and other nonutility buyers accounted for a significant share of US wind power contracts in 2015, from Eckhouse, op. cit. note 32. Also see: Ivan Shumkov, “Dong inaugurates 312-MW wind farm off Germany,” SeeNews Renewables, 9 October 2015,; Emma Bailey, “Google to invest in Africa’s largest wind farm,” Triple Pundit, 25 November 2015,; “Google nets Kenyan lake stake,” Renews Biz, 20 October 2015,; Anna Hirtenstein, “Google to buy into Africa’s largest wind farm in Northern Kenya,” Renewable Energy World, 20 October 2015,
  76. See, for example: Michael Copley, “Invenergy using Texas wind farm to supply Google,” SNL, 27 January 2016,; “OX2 furnishes IKEA in Finland,” Renews Biz, 21 January 2016,; Paul Pajarillo, “Mexico to power up VWs with wind energy,” itechpost, 31 December 2015,; Eckhouse, op. cit. note 32; Labrador, op. cit. note 32. Corporate purchasing, reliability and economic sense from John Abraham, “The strong economics of wind energy,” The Guardian (UK), 28 December 2015,; growing involvement of corporations and driver of cutting corporate energy bills also from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Wind Farm Owner-Operators, p. 3.
  77. Corbetta, op. cit. note 69, 30 March 2016.
  78. Australia from, for example: Fund Community Energy, “What is community energy,”, viewed 24 March 2016; Samantha Turnbull, “Australia’s first community-owned renewable energy retailer Enova to open its doors in Byron Bay,” ABC News Australia, 4 January 2016, Europe from, for example: Energy4All Limited, “Delivering community-owned green power,”, viewed 24 March 2016; Community Windpower website,, viewed 24 March 2016; Craig Morris, “New community wind farm in UK is largest ever,” Renewables International, 18 May 2015,; Jacqueline Echevarria, “Vestas wins German community wind order,” Energy Live News, 27 August 2015,; Craig Morris, “26 MW wind farm with 90 percent local ownership in Germany,” Renewables International, 31 August 2015,; Craig Morris, “How big can a community wind farm be?” Renewables International, 5 November 2015, Japan from Tetsu Iida, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, Tokyo, personal communication with REN21, 14 January 2014. New Zealand from, for example, Gareth Hughes, “Blueskin Bay: Community Wind,” Greens New Zealand, 26 November 2015, North America from: Windustry, “Community Wind,”, viewed 24 March 2016; Diane Bailey, “Analysis: Nova Scotia pulls plug on community tariff,” Windpower Monthly, 26 August 2015,; Boralex Inc., “Commissioning of the Côte-de-Beaupré community wind farm project,” press release (Montreal: 19 November 2015),; Doug McDonough, “Next Era Energy to develop Hale community wind project,” My Plain View, 15 September 2015,; Scott Waldman, “Community wind farm takes root near Ithaca,” Capital New York, 18 February 2015,; and Canada, specifically, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 12. South Africa from “Tsitsikamma community wind farm project, South Africa,” Engineering News, 5 July 2013, See also “Community Wind Energy,”, viewed 24 March 2016. Canada, countries in Europe, and the United States also from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Wind Farm Owner-Operators, p. 1.
  79. This is occurring in the EU, from Corbetta, op. cit. note 69, 30 March 2016; Sara Knight, “Analysis: Citizen ownership at risk from new system,” Windpower Monthly, 25 August 2015,; Bailey, op. cit. note 78; Gsänger, op. cit. note 7; WWEA, “Study: Community wind threatened by discriminating policies,” press release (Bonn: 22 March 2016),; Carlo Schick, Stefan Gsänger, and Jan Dobertin, Headwind and Tailwind for Community Power (Bonn: WWEA, February 2016),
  80. WWEA, Small Wind World Report 2016 (Bonn: March 2016), Summary,; RenewableUK, Small and Medium Wind UK Market Report (London: March 2015), Displace diesel from Navigant Research, “Small and Medium Wind Power,”, viewed 12 February 2014; Navigant Research, “Worldwide small & medium wind power installations are expected to total more than 3.2 gigawatts from 2014 through 2023,” press release (Boulder, CO: 5 January 2015), Note that the Navigant report also discusses turbines up to 500 kW. Off-grid applications continued to play an important role in remote areas of developing countries, per WWEA, op. cit. this note.
  81. WWEA, op. cit. note 80.
  82. Ibid. It is estimated that global small wind capacity at end-2014 was roughly 810 MW, up from an estimated 678 MW in 2012 and 755 MW in 2013, from Alice C. Orrell and Nikolas F. Foster with Scott L. Morris, 2014 Distributed Wind Market Report (Washington, DC: US DOE, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), August 2015), pp. 15–16,
  83. WWEA, op. cit. note 80. In 2010, the average size of small wind turbines globally was 0.66 kW, and by 2014 it was up to 0.87 kW; the average is 0.5 kWh in China, 1.4 kW in the United States and 4.7 kW in the UK, from idem.
  84. WWEA, op. cit. note 80.
  85. Ibid. Japan and Argentina also are important markets in terms of units installed, from idem.
  86. Orrell and Foster with Morris, op. cit. note 82, pp. i, 3. US small-scale turbine sales totalled 3.7 MW (over 1,600 units and USD 20 million investment) in 2014, down from 5.6 MW in 2013 (2,700 units and USD 36 million), from idem. Leasing models in the United States from Nichola Groom, “UPDATE 1-Wind power startup nabs $200 mln for projects on homes, farms,” Reuters, 5 January 2016,; Diane Cardwell, “Wind power spreads through turbines for lease,” New York Times, 18 December 2015,
  87. WWEA, op. cit. note 80; UK below 2012 from RenewableUK, op. cit. note 80
  88. Market size (based on billion Euro market) per GWEC, cited in Jennifer Runyon, “Making the most energy from the wind,” Renewable Energy World Magazine, May/June 2015, pp. 32–37. Repowering began in Denmark and Germany, due to a combination of incentives and a large number of ageing turbines. It is driven by technology improvements and the desire to increase output while improving grid compliance and reducing noise and bird mortality, from IEA, Technology Roadmap – Wind Energy, 2013 Edition (Paris: 2013), p. 10, and from James Lawson, “Repowering gives new life to old wind sites,” Renewable Energy World, 17 June 2013, Ultimately, repowering, where it happens, is driven by the economics of the project, and relevance of other factors depends on whether the government puts incentives in place in relation to them, from Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 13 April 2015.
  89. Runyon, op. cit. note 88, pp. 32–37; Zuzana Dobrotkava, World Bank, personal communication with REN21, 28 January 2016.
  90. Europe is EWEA preliminary estimate, provided by Corbetta, op. cit. note 69, 30 March 2016. A total of seven turbines offshore (in the UK and Sweden) was decommissioned in 2015, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 7. Japan and Australia from Feng Zhao, FTI Consulting, personal communication with REN21, 11 April 2016.
  91. Repowering in Germany reached a 20% share of new onshore capacity (735 MW), from AGEE-Stat, personal communication with REN21, 5 April 2016, and from C. Ender, “Wind energy use in Germany status 31.12.2015,” DEWI Magazin, February 2016, p. 20, Note that Germany dismantled an estimated 253 wind turbines with capacity of 195.18 MW, and installed 176 repowering turbines with total capacity of 484 MW, from Deutsche WindGuard, op. cit. note 44, p. 1, and from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 44. In Germany, the definition of repowering has been narrowed due to the discontinuation of the repowering bonus in the EEG at the end of 2014. Under the bonus plan, each turbine that replaced at least one old turbine in the same or an adjacent county was considered a repowering turbine; without the bonus, the term repowering now refers to new turbines replacing existing turbines, from Deutsche WindGuard, op. cit. note 44, p. 2.
  92. Gevorg Sargsyan, World Bank, personal communication with REN21, 28 January 2016.
  93. Wind power capacity installed by end-2015 would produce an estimated 315 TWh in a normal wind year, enough to cover 11.4% (of which 1% is offshore wind) of the EU’s electricity consumption, from EWEA, op. cit. note 8, p. 3. Wind energy penetration levels were calculated by EWEA using average capacity factors onshore and offshore, and Eurostat electricity consumption figures for 2013 (latest available data as of 26 January 2016).
  94. An average of 42% of Denmark’s electricity consumption was generated by wind during 2015, up from 39% in 2014 and 22% in 2010, from “New record-breaking year for Danish wind power,”, 15 January 2016, The year 2015 was windier than 2014. Most turbines are in the western part of Denmark, where wind generated electricity corresponded to 55% of the region’s annual consumption, from idem. The year saw multiple times in which the wind met more than 100% of demand, from William Steel, “The wind power horizon for Denmark,” Renewable Energy World, 25 November 2015, Ireland estimate of 24.2% from ENTSO-E Data Portal,, and estimate of over 23% from Eoin Burke-Kennedy, “Over 23% of electricity demand now supplied through wind,” Irish Times, 29 December 2015, Portugal from ENTSO-E Data Portal,, and based on data in REN, Sistema Eletroprodutor—Informação Mensal, December 2015, pp. 3, 7. Spain estimate of 18.3% based on data in RED Elétrica de España, The Spanish Electricity System Preliminary Report (Madrid: 2015),; estimate of 19.4% provided by Jean-Daniel Pitteloud, WWEA, personal communication with REN21, 31 March 2016, and from AEE, op. cit. note 49. Elsewhere in Europe, wind generated 11% of the UK’s electricity in 2015 (and a monthly record of 17% in December), up from 9.5% in 2014, from Martin Flanagan, “Wind energy output hits record levels in 2015,” Scotsman, 5 January 2016,; in Scotland, wind generation in 2015 was enough to produce the equivalent of 97% of household electricity needs, from WWF, cited in “Scottish wind power surge reported in 2015,” BBC, 11 January 2016,
  95. Schleswig-Holstein had enough wind to meet 83.6% of its electricity demand, followed by Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (83.4%), Brandenburg (61.4%) and Sachsen-Anhalt (60.9%); the next state was Niedersachsen (30.8%), all from Ender, op. cit. note 91, Figure 13, p. 21.
  96. EIA, op. cit. note 27. Wind power accounted for more than 5% of generation in 20 states, more than 10% in 12 states (up by 3 over 2014), more than 15% in 8 states and more than 20% in 3 states, namely Iowa (31.3%), Kansas (23.9%) and South Dakota (25.5%), all from idem and from AWEA, “US number one in the world in wind energy production,” press release (Washington, DC: 29 February 2016), See also EIA, “Iowa State Profile and Energy Estimates,”, updated 17 March 2016.
  97. Brazil from Jean-Daniel Pitteloud, WWEA, personal communication with REN21, 8 April 2016; Uruguay from Uruguay Secretary of Energy, Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Minería, personal communication with REN21, 29 April 2016.
  98. Share of almost 3.7% based on global wind power capacity installed at end-2015; on average capacity factors of 22.6% onshore and 32.4% offshore, based on capacity and generation data for 2014, from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015 (Paris: 2015), pp. 164–165, 170–171 ,; and on estimated total global electricity generation of 23,741 TWh in 2015. Electricity generation in 2015 based on the following: total global electricity generation in 2014 of 23,536.5 TWh, from BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 (London: 2015), pdf/energy-economics/statistical-review-2015/bp-statistical- review-of-world-energy-2015-full-report.pdf, and estimated global average increase in electricity generation of 0.87%, based on reported 2015 generation in the United States, China, EU, India, the Russian Federation and Brazil, which together represented about 65% of global generation in 2014. For further details, see Endnote for Figure 3.
  99. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Supply-Side Analysis, p. 2.
  100. “Wind energy a fresh breeze for valve manufacturers,” Modern Metals, 12 January 2016,; “UPDATE 1-Vestas record order intake points to strong 2016,” Reuters, 9 February 2016,; EWEA, op. cit. note 66, p. 14.
  101. Competition from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, cited in FTI Consulting, “Wind turbine companies set for continued M&A as Chinese companies take the lead,” press release (London: 23 March 2016),; fragmentation and flexibility from “Only China ‘booms’ for wind,” Renews Biz, 25 January 2016,
  102. AEE, op. cit. note 49.
  103. Aris Karcanias, FTI Consulting, cited in Joshua S. Hill, “Global wind energy market expected to reach 59 GW,” CleanTechnica, 27 October 2015,; “Only China ‘booms’ for wind,” op. cit. note 101; GWEC, “China wind power blows past EU,” op. cit. note 51.
  104. Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 29 October 2015; BNEF, “Wind and solar boost cost-competitiveness versus fossil fuels,” press release (London and New York: 6 October 2015),
  105. BNEF, op. cit. note 104. Thanks to technological innovation, the cost of electricity from onshore wind was down 25% from 2008, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Technology Overview.
  106. Mexico, New Zealand, Turkey, and parts of Australia, China and the United States from Sawyer, op. cit. note 104; Canada from CanWEA, op. cit. note 35; South Africa from GWEC, “Wind energy has saved South Africa R1.8 billion more than it cost for first half of 2015 – and it’s cash positive for Eskom,” undated,, and from Joanne Calitz, Crescent Mushwana, and Tobias Bischhof-Niemz, “Financial benefits of renewables in Africa in 2015,” CSIR Energy Centre, 14 August 2015,; United States also from “Wind power now cheaper than natural gas for Xcel, CEO says,” Renewable Energy World, 27 October 2015,, and from Ryan Wiser et al., 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report (Washington, DC: US DOE, EERE, 2015), p. viii,
  107. “Morocco records new low wind energy tender bids,” ESI-Africa, 20 January 2016,; tenders in Egypt and Peru also resulted in extremely low bid prices, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 5.
  108. BNEF, op. cit. note 104.
  109. Access to transmission infrastructure is an important catalyst for future wind energy growth in the United States, from AWEA, “Industry grows as policy uncertainty threatens future gains,” press release (Washington, DC: 20 October 2015),; lack of transmission is the biggest long-term barrier for wind energy development in the United States, from Rob Gramlich, AWEA, cited in David A. Lieb, “Renewable energy efforts stymied by transmission roadblocks,” Associated Press, 22 December 2015,; in Brazil, lack of sufficient transmission lines in areas with the greatest wind power potential is a key barrier to development, and Mexico faces transmission-related challenges, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 31, 59; in China, lack of transmission and distribution capacity, lack of flexibility in the grid system, and lack of a market where electricity can be traded are some of the key barriers to wind deployment, from “Wind power has taken China by storm,” Sun & Wind Energy, 13 November 2015,; lack of public acceptance from Birol, op. cit. note 4, p. 7; displace coal in China from Barbara A. Finamore, “Big plans for integrating renewable energy into China’s electricity grid,” Huffington Post, 9 March 2016,
  110. Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 6 April 2016.
  111. Kathy Chen and Dominique Patton, “China steps up efforts to tackle curtailment of renewable energy,” Reuters, 21 October 2015,; transmission and pumped storage from Shi, op. cit. note 15.
  112. For example, only 0.5% of wind generation within ERCOT’s region was curtailed in 2014, down from a peak of 17% in 2009, from Ryan Wiser et al., op. cit. note 106, p. vii; curtailment dropped to near zero even as wind generation almost doubled due to completion of new transmission lines in Texas, from Clayton Handleman, “Upgrades to Texas transmission lines slashes wind curtailment,” CleanTechnica, 20 August 2015,; upgraded transmission infrastructure has helped to relieve congestion in some regions, from AWEA, op. cit. note 96; however, curtailment remains a problem in other US regions, where investment in transmission has not kept pace with wind power deployment, from BNEF and BCSE, op. cit. note 29.
  113. See, for example, BMWi, “Offshore-Netzausbau auf Kurs: Mehr Ausbau, geringe Haftungsumlage,” press release (Berlin: 19 October 2015),; Japan started four transmission line projects to boost wind power capacity in Hokkaido and Tohoku, from Sawyer, op. cit. note 104; Ilias Tsagas, “Chile’s new 600km long transmission line can boost renewables,” PV Magazine, 11 December 2015,; Jim Polson, “New York backs new transmission line to ease power prices, access renewable energy,” Renewable Energy World, 18 December 2015,; Monica Heger, “Scotland and Ireland consider a linked renewable energy future,” IEEE Spectrum, 25 September 2015,; “ABB wins $300m order to improve grid reliability in China,” Power Technology, 16 October 2015,; “Alstom to build HVDC VSC converter stations for France-Italy link,” T&D World Magazine, 10 September 2015,; Smiti Mittal, “India expands work on renewable energy transmission network,” CleanTechnica, 19 August 2015,; “ABB plays it smart in Sweden,” Renews Biz, 8 May 2015,; Ilias Tsagas, “Jordan to upgrade its network; accommodate more renewables,” PV Magazine, 30 October 2015,
  114. IEA, op. cit. note 70, p. 346.
  115. Goldwind overtook Vestas from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, cited in FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 101; Goldwind overtook GE, per BNEF, cited in Daniel Cusick, “Chinese wind turbine maker is now world’s largest,” Scientific American, 23 February 2016, Note that Vestas ranked number one, ahead of Goldwind, in 2015, per MAKE Consulting, cited in “Vestas tops turbine table,” Renews Biz, 31 March 2016,
  116. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, cited in FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 101; increasingly active in new markets from Gsänger, op. cit. note 7.
  117. Based on FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Supply-Side Analysis.
  118. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Supply-Side Analysis. A slightly different ranking shows Goldwind passing GE (first place in 2014), followed by Vestas, GE, Siemens, Gamesa and Enercon, with Chinese companies Guodian, Ming Yang, Envision and CSIC also among the top 10, from BNEF, cited in Cusick, op. cit. note 115, and in “Xinjiang Goldwind ranks No. 1 in commissioned wind turbines in 2015, BNEF says,” Renewable Energy World, 22 February 2016, See also EWEA, op. cit. note 66, p. 5,
  119. Rankings of Chinese companies based on CWEA, provided by Shi, op. cit. note 15; FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Supply-Side Analysis. Figure 25 based on data from idem.
  120. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Supply-Side Analysis, p. 3.
  121. Based on data from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Supply-Side Analysis, p. 4. Note that the top 15 accounted for over 82% of the total market (based on volumes of MW installed by vendors who sell turbines with rated capacities of at least 200 kW per unit). Also, there were 51 such wind turbine manufacturers producing turbines in 2015. All from idem, pp. iv, 2.
  122. FTI Consulting, Global Wind Supply Chain Update 2015 (London: January 2015), Executive Summary.
  123. LeAnne Graves, “Egypt revives wind turbine plans,” The National, 24 January 2016,
  124. Vestas planned to start production in May 2015 of blades for a wind farm in Liverpool Bay, from “Isle of Wight wind turbine firm Vestas creates 200 jobs,” BBC News, 5 February 2015,; Georgina Prodhan, “UPDATE 1-Siemens picks German port for new wind power plant,” Reuters, 5 August 2015,
  125. Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 3 September 2014.
  126. For example, Gamesa (Spain) opened an expanded nacelle factory in Brazil to focus on the local market. Since 2011, Gamesa has built a competitive supply chain of over 1,000 suppliers in Brazil, from Joshua S. Hill, “Gamesa inaugurates 640 MW Brazil nacelle factory,” CleanTechnica, 10 June 2015, GE announced plans to expand its presence in Brazil by opening new turbine service centres, from “GE expands Brazilian footprint,” 27 March 2015, GE also closed a tower factory in Brazil that it obtained through its acquisition of Alstom (France), from Vanessa Dezem, “GE to shutter wind turbine tower manufacturing plant in Brazil,” 22 February 2016,; James Quilter, “Alstom opens third factory in Brazil,” Windpower Monthly, 2 February 2015,; Elizabeth Trovall, “What’s hampering Brazil’s wind sector?”, 3 February 2015, Additional information about new factories is Brazil is available from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 28. Egypt and Morocco from Mahmoud, op. cit. note 60.
  127. Based on information and references in this paragraph and on Aris Karcanias, FTI Consulting, cited in Joshua S. Hill, “Global wind energy market expected to reach 59 GW,” CleanTechnica, 27 October 2015,; FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, cited in FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 101.
  128. Jesse Broehl, “Wind energy implications of the Alstom and GE deal,” Renewable Energy World, 17 September 2015,; “GE completes acquisition of Alstom power and grid businesses,” press release (Paris: 2 November 2015),; GE also acquired modular blade manufacturer Blade Dynamics (UK), from Campbell and Weston, op. cit. note 128.
  129. Lydia Mulvany, “Nordex to acquire Spain’s Acciona Windpower for $880 million,” Bloomberg, 4 October 2015,; “Nordex acquires Acciona Windpower for $880m,” Energy Business Review, 5 April 2016,
  130. Ivan Shumkov, “Vestas buys US wind turbine servicing co UpWind for USD 60m,” SeeNews Renewables, 8 December 2015,; Vestas, “Vestas to acquire Germany-based independent service provider Availon,” press release (Aarhus, Denmark: 20 January 2016),!160120_ca_uk_02; Michelle Froese, “Vestas completes acquisition of Availon,” Windpower Engineering & Development, 2 March 2016,; “Major renewable energy developer EDF expands into community wind, acquires OwnEnergy,” Renewable Energy World, 25 August 2015,
  131. Centerbridge from Shaun Campbell and David Weston, “Review of 2015, part one,” Windpower Monthly, 31 December 2015,; MTOI from Feng Zhao, FTI Consulting, personal communication with REN21, 11 April 2016.
  132. Gamesa joined forces with rail company CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, Spain), and each company is taking a 50% interest in NEM Solutions, from “Gamesa joins forces with CAF and fortifies its commitment to predictive technology for turbine maintenance with the acquisition of 50% of NEM Solutions,” press release (Madrid/Vizcaya: 17 December 2015),
  133. Sawyer, op. cit. note 7; pure wind energy original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from Corbetta, op. cit. note 69, 30 March 2016.
  134. See, for example: Ivan Shumkov, “Gamesa sells 24-MW wind park in Poland to Windflower,” SeeNews Renewables, 7 January 2016,; Anna Hirtenstein, “GE boosts stakes in two US wind farms jointly owned with Enel,” Bloomberg, 4 January 2016,; Herman K. Trabish, “Midwestern utilities Xcel and Westar make big wind buys,” Utility Dive, 5 January 2016,; Ivan Shumkov, “US regulators okay TAQA’s sale of 50% in 205-MW wind farm,” SeeNews Renewables, 4 January 2016,; “Aquila snares Norway wind stake,” Renews Biz, 30 December 2015,; Lucas Morais, “EDPR to sell 49% of 598-MW wind portfolio in Poland, Italy,” SeeNews Renewables, 29 December 2015,; “Boralex expands French footprint,” Renews Biz, 29 December 2015,; Brian Eckhouse, “TerraForm Power acquires 832 megawatts of Invenergy wind farms,” Bloomberg, 16 December 2015,; David Gutman, “Canadian company buys WV wind project for $200 million,” Charleston Gazette-Mail, 27 November 2015,; “Chinese energy firm invests in 600 MW Mexican wind portfolio,” Renewable Energy World, 14 October 2015,
  135. Trabish, op. cit. note 134; wind project capacity acquired from AWEA, “US Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2015 Market Report,” op. cit. note 29.
  136. David Weston, “China’s SDIC acquires UK offshore projects from Repsol,” Windpower Offshore, 25 February 2016,
  137. David Gutman, “Canadian company buys WV wind project for $200 million,” WV Gazette Mail, 27 November 2015,
  138. Corbetta, op. cit. note 69, 30 March 2016. Ian Clover, “Wind company Suzlon enters India solar market with 210 MW project,” PV Magazine, 13 January 2016, Also see, for example, Karl-Erik Stromsta, “Ones to watch: wind and solar joining forces,” Recharge News, 4 January 2016,
  139. Optimise and grid codes from Tildy Bayar, “Wind turbine manufacturers consider new drivetrain in technology,” Renewable Energy World, 16 September 2015,; Ray Pelosi, “The next generation in wind power technology,” Renewable Energy World Magazine, March/April 2016, pp. 26–30.
  140. “Senvion beefs up 3MW stable,” Renews Biz, 13 April 2015, Beginning in January 2017, grid operators will have new requirements for providing continuously stable feed-in of wind energy, from idem.
  141. Matt Rosoff, “Jeff Immelt: GE is on track to become a ‘top 10 software company’,” Business Insider, 29 September 2015,; Meg Cichon, “GE introduces digital wind farm that could boost production 20%, re-ignites Alstom buyout talk,” Renewable Energy World, 20 May 2015,
  142. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Technology Overview; Jami Hossain, Wind Energy 2050: On the Shape of Near 100% RE Grid (Bonn: WWEA, October 2015), p. 7,
  143. Significantly higher capacity factors from Ryan Wiser et al., op. cit. note 106, p. vii; new opportunities from IEA, op. cit. note 70, p. 346. In the United States, rotor diameters, turbine nameplate capacity and hub height have increased significantly over the years, and capacity factors averaged 33% in 2014, up from 30% in 2000, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report Highlights, prepared for US Department of Energy, Wind and Water Power Technologies Office (Berkeley, CA: August 2015), p. 3, Hub heights and rotor diameters have been increasing in Germany as well, from Deutsche WindGuard, op. cit. note 44, p. 3.
  144. Smiti Mittal, “Gamesa launches new wind turbine for less windy regions,” CleanTechnica, 14 October 2015,; Kelvin Ross, “GE low wind turbines make debut in France,” Renewable Energy World, 10 August 2015,; Siemens, “High capacity factor for higher returns,” undated,; GE, Senvion, Vestas and Nordex all from Campbell and Weston, op. cit. note 128.
  145. Average turbine size delivered to market (considering vendors who sold turbines with rated capacities of at least 200 kW per unit) increased to 2,031 kW in 2015, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Technology Overview. In 2014, the average size delivered to market was 1,981 kW, from Feng Zhao et al., Global Wind Market Update—Demand & Supply 2014 (London: FTI Consulting LLP, March 2015), p. xiii. Average size delivered to market (based on measured rated capacity) was 1,926 kW in 2013, from Navigant Research, World Market Update 2013: International Wind Energy Development. Forecast 2014-2018 (Copenhagen: March 2014), Executive Summary.
  146. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Technology Overview. Europe’s average turbine size in 2015 was 2,683 kW, followed by Africa (2,415 kW), Latin America (2,078 kW), North America (2,056 kW) and Asia-Pacific (1,828 kW); by country, averages were 3,153 MW in Germany, followed by Denmark (2,872 MW), Sweden (2,852 MW), Canada (2,174 MW), UK (2,165 MW), France (2,158 MW), United States (2,037 MW), Brazil (1,980 MW), China (1,838 MW) and India (1,685 MW), and Germany became the first country to exceed an average turbine size of 3 MW (including offshore), all from idem. Germany’s onshore average in 2015 was 2,727 MW, from Deutsche WindGuard, op. cit. note 44, p. 3. In 2014, the averages were 2,863 kW in Germany, 2,062 kW in Brazil, 2,065 kW in Canada, 1,966 kW in the United States, 1,768 kW in China and 1,469 kW in India, from Zhao et al., op. cit. note 145, p. 102.
  147. Brent Cheshire, “Offshore wind playing a lead role in UK green energy transformation,” Renewable Energy World, 13 October 2015, Offshore wind farm size also is rising in Europe, with average size doubling between 2010 and 2015 (average 337.9 MW), with consents granted for 1.2 GW project in the UK in 2015, from EWEA, op. cit. note 66, p. 17.
  148. EWEA, op. cit. note 66, pp. 3, 9, 16.
  149. The year saw an increasing number of installations of 6–8 MW turbines for offshore, with new 8 MW turbines being rolled out and quite a few orders by the end of 2015, from Sawyer, op. cit. note 7. Orders were already on the books for the Siemens 7 MW offshore turbine, from “Siemens 7MW aces type test,” Renews Biz, 16 February 2016, The Westernmost Rough offshore wind farm (UK) became the first to use Siemens 6 MW turbines, from “First offshore windfarm to use Siemens 6-MW turbine complete,” Renewable Energy World Magazine, May/June 2015, p. 7. Research with turbines in the 10–20 MW range, from EWEA, op. cit. note 66, p. 17.
  150. Giorgio Corbetta, EWEA, personal communication with REN21, 20 March 2015; Steve Sawyer, Foreword in Shruti Shukla, Paul Reynolds, and Felicity Jones, Offshore Wind Policy and Market Assessment: A Global Outlook (New Delhi: GWEC, December 2014), p. 4,
  151. EWEA, op. cit. note 66, p. 18.
  152. Ibid., p. 18.
  153. Ibid., p. 7.
  154. Corbetta, op. cit. note 150. See, for example: Darius Snieckus, “Gicon cleared for Baltic pilot of SOF floating wind turbine,” Recharge News, 10 April 2015,; Richard A. Kessler, “Danish developer Alpha Wind Energy (AWE) has submitted lease requests to the US Interior Department (DOI) for two proposed 51-Turbine, 408 MW floating wind projects in federal waters Off Oahu, Hawaii,” Recharge News, 20 March 2015,; Pelosi, op. cit. note 139. Several US companies are investing in development of less-expensive spar-buoy, tension leg and semi-submersible floating wind platforms, driven by the fact that most US offshore wind supply is in deep water, from idem. Reduce costs and challenges, from Hossain, op. cit. note 142, pp. 7–8.
  155. Test turbines from Mariyana Yaneva, “France opens tender for floating wind farms,” SeeNews Renewables, 6 August 2015,; Peter Fairley, “Floating wind turbines headed for offshore farms,” IEEE Spectrum, 9 June 2014,; Shaun Campbell, “Japan plays the long game with floating technology,” Windpower Monthly, 31 January 2014,; Japan from Martin Foster, “World’s largest floating turbine installed at Fukushima,” Windpower Offshore, 30 July 2015,, and from Arata Yamamoto, “Japan builds world’s largest floating wind turbine off Fukushima,” NBC News, 3 August 2015,; France from Joshua S. Hill, “EU Commission approves Portuguese floating wind farm,” CleanTechnica, 27 April 2015,, from Natasha Geiling, “The world’s first floating wind farm,” Think Progress, 6 August 2015,, and from Yaneva, op. cit. this note; Scotland (Statoil, Siemens) from Joshua S. Hill, “When offshore wind dominated renewable energy news in 2015,” CleanTechnica, 22 December 2015,, and from Siemens, “Siemens to supply offshore wind turbines to world’s largest floating wind farm,” press release (Hamburg: 4 December 2015),; Kelsey Warner, “Are floating wind turbines the future of clean energy?” Christian Science Monitor, 3 November 2015,
  156. Sawyer, op. cit. note 15.
  157. Corbetta, op. cit. note 69, 30 March 2016.
  158. Price differential from Steve Sawyer, GWEC, cited in Font, op. cit. note 62.
  159. “Joint Declaration for a United Industry,” from Darius Snieckus, “Three wise men with the knowledge to cut costs,” EWEA Offshore, Copenhagen 2015, pp. 14–15,; Darius Snieckus, “In depth: European offshore wind—counting the cost,” Recharge News, 4 February 2015,
  160. Mariyana Yaneva, “Siemens sees 30% lower costs for offshore wind grid connections,” SeeNews Renewables, 19 October 2015,
  161. Ivan Shumkov, “Siemens to cut offshore wind transport costs by up to 20% via improved process,” SeeNews Renewables, 18 November 2015,
  162. EWEA, op. cit. note 66, pp. 3, 23.
  163. WWEA, op. cit. note 80. In the UK there are about 15 small and medium (up to 225 kW) wind turbine manufacturers, from RenewableUK, op. cit. note 80, p. 19.
  164. RenewableUK, op. cit. note 80, pp. 19, 20, 22; Orrell and Foster with Morris, op. cit. note 82, pp. i, 14.
  165. See, for example, Michelle Froese, “Leasing options for small wind energy,” Windpower Engineering & Development, 3 March 2016,; Polaris, “Leasing,”, viewed 31 March 2016; 25x’25, “Norwegian oil firm makes first investment in renewables: US small wind,” Weekly REsource, 11 March 2016; US DOE, EERE, 2013 Distributed Wind Market Report (Richland, WA: August 2014), p. v.
  166. 25x’25, op. cit. note 165; United Wind, “United Wind closes $8M in Series B funding,” press release (Brooklyn, NY: 7 March 2016), Note that BP, Shell and Repsol are other examples of global oil companies that have invested in wind energy, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, Wind Farm Owner-Operators, p. 2.
  167. Sidebar 3 and Table 2 data are from IRENA’s Renewable Cost Database of 15,000 utility-scale renewable power generation projects and three-quarters of a million small-scale solar PV systems. A real weighted average cost of capital of 7.5% is assumed for the OECD and China, and 10% for all other countries. For details of the other underlying assumptions and the project-level data for installed costs, capacity factors and levelised cost of electricity, see IRENA, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014 (Abu Dhabi: 2015),