Biomass Energy

There are many pathways by which biomass feedstocks can be converted into useful renewable energy. A broad range of wastes, residues and crops grown for energy purposes can be used directly as fuels for heating and cooling or for electricity production, or they can be converted into gaseous or liquid fuels for transport or as replacements for petrochemicals.1 (See Figure 6 in GSR 2015.) Many bioenergy technologies and conversion processes are now well-established and fully commercial.2 A further set of conversion processes – in particular for the production of advanced liquid fuels – is maturing rapidly.3

In 2016, local and global environmental concerns, rising energy demand and energy security continued to drive increasing production and use of bioenergy. Bioenergy consumption and investment in new capacity are supported by policy in many countries. (See Policy Landscape chapter.) However, in some countries, low fossil fuel prices during 2016 discouraged investment in bioenergy-based heating; unlike transport use of biofuels, bio-heat is not sheltered by blending mandates from changes in fossil fuel prices. Increased competition from other low-cost renewable sources of electricity acted as a barrier to bio-power production during the year.4 The continuing discussion about the sustainability of some forms of bioenergy has led to regulatory and policy uncertainty in some markets, and has made for a more difficult investment climate.5

Bioenergy Markets

Bioenergy (in traditionali and modern uses) is the largest contributor to global renewable energy supply.6 Total primary energy supplied from biomass in 2016 was approximately 62.5 exajoules (EJ).7 The supply of biomass for energy has been growing at around 2.5% per year since 2010.8 The bioenergy share in total global primary energy consumption has remained relatively steady since 2005, at around 10.5%, despite a 21% increase in overall global energy demand over the last 10 years.9

The contribution of bioenergy to final energy demand for heat in buildings and industry far outweighs its use for electricity and transport combined.10 (See Figure 7.)

Figure 7. Shares of Biomass in Total Final Energy Consumption and in Final Energy Consumption, by End-use Sector, 2015


Source: See endnote 10 for this section.

Bio-Heat Markets

Biomass in many forms – as solids, liquids or gases – can be used to produce heat. Solid biomass is burned directly using traditional stoves and more modern appliances to provide heat for cooking and for space and water heating in the residential sector. It also can be used at a larger scale to provide heat for institutional and commercial premises and in industry, where it can provide either low-temperature heat for heating and drying applications or high-temperature process heat. The heat also can be co-generated with electricity via combined heat and power (CHP) systems, and distributed from larger production facilities by district energy systems to provide heating (and in some cases cooling) to residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The traditional use of biomass for heat involves the burning of woody biomass or charcoal as well as dung and other agricultural residues in simple and inefficient devices. Given the informal nature of the supply, it is difficult to acquire accurate data on the use of these biomass materials.11 However, the traditional use of biomass in 2016 is estimated at 33 EJ; although there is growth in absolute terms, the share of traditional bioenergy in total global energy consumption has been falling gradually.12 (See Figure 2 in Global Overview chapter.)

Consumption of fuelwood for traditional energy uses has remained stable since 2010, at an estimated 1.9 billion cubic metres (m3), equivalent to around 15 EJ.13 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 production of fuel charcoal for cooking (which is most common in urban areas) has increased by an average of around 2% a year since 2010, although the rate of growth has slowed in the last few years. Production decreased slightly in 2015, to 52 million tonnes, and a similar quantity is estimated to have been produced in 2016.15

Growth in the use of modern bioenergy for heating also has slowed in recent years, to around 1% per year. In 2016, modern bioenergy applications provided an estimated 13.9 EJ of heat, of which 9.1 EJ was for industrial uses and 4.8 EJ was consumed in the residential and commercial sectors, where it was used principally for space heating in buildings and for cooking.16 Based on these production data, modern biomass heat capacity in 2016 increased to an estimated 311 GWth.17

Bioenergy (mostly from solid biomass) accounts for around 7% of all industrial heat consumption, and its use in industry has not increased in recent years.18 This use is concentrated in bio-based industries such as the pulp and paper sector, timber, and the food and tobacco sectors. The cement industry also used larger volumes of waste fuels (estimated at 0.5 petajoules (PJ)) in 2016 relative to previous years.19

The principal regions for industrial bio-heat are Asia (e.g., bagassei, rice husks, straw and cotton stalks in India) and South America (particularly Brazil, where bioenergy from agricultural and wood residues is used to produce heat in the food, tobacco, and pulp and paper industries, and bioenergy from bagasse is used in the sugar and alcohol industries).20 North America is the next largest user: in Canada, 22% of industrial heat was provided by bioenergy in 2016, mostly in the pulp and paper industry.21 There are signs of reduced use of bioenergy in North America, with stronger growth in Asia, reflecting changes in production patterns in key industry sectors, especially pulp and paper.22

In the buildings sector, the United States is the largest consumer of modern biomass for heat. Despite low oil prices, the US market for woody biomass and pellet boilers remained stable in 2016.23

Europe is the largest consumer of bio-heat by region. EU member states have promoted renewable heat in order to meet mandatory national targets under the Renewable Energy Directive.24 Germany, France, Sweden, Italy and Finland and Poland were the largest producers and users in Europe in 2016.25 In Eastern Europe, the market for bioenergy in district heating continued to grow; in Lithuania, wood chips have overtaken natural gas as the major fuel in district heating schemes.26

The market for wood pellets for heating grew only slowly in 2016 as the mild winter in Europe – the world’s largest market – reduced demand.27 Nonetheless, Europe accounted for some 70% of global demand for pellets for heating, led by Italy, Germany, Sweden and France.28

Biogas also is used in industrial and residential heating applications. In Europe, it is used increasingly to provide heat for 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 water and space heating. For example, around 4.9 million household and village-scale biogas plants are now present in India, fuelled mostly by cattle dung and agricultural wastes.30

Bio-Power Markets

Global bio-power capacity increased an estimated 6% in 2016, to 112 GW.31 Generation rose 6% to 504 terawatt-hours (TWh).32 The leading country for electricity generation from biomass in 2016 was the United States (68 TWh), followed by China (54 TWh), Germany (52 TWh), Brazil (51 TWh), Japan (38 TWh), India and the United Kingdom (both 30 TWh).33 (See Figure 8.)

Figure 8. Global Bio-Power Generation, by Region, 2006-2016


Source: See endnote 33 for this section.

Although the United States remained the largest producer of electricity from biomass sources, generation fell 2% in 2016 to 68 TWh, down from 2015 levels of 69 TWh, as existing capacity faced increasing price competition from alternative renewable generation sources under the Renewable Portfolio Standards of a number of states.34 However US bio-power capacity in operation reportedly increased by 197 MW (0.5%) to 16.8 GW through the installation of 51 small-scale generation plants.35

In Europe, growth in electricity generation from both solid biomass and biogas continued in 2016, driven by the Renewable Energy Directive.36 In Germany, Europe’s largest producer of electricity from biomass, total bio-power capacity increased 2%, to 7.6 GW, and generation was up 2.5% to 52 TWh.37 Elsewhere in Europe, the United Kingdom’s bio-power capacity increased 6% to 5.6 GW, due mainly to large-scale generation and to continuing growth in biogas production for electricity; however, generation was up only 1% because increases in output from solid biomass and anaerobic digestion were offset by reductions in generation from landfill gas.38 In Poland, the capacity auction schemes with dedicated tranches for municipal solid waste (MSW) plants and for biogas-based generation stimulated the deployment of new bio-power capacity. As a result, bio-power capacity grew from 1.27 GW to 1.34 GW, and generation increased 50% (from 10 TWh to 15 TWh) in 2016.39

In China, in response to revised objectives in the 13th Five-Year Plan, bio-power capacity rose by an estimated 13% in 2016, to 12 GW, and generation increased to an estimated 54 TWh.40 The combustion of MSW and of agricultural wastes accounted for most of this generation.41

Elsewhere in Asia, capacity and generation rose strongly in Japan, with bioenergy featuring in the feed-in tariff scheme. Japan’s imports of wood pellets for direct combustion and for use in co-firing installations has grown rapidly. The country’s capacity for dedicated biomass plants reached a total of 4 GW in 2016, and generation totalled some 38 TWh, a 5% increase from 2015.42 In the Republic of Korea, generation rose by 44% to 8 TWh, reflecting political efforts to reduce coal use in electricity generation by co-firing with biomass.43 India’s bio-power capacity increased as well, with on-grid capacity up by 164 MW (up 0.3%) to 8.3 GW, and off-grid capacity up by 18.9 MW (up 2%) to 330 MW; generation rose 8% relative to 2015, to 30 TWh.44

Brazil is the largest overall consumer of electricity and bio-power in Latin America. The country’s capacity, which grew rapidly in 2015, rose 5% in 2016, to 13.9 GW.45 Generation also rose 5%, to 51 TWh.46 Over 80% of the biomass-based electricity generation in Brazil is fuelled by bagasse, which is produced in large quantities in sugar production.47

Transport Biofuel Markets

In 2016, global biofuels production, which closely tracks demand, increased around 2% compared to 2015, reaching 135 billion litres.48 This increase was due largely to a rebound in biodiesel production after a decline in 2015. The United States and Brazil remained the largest biofuels producers by far, accounting for 70% of all biofuels between them, followed by Germany, Argentina, China and Indonesia.49 An estimated 72% of biofuel production (in energy terms) was fuel ethanol, 23% was biodiesel, and 4% was hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).50 (See Figure 9.)

Figure 9. Global Trends in Ethanol, Biodiesel and HVO Production, 2006-2016


Source: See endnote 50 for this section.

Global production of fuel ethanol was almost unchanged between 2015 and 2016 at approximately 99 billion litres.51 The United States and Brazil maintained their leading roles in ethanol production with 59% and 27%, respectively, of global production in 2016.52 China, Canada and Thailand were the next largest producers.53

US ethanol production rose 3.5% to 58 billion litres during the year.54 Domestic demand was supported by the annual volume requirements under the US Environmental Production Agency’s (US EPA) final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) allocations. Ethanol production in Brazil fell slightly, to 27 billion litres.55 In Canada, which ranked fourth globally in 2015, production declined 3% in 2016, to 1.7 billion litres.56

After North and South America, Asia is the third largest regional producer of ethanol, and China is the region’s largest producer. Ranking third for ethanol production globally in 2016, China produced an estimated 3.2 billion litres, an increase of 5% over 2015.57 About 99% of the ethanol produced annually in China is based on conventional starch-based feedstocks. All ethanol production and distribution is controlled by state-owned oil companies, and only state-approved companies can carry out blending and receive incentives and subsidies.

China’s biofuels policies have focused mainly on ethanol production. An E10 mandate is in place in 4 provinces and 27 cities, but production has been constrained and, historically, no blending was allowed to take place outside of these areas.58 This limitation was eased in 2016, however, and some stockpiled grain was released for ethanol production in line with plans to boost domestic ethanol production.59

Elsewhere in Asia, ethanol production increased 3.9% in Thailand to 1.2 billion litres, and in India it reached 0.9 billion litres, encouraged by stronger policy support in the form of mandates.60

In Europe, the next-largest producing region, ethanol production fell 6% to 4.8 billion litres in 2016.61 Production fell sharply (by 14%) in France, one of Europe’s largest producers, due to a poor grain harvest, but grew strongly in Hungary (38%) and the United Kingdom (23%).62

Biodiesel production is more geographically diverse than ethanol, with production spread among many countries. The leading countries for production of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) biodiesel were the United States (18% of global production), Brazil (12%), and Indonesia, Germany and Argentina (each with 10%).63 Following a significant decrease in 2015, when output was down 6.5% to 28.7 billion litres, global production rose 7.5% in 2016 to 30.8 billion litres.64 The increase was due mainly to restored production levels in Indonesia and Argentina and to significant increases in North America; US biodiesel production rose 15% in 2016, reaching 5.5 billion litres in response to improved opportunities for diesel within the RFS2.65 In Canada, production rose 19% to 0.4 billion litres.66

By contrast, biodiesel production in Brazil fell 3% to 3.8 billion litres, despite an increase in the blending mandate.67 The reduction probably resulted from a decline in demand for diesel consumption linked to a reduced level of business activity.68 In Argentina, biodiesel production recovered from a fall in 2015, rising 43% to 3.0 billion litres.69 This expansion was stimulated by increased domestic demand (which accounts for around 45% of production) and improved market prospects in the United States and Peru.70

European biodiesel production declined 5% to 10.7 billion litres.71 Germany was again the largest European producer (3.0 billion litres), followed by France (1.5 billion litres).72 Production fell by 11% in both of these countries but increased in Spain (1.1 billion litres, up 1%) and Poland (0.9 billion litres, up 8%).73

In Asia, after a significant decline to 1.7 billion litres in 2015, Indonesian production rose 76% to 3.0 billion litres in 2016, boosted by a number of measures aimed at stimulating a domestic market and at making Indonesia the region’s largest producer again.74 China’s biodiesel production fell an estimated 10%, to 0.3 billion litres, due to reduced diesel fuel use (linked to a slowdown in industrial activity) and an absence of widespread blending mandates.75

Global production of HVO grew some 22% from 4.9 billion litres to 5.9 billion litres.76 Production was concentrated in the Netherlands, the United States, Singapore and Finland.77

The production and consumption of biomethane as a transport fuel also continued to increase during the year. In the United States, for example, consumption grew nearly six-fold between 2014 and 2016, when biomethane provided the equivalent of 188 million gallons (712 million litres) of ethanol equivalent (15.1 PJ).78 Conversion of biomass to biomethane was stimulated by the 2014 EPA ruling on the RFS2, which increased incentives for biomethane by promoting it to an advanced cellulosic biofuels category.79 As a result of this substantial growth, in 2016 the United States overtook the other significant markets for biomethane in transport – Sweden and Germany – which together consumed an estimated 6.4 PJ of biomethane fuel in transport.80

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 new technologies and fuels to the market.

Solid Biomass Industry

A very diverse set of industries is involved in delivering, processing and using solid biomass to produce heat and electricity, ranging from the informal supply of traditional biomass, to the locally based supply of smaller-scale heating appliances, to regional and global players involved in large-scale district heating and power generation technology supply and operations.

In Europe, the trend to convert large-scale power station capacity from coal to wood pellets continued. For example, in Denmark, a 360 MW unit of a power station in Aarhus was converted from coal to run on wood pellets, which will supply biomass-based heat to more than 100,000 homes and electricity to about 230,000 homes.81 In the United Kingdom, Drax received European Commission approval to convert a third unit of its coal-fired plant to run on wood pellets.82

In both Japan and the Republic of Korea, wood pellet imports rose during the year, reflecting the rapidly increasing use of bioenergy for co-firing with coal in power generation. Japan imports 300,000 tonnes per year of industrial pellets, 70% of which come from Canada, along with 600,000 tonnes of palm kernel shells from Vietnam and other South-Eastern Asian countries.83

The global market for wood pellets for industrial (mostly power station) use and heating use has continued to expand. Demand in the industrial sector reached some 13.8 million tonnes in 2016.84 A similar quantity (around 14 million tonnes) of pellets went to heating markets (individual houses and district heating), notably in Italy, Germany and Sweden.85 The wood pellet heating market has grown steadily at a rate of nearly 1 million tonnes per year over a 10-year period.86

The United States is the largest exporter of wood pellets. In 2016, US manufacturers produced approximately 6.9 million tonnes of wood pellets and exported 4.8 million tonnes.87 During the first half of 2016, 85% of exported pellets were sold to the UK Drax plant.88 Canadian exports also rose 47% in 2016 to 2.5 million tonnes.89 Latvia, Europe’s largest producer, exported 1.9 million tonnes mainly to Denmark and the United Kingdom, as well as to Sweden and Italy.90

Along with some large-scale plants designed to provide supply chain security to particular users (such as Drax), the pellet industry mostly comprises independent producers and is based around sawmill operations.91 For example, 142 pellet plants are operational in the United States and 58 in Canada.92 However, there are signs of industry consolidation. In the EU, for example, Graanul (Estonia) was the largest producer in 2016, with 11 pellet plants across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.93

The sustainability of bioenergy, and particularly of the large-scale use of pellets derived from wood, continues to be a controversial issue.94 The European Commission, in its proposals for a new Renewable Energy Directive launched in November 2016, stated its intent to reinforce mandatory sustainability criteria for bioenergy by extending the scope to cover solid biomass and biogas for heating and cooling and electricity generation.95 As of 2016, such mandatory criteria applied only to biofuels, although member states can introduce criteria for the heat and electricity sectors, as the United Kingdom and Denmark have done.96

The torrefaction of wood enables the production of pellets with a higher energy density and results in a product compatible with systems designed for coal. Although commercialisation of the technology has been slower than expected, some promising developments occurred in 2016.97 For example, Airex Energy (Canada) started producing torrified pellets at its Bécancour plant in Canada, with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes per year.98 Finnish company Biopower Oy invested USD 74-84 million (EUR 70-80 million) to build a bio-coalii plant in Mikkeli, Finland that will produce 200,000 tonnes of bio-coal pellets annually and is due to come online in 2017-18.99

Liquid Biofuels Industry

Liquid biofuel production is concentrated among a small 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.100 A number of large-scale companies with fossil fuel backgrounds (such as Shell, Neste and Honeywell UOP) and from bio-based industries (such as UPM from the pulp and paper sector) are engaged in developing and producing new biomass-based fuels.101

New patterns of trade for ethanol are developing, particularly with the rise in both demand and production in China. In 2015, China became a major importer of ethanol from the United States; US exports to China rose 2.4-fold in 2016.102 Indigenous Chinese production also increased, based on high stocks of grains. China recently introduced an import tax on ethanol to support domestic production, and as of 2016 the country was exporting ethanol to some Asian markets.103

Net imports of biodiesel to the United States more than doubled between 2015 and 2016 (from 1.0 billion to 2.3 billion litres).104 Argentina was a leading supplier of this increase: the country has significant biodiesel production capacity, and since 2010 it has been supplying markets in the EU as well as in the United States, Peru and other countries. Despite growing domestic demand, however, Argentina’s biodiesel manufacturing capacity has been underutilised (at 40-55%) since 2013, when the EU imposed a heavy import tax on Argentinian biodiesel.105

In Africa, despite significant potential and attempts in some countries to design biofuels strategies, development of production has been slow, held back in part by problems in accessing appropriate technology.106 Some promising developments have occurred, however; for example, Nigeria launched a national biofuels strategy in 2016.107 The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced plans to set up a biorefinery that will use agricultural products to produce ethanol and other products, and Union Dicon Salt has agreed to a joint project with Delta State (Nigeria) to plant 100,000 hectares of cassava and to build an ethanol processing plant that will produce 22,000 litres a day along with starch products.108 Biofuels Nigeria also is planning to build a biodiesel plant in Kogi State using jatropha as feedstock.109 In South Africa, Ethala Biofuels announced plans for a sweet sorghum biorefinery project that will produce ethanol and other products.110

In 2016, worldwide efforts to demonstrate the production and use of advanced biofuels were expanded. The aim of developing and commercialising advanced biofuels is three-fold: first, to produce fuels that can provide more life-cycle carbon savings than some biofuels produced from sugar, starch and oils; second, to produce fuels with less impact on land use (e.g., from wastes and residues), thereby reducing indirect land-use change impacts and also reducing competition for food or for productive agricultural land; and finally, to produce biofuels with properties that enable them to directly replace fossil fuels in advanced transport systems such as aviation engines, or to be blended in high proportions with conventional fuels (“drop-in biofuels”). A number of routes are under development to produce advanced biofuels in the form of ethanol, butanol, diesel jet fuel, gasoline, methanol and mixed higher alcohols from an array of feedstocks.111 (See Figure 10.)

Figure 10. Some Conversion Pathways to Advanced Biofuels


Source: See endnote 111 for this section.

The market for new biofuels in 2016 was led by HVO, followed by ethanol from cellulosic materials such as crop residues and by fuels from thermochemical processes including gasification and pyrolysis.112 Production of fuels from HVO (including used cooking oil (UCO), tall oiliii and others) increased greatly in 2016, mostly because capacity that had been announced or commissioned in 2015 came fully online and improvements were made in production efficiency.113 For example Neste, which owns three large-scale renewable HVO diesel production facilities in Singapore, the Netherlands and Finland, announced plans to increase its production to 2.6 million tonnes (3.3 billion litres) by 2017 by improving productivity at these existing sites rather than adding new locations.114 The US Renewable Energy Group, which has 14 production sites in the United States and Germany, announced that its cumulative biodiesel production had exceeded 2 billion gallons (7.6 billion litres) early in 2017.115

Plans were announced in 2016 for the construction of several additional cellulosic ethanol manufacturing plants, which will extend the geographical coverage of production outside the United States and Europe. Italy’s Beta Renewables (which operates the Crescentino cellulosic ethanol plant in Italy) engaged in further joint-venture projects in the United States, Brazil, China and the Slovak Republic.116 In Finland, North European BioTech Oy was developing advanced ethanol production plants in Pietarsaari and Kajaani; once in operation, these plants will be able to produce 50 million litres each of advanced ethanol per year using softwood sawdust, recycled wood and other forestry wastes and residues.117

In Asia, DuPont (United States) signed a licensing agreement with New Tianlong Industry Company Ltd. (China) to begin construction of China’s largest cellulosic ethanol manufacturing plant, to be located in Siping City.118 India Glycols opened India’s first cellulosic plant in Kashipur, which runs on wood chips, cotton stalk, cane bagasse, maize stover and bamboo.119 Also in India, during 2016, memoranda of understanding relating to five additional cellulosic ethanol plants were finalised.120 In Thailand, Toray and Mitsui (both of Japan) announced plans to build a large-scale plant to convert sugar bagasse to ethanol; the facility is expected to come online in August 2018.121

Commercialisation of thermal processes such as pyrolysis and gasification also advanced in 2016. Enerkem (Canada) commissioned a commercial-scale plant in Edmonton, Canada based on the gasification technology and ethanol synthesis technology demonstrated at the company’s Westbury plant. The Edmonton plant uses 300 tonnes per day of sorted municipal waste to produce methanol, and a facility allowing ethanol production was being constructed as of 2016.122 Also in 2016, the Altair Renewable Jet Fuel Project in the US city of Los Angeles began producing “drop-in” biofuels via Honeywell UOP’s Renewable Jet Fuel Process in a retrofitted part of an existing oil refinery. The plant, which uses vegetable oils, animal fats and greases as feedstocks, is capable of producing 2,500 barrels (0.15 billion litres) per day of bio-jet fuel.123

Strong interest in the development of aviation biofuels continued in 2016, although quantities remained relatively small and mostly for demonstration use.124 By the end of the year, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTMiv) had certified two additional technology pathways to produce bio-jet fuels, bringing the total to five.125 Several aircraft manufacturers have been instrumental in the development of bio-jet fuels, including Airbus and Boeing. In addition, a number of air carriers worldwide continued to use biofuels in 2016, including Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, British Midland, FedEx, Finnair, Gol, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. 126 Several voluntary initiatives at the local and regional levels have sought to establish bio-jet supply chains at specific airports, such as the supply of bio-jet fuel to Arlanda airport In Stockholm, Sweden by SkyNRG and Air BP.127 The US Air Force also continued to actively develop bio-aviation fuels for defence purposes, working with a number of companies to establish production facilities, and the US Navy continued with its Great Green Fleet initiative during 2016.128

In the marine sector, an initiative was established In the Netherlands to develop sustainable drop-in biofuels (similar to UPM’s wood-derived product) for marine applications.129 The Maersk Group (Denmark) is testing biofuels and other alternatives in larger ships and has a dedicated container ship for the purpose of testing biofuels derived from a wide variety of sources.130 In Italy, ENI provided biodiesel prepared using the company’s Ecofining process for the Italian navy’s offshore patrol vessel Foscari.131

Gaseous Biomass Industry

Most biogas production occurs in the United States, where it is based predominantly on the collection of landfill gas, and in Europe. Production in Europe is focused more on the anaerobic digestion of agricultural wastes, including animal manures, and increasingly on the digestion of recovered food wastes (for example, in Sweden and the United Kingdom).132 Other regions, including Asia and Africa, were taking up the technologies as of 2016. Growth rates have been higher in these new regions, albeit from a low starting level.133

Expanding markets for biogas and biomethane are stimulating commercial activity worldwide. In response to the recent growth of biomethane as a transport fuel in the United States under RFS2, BP announced that it will buy the bio-methane business owned by Clean Energy Fuels for USD 155 million (EUR 147 million).134 In Europe, waste management firm Suez bought a 22% stake in biogas producer Prodeval, which developed a high-performance membrane purification process for biomethane production.135 Meanwhile, strong growth in the market for biogas facilities has led to Xergi, a supplier and builder of such systems, being named one of the fastest growing businesses in Denmark.136

In India, where biogas capacity is estimated at 300 MW, many industrial processes now produce biogas, driven by strong water-quality standards that limit the release of effluents into waterways.137 In other parts of Asia, there is a similar trend to produce and use biogas obtained by treating liquid effluents and wastes. In late 2016, Green & Smart Holdings (Malaysia) announced the start of operations of its first biogas-based power plant (2 MW), which runs on palm oil mill effluent and will export electricity to the national grid.138

In Africa, biogas production has continued to expand, largely from municipal and agricultural wastes. In South Africa, renewable energy developer New Horizons teamed with gas firm Afrox to open an energy-from-waste biogas plant near Cape Town, at a cost of USD 29 million (ZAR 400 million).139 In Kenya, the country’s first biogas-powered grid-connected CHP plant commenced generation at a commercial farm, producing 2 MW of electricity and enough heat to cultivate 704 hectares of vegetables and flowers, with enough surplus power to supply 5,000 to 6,000 rural homes.140

i 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 (see endnote 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, fails to take into account the inefficient use of biomass in many industrial and commercial applications in these countries, the efficient use of biomass in developing countries and the inefficient use within residential heating in some OECD, European and Eurasian countries. A discussion on this and other methodological issues associated with biomass can be found in Sustainable Energy for All, Sustainable Energy for All 2015: Progress Toward Sustainable Energy (Washington, DC: June 2015), i

ii Bagasse is the fibrous matter that remains after extraction of sugar from sugar cane. ii

iii The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines bio-coal as "A biomass fuel processed by torrefaction of agricultural wastes such as wood residues into a high density, energy-concentrated fuel product in the form of pellets or briquettes". USDA, National Agricultural Library, "Glossary: Biocoal", iii

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

v ASTM certification is required before commercial airlines can use a fuel for an international flight. v

Geothermal Power and Heat

Geothermal Markets

Geothermal resources provide electricity and thermal energy services (heating and cooling). In 2016, the estimated electricity and thermal output from geothermal sources was 567 PJi (157 TWh), with each providing approximately equal shares.1 Some geothermal plants produce both electricity and thermal output for various heat applications.

An estimated 0.4 GW of new geothermal power generating capacity came online in 2016, bringing the global total to an estimated 13.5 GW.2 Indonesia and Turkey were in the lead for new installations. Kenya, Mexico and Japan also completed projects during the year, and several other countries had projects under development.3 ( See Figure 11.)

Figure 11. Geothermal Power Capacity Additions, Share by Country, 2016


Source: See endnote 3 for this section.

The countries with the largest amounts of geothermal power generating capacity at the end of 2016 were the United States (3.6 GW), the Philippines (1.9 GW), Indonesia (1.6 GW), New Zealand (1.0 GW), Mexico (0.9 GW), Italy (0.8 GW), Turkey (0.8 GW), Iceland (0.7 GW), Kenya (0.6 GW) and Japan (0.5 GW).4 ( See Figure 12.)

Figure 12. Geothermal Power Capacity and Additions, Top 10 Countries, 2016


Source: See endnote 4 for this section.

Indonesia added about 200 MW of new capacity in 2016, ending the year with 1.64 GW.5 By early 2017, the country also had started commercial operations at the 110 MW Sarulla plant, one of the largest geothermal plants in the world. The plant is notable for being a combined-cycle operation, analogous to a Turkish plant coming online in 2017, where conventional flash turbines are supplemented with a binary system to extract additional energy from the post-flash turbine steam, maximising energy extraction and efficiency.6

Existing capacity in Indonesia is estimated to be less than 6% of the country’s total geothermal power potential, and Indonesia aims for continued rapid development of these resources.7 To facilitate progress, as of early 2017 the government had plans to mitigate the risks of exploration and development by mapping the country’s geothermal resources, and was considering a feed-in tariff to provide a predictable fixed price for geothermal energy to further reduce risk to project developers.8

Following the opening of 10 plants in 2015, Turkey added at least another 10 new geothermal power plants in 2016, increasing capacity by about 200 MW for a total of 821 MW.9 With so much additional capacity online, the country has seen continued rapid growth in electricity generated from geothermal energy; generation rose 25% in 2016 alone, to 4.21 TWh.10 All the new plants were binary Organic Rankine Cycle (ORCii) units, with capacity of up to 25 MW each.11 Turkey also is developing projects with conventional flash turbine technology that is suitable for the country’s remaining high-temperature resources. For example, the 70 MW Unit 2 of the Kizildere III plant, to be operational in 2017, will combine a 51 MW flash-steam turbine to harness high-pressure steam with a 19 MW binary-cycle unit to capture usable energy from the flash turbine’s exhaust stream.12

Kenya completed a 29 MW addition at the Olkaria III complex in 2016, increasing the facility’s capacity to 139 MW.13 At year’s end, Kenya’s total operating capacity was about 630 MW.14

In Mexico, a 25 MW condensing flash unit was added to the Domo San Pedro plant, taking over from two 5 MW temporary wellhead units that were installed in 2015 to get production under way.15 The net addition of 15 MW brought Mexico’s total capacity to about 950 MW. This plant is the first private geothermal project in the country, but another was in the early stages of exploratory drilling as of early 2017.16 Mexico awarded three additional exploration permits in 2016 to private Mexican companies under the country’s new Geothermal Energy Law, which governs the exploration and use of geothermal resources.17

Japan’s progress on geothermal development has been mixed, with competing desires for alternatives to fossil and nuclear fuels on one hand, and concerns about safety and potential unintended economic and environmental consequences on the other. A combination of a higher FIT and an exemption from environmental impact assessments for small plants (less than 7.5 MW) has encouraged interest in small-scale geothermal power projects in Japan.18 A small geothermal facility in Tsuchiyu was completed in 2015, and at least one small ORC generator came online in 2016. However, as of early 2017 the country had no large-scale projects under development.19

Another small project in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture was in the planning stage during 2016, but not without apprehension from local business interests.20 Many hot spring resort owners and local governments in Japan are concerned that development of geothermal power projects will put such businesses at risk.21 To alleviate these concerns, in 2016 the national government established an expert advisory committee to provide information on geothermal energy development to local governments. The government also announced plans to cover some of the initial costs of exploratory drilling and data gathering to address development risk.22

Project development and other geothermal activities were under way in several other countries during 2016, including the United States. Although the country saw no net increase in geothermal capacity, leaving the total at 3.6 GW (2.5 GWnet), electricity generation increased by 9.4% relative to 2015, to 17.4 TWh.23 The United States has about 0.8 GW of ongoing projects that are likely to be operational by 2020, and another 0.9 GW of projects that are under development with the potential to come online if small hurdles are overcome.24 However, progress is reportedly constrained by an unfavourable regulatory environment and by competition from relatively low natural gas prices.25

The Philippines is second only to the United States for total geothermal power capacity in operation. No capacity was brought online in 2016, and the country’s geothermal industry association called for FITs for geothermal power, similar to those granted to other renewables, to spur development of more-challenging low-temperature resources.26 Low-temperature resources may require deeper drilling and the application of binary-cycle technology, which increases development risk and the ultimate cost of produced energy.27 In early 2016, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced plans to back the first Climate Bond in Asia and Oceania, in the form of a 75% guarantee of principal and interest on a USD 225 million bond, specifically for the refurbishment of the Philippines’ Tiwi and Mak-Ban geothermal facilities.28

In China, the central government plans to increase the sustainable use of geothermal energy in cities to reduce local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.29 As of 2015, China had less than 30 MW of geothermal power capacity, mostly in Tibet, but the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan for geothermal energy calls for an additional 500 MW by 2020.30

Unlike many of its Asian neighbours, Malaysia had no geothermal plants in operation by end-2016. This will change upon completion of a 30 MW plant under construction in the state of Sabah on the island of Borneo.31 To support the nascent geothermal energy development in Malaysia, in 2016 the government was in the process of establishing a Geothermal Resource Centre to create a platform for collaboration with foreign institutions, to bring together stakeholders and specialists in geothermal energy and to offer training in related sciences.32

Croatia also initiated construction of its first-ever geothermal power project in 2016.33 This 16 MW binary plant will utilise the 170°C geothermal brine and steam from the Pannonian basin, one of the key geothermal areas in Europe.34

Ethiopia shares the geothermal riches of the Great Rift Valley with Kenya, but limited development has occurred to date, with about 7 MW in place.35 However, in 2015, the country pushed the agenda by signing a 500 MW PPA for the first phase of the Corbetti project, which is expected to be built in two stages within 8 to 10 years.36 The International Finance Corporation has worked with Ethiopia to enact regulations to facilitate private investor engagement in geothermal projects.37 In 2016, Ethiopia reclassified geothermal resources as renewable energy, making geothermal energy use exempt from royalty payments that are exacted from extractive mineral resources under the country’s mining laws.38

Many of the islands of the Caribbean are volcanic and have the potential to displace costly fuel imports with local geothermal energy. In 2016, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development announced a new loan to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the construction of a 15 MW geothermal power plant that is expected to reduce power costs, provide local jobs and improve the reliability of electricity service.39 Later in the year, New Zealand signed a partnership agreement with the Commonwealth of Dominica, pledging to support the construction of a 7 MW geothermal plant on the island.40 Plans also are under way to expand an existing 10 MW plant on the island of Guadeloupe.41

Geothermal direct use – direct thermal extraction for heating and cooling, excluding heat pumpsiii – was estimated to be 286 PJ (79 TWh) in 2016, based on historical growth rates for various geothermal heat applications, which suggests that an estimated 1.3 GWth of capacity was added in 2016, for a global total of 23 GWth.42 Direct use capacity has grown by an annual average of 6% in recent years, while direct heat consumption has grown by an annual average of 3.5%.43 The difference is explained in part by rapid growth in geothermal space heating (7.1% annually), which exhibits below-average capacity utilisation.44

The single largest direct use application is estimated to be swimming pools and other public baths, followed by space heating (including district heat networks).45 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.46

China utilised the largest amount of direct geothermal heat (20.6 TWh) in 2015.47 Other top users of direct geothermal heat are Turkey (12.5 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).48 These countries accounted for approximately 70% of direct geothermal use.49 As of 2015, the countries with the largest geothermal direct use capacity were 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).50 Together, these eight countries accounted for about 80% of total global capacity.51

Several EU countries have added direct use capacity through the continued expansion of geothermal district heating. Between 2012 and 2016, 51 new or renovated geothermal district heating plants were completed in the EU, adding about 550 MWth of capacity.52 In 2016, Europe had more than 260 geothermal district heating systems, including co-generation systems, with a total installed capacity of approximately 4 GWth. The main markets are France, the Netherlands, Germany and Hungary.53 One of the projects that started operations during the year is a 20 MWth plant for district heating in the city of Munich.54 The plant is the latest of many small-scale geothermal facilities in Bavaria that use relatively low-temperature resources, often to produce both heat and power.55

In France, geothermal district heating is extending beyond the Paris metropolitan area, which has seen significant development of these systems in recent years. In early 2017, the city of Bordeaux issued a contract to develop geothermal resources to serve the bulk of the heating needs of about 28,000 homes.56 In addition, the use of geothermal heat is spreading to the French industrial sector. In 2016, a 24 MWth enhanced geothermal plant opened in Rittershoffen, in the Upper Rhine Valley.57 The plant is reported to be the country’s first high-temperature (greater than 150°C) geothermal facility supplying industrial process heat; the heat is extracted from a 170°C aquifer at a depth of 2.5-3.0 kilometres.58 The Rittershoffen project benefited from lessons learned from the nearby pioneering enhanced geothermal system (EGS) power plant at Soultz-sous-Forêts. Chemical and hydraulic stimulations of the field did not result in notable induced seismic activity.59

Development of geothermal for heat also continued in China, where direct use of geothermal energy covered slightly more than 100 million square metres (m2) of heated space as of 2015.60 China’s central government envisions a significant increase, in pursuit of the sustainable use of geothermal resources to reduce air pollution while also protecting water resources. Under the 13th Five-Year Plan, China aims to increase direct use of geothermal heat by another 400 million m2 by 2020.61

Geothermal Industry

The geothermal industry continued to face challenges in 2016, burdened by the inherent high risk of geothermal exploration and project development, the associated lack of risk mitigation, and the constraints of financing and competitive disadvantage relative to low-cost natural gas. Yet the industry made progress with new project development in key markets, and industry leaders cemented partnerships to tackle new opportunities.

Progress on the development of geothermal energy around the world has been constrained, in part, by a lack of clear resource assessment standards. To help address this challenge, in 2016 new geothermal specifications were completed under the UN Framework for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources. The framework’s objective is to harmonise standards for reporting geothermal resources in a manner similar to other extractive industries worldwide, for the benefit of investors, regulators and the general public.62

The industry is sensitive to trends in oil and natural gas prices. Low oil and gas prices tend to reduce global demand for drilling rigs for oil and gas exploration, which can have a positive effect on the geothermal industry by reducing the associated costs of geothermal exploration and the development of new fields.63 Conversely, low fossil fuel prices in general, and natural gas prices in particular, tend to reduce the competitiveness of geothermal heat and power.64

In late 2016, Chevron Corporation (United States), one of the world’s largest operators of geothermal facilities, announced its intention to sell its geothermal assets in Indonesia and the Philippines. These include the Darajat and Salak fields in Indonesia and the Tiwi and Mak-Ban plants in the Philippines.65 The purchase of the Indonesian plants (637 MW in total) by a consortium of holding companies in the Philippines and Indonesia was completed in April 2017, with the acquisition of the remaining assets (747 MW in total) pending regulatory approvals.66

Some top technology providers have formed partnerships in recent years to pursue projects jointly. In 2015, Ormat Technologies (United States) and Toshiba Corporation (Japan) reached a strategic agreement to join Ormat’s binary technology and Toshiba’s flash technology in a combined-cycle configuration.67 In 2016, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd., formed by the 2014 merger of the thermal power divisions of Mitsubishi (Japan; parent company of Turboden, Italy) and Hitachi (Japan), won an order for a 55 MW turbine in Costa Rica.68 The company anticipated that Japan’s International Cooperation Agency would pave the way for projects in all major geothermal power markets through low-interest loans for exploration and development.69

Technology advances continued during 2016 and into 2017. In early 2017, after 176 days of drilling, the Icelandic Deep Drilling Project achieved a significant milestone for the geothermal industry with the completion of its 4,659-metre-deep borehole on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The well successfully found supercritical fluid at a temperature of 427°C, with promising characteristics for energy production. The project aimed to investigate the feasibility of finding and utilising supercritical hydrothermal fluids, which modelling suggests could have 10 times the power output of a conventional geothermal well, potentially allowing for improved economics and reduced environmental impact per unit of energy produced.70

Also in Iceland, methods have been developed to reinject to the ground both carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) for sequestration in mineral form.71 Together, CO2 and H2S comprise more than 80% of the off-gases at the country’s geothermal plants.72 In Iceland’s CarbFix project, more than 95% of injected CO2 has become bound as carbonate minerals within a period of two years, faster than was predicted.73 Alternatively, once separated from other gases, the CO2 can be made available to local commercial interests, such as greenhouses and algae producers.74

Because the CO2 concentrations in geothermal gases can be significant, some experts are concerned about the potential greenhouse gas impact of open-loop geothermal power generation, although emission rates depend on local geology and operating conditions. In California, CO2 emissions from geothermal power plants are significantly lower per kilowatt-hour (kWh) than those from coal- or natural gas-fired plants – emissions have been estimated at less than 0.2 kilograms per kWh from flash steam geothermal plants and about 0.03 kilograms per kWh for dry steam geothermal plants (all open-loop)iv.75

In Turkey, by contrast, studies have found that a “typical” open-loop 50 MW geothermal plant emits 1 kilogram of CO2 per kWh, or approximately 1,200 tonnes per day, probably due to high levels of dissolved calcite in the country’s geothermal reservoirs.76 In some instances, CO2 emissions from geothermal power generation in Turkey may be double those from coal-fired power plants.77 It has been postulated that this might place future projects in Turkey at odds with the environmental criteria of development agencies, including the developing criteria for green bonds.78 Efforts are under way to study means to capture the CO 2 from Turkey’s geothermal plants for commercial use.79

Some technology advances have promised to expand the application of geothermal power. In the US state of Utah, the world’s first geothermal-hydro plant hybridisation was realised when Enel S.p.A. (Italy) started operating a hydro-generator in a geothermal injection well during 2016. As a result, the 25 MW Cove Fort plant captures the energy of the geothermal brine flowing back into the earth, increasing plant efficiency.80 In North Dakota, a first-of-its-kind geothermal power project was launched during the year, utilising hot water that flows naturally from petroleum production wells to co-produce electricity. The sheer number of oil- and gas-producing wells at the site means that the energy production potential is significant.81

Research continued in the field of enhanced (or engineered) geothermal systems (EGS) during 2016, particularly in the United States, where government-funded research has aimed to realise commercial, cost-competitive power production.82 The common feature among all the most productive geothermal regions of the world is naturally occurring hydrothermal activity, defined by the presence of high heat, geothermal fluid and permeability. To achieve economical geothermal production elsewhere, or to enhance production at existing locations, fracturing of sub-surface rock formations can create the needed permeability to form a productive geothermal reservoir, which is known as EGS.83 In other instances, adequate permeability may exist in hot sedimentary aquifers, but fracturing may be needed to ensure adequate well productivity. 84

An example of an EGS project is the Rittershoffen project in France, mentioned above; this facility is a thermal application, but such systems also can be used to generate electricity with the use of binary-loop technology. EGS has been identified as a key to expanding the potential of geothermal heat and power production worldwide.85

i This does not include the renewable final energy output of ground-source heat pumps. (p See Enabling Technologies chapter.) i

ii In a binary plant, the geothermal fluid heats and vaporises a separate working fluid that has a lower boiling point than water; the fluid 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. 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. ii

iii Direct use refers here to deep geothermal resources, irrespective of scale, as distinct from shallow geothermal resource utilisation, specifically by use of ground-source heat pumps. (p See Heat Pumps section in Enabling Technologies chapter.) iii

iv Stand-alone closed-loop binary cycle power plants can avoid significant venting of CO2 and other pollutants from the geothermal fluid. iv


Hydropower Markets

Global hydropower capacity additions in 2016 are estimated to be at least 25 GW, with total capacity reaching approximately 1,096 GWi.1 The top countries for hydropower capacity are China, Brazil, the United States, Canada, the Russian Federation, India and Norway, which together accounted for about 62% of installed capacity at the end of 2016.2 ( See Figure 13 and Reference Table 5.) Global hydropower generation was estimated to be 4,102 TWh in 2016, up about 3.2% over 2015.3 Global pumped storage capacity (which is counted separately) was an estimated 150 GWii at year’s end, with about 6.4 GW added in 2016.4

Figure 13. Hydropower Global Capacity, Shares of Top 6 Countries and Rest of World, 2016


Source: See endnote 2 for this section.

More than one-third of new hydropower capacity was commissioned in China. After China, the countries adding the most capacity in 2016 were Brazil, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Peru, Turkey, Lao PDR, Malaysia and India.5 ( See Figure 14.) China also was the leading installer of pumped storage capability during the year, followed by South Africa, Switzerland, Portugal and the Russian Federation.6

Figure 14. Hydropower Capacity and Additions, Top 9 Countries for Capacity Added, 2016


Source: See endnote 5 for this section.

China added 8.9 GW of hydropower capacity in 2016 for a year-end total of 305 GW.7 In addition, 3.7 GW of pumped storage capacity was completed for a total of 27 GW.8 Hydropower generation in China continued its upwards trend, rising about 6% to 1,193 TWh, due in part to improving hydrological conditions.9 Projects completed in 2016 represent an investment of USD 8.8 billion (CNY 61.2 billion), down 22.4% from 2015; as such, 2016 marked the fourth consecutive year of decline.10 China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for Hydropower Development envisions significant additional deployment of hydropower capacity (rising to 340 GW by 2020), as well as pumped storage (rising to 40 GW) to support the country’s overall power infrastructure.11

In Brazil, hydropower capacity increased by 5.3 GW (5.8%), including 5.0 GW of large-scaleiii (greater than 30 MW) capacity, for a year-end total of 96.9 GW.12 Brazil’s hydropower output increased 7.4% over 2015, to 410 TWh, thanks to improved hydrological conditions in 2016 following several years of drought-induced decline. The improved hydropower production, combined with a significant increase in wind power generation, allowed the country to reduce output from thermal power plants by 30% relative to the previous year.13

The final three units (totalling 1,092 MW) of Brazil’s 1.82 GW Teles Pires plant came online in August.14 In addition, about one-sixth of the 11.2 GW Belo Monte plant was completed, with three of the larger 611 MW turbines installed during the year; the remainder of the facility is expected to be finished by 2019.15 Among other notable projects commissioned was the 3.75 GW Jirau plant, with the 10 remaining units (75 MW each) installed in 2016.16


Ecuador ranked third for newly installed hydropower capacity. Two large projects started operations, nearly doubling the country’s hydropower capacity.17 The 1.5 GW Coca Codo facility and the 487 MW Sopladora plant are expected to meet nearly half of the country’s electricity needs and could allow Ecuador to export electricity to neighbouring Colombia.18 To the south, Peru also brought online two significant projects in 2016. The 525 MW Cherro del Águila facility and the 456 MW Chaglla plant expanded Peru’s hydropower capacity by almost one-quarter, to 5.2 GW.19

In Africa, Ethiopia reached a significant milestone in 2016. The remaining 1.5 GW of Ethiopia’s Gibe III came online, marking the completion of this 1.87 GW plant.20 The plant nearly doubles the power generating capacity of the country and is expected to serve about half its output to neighbouring countries Kenya, Sudan and Djibouti.21 To accommodate power exports, Ethiopia also is building a transmission interconnection with Kenya to be completed in 2018, along with internal transmission upgrades to improve poor grid reliability at home.22

Several other countries, all in Asia, added significant hydropower capacity – including Vietnam, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Turkey and India. Vietnam ranked fifth worldwide for additions, commissioning a total of 1.1 GW, for a cumulative 16.3 GW of capacity in operation.23 The two remaining units of the 1.2 GW Lai Chau plant were connected to the grid, following the first unit coming online in 2015. In addition to generating hydropower, this plant is expected to regulate flows for flood protection and water supply during the dry season.24 Also online in 2016 was the second 260 MW generating unit of Vietnam’s Huoi Quang plant and the 30 MW Coc San facility.25 Neighbouring Lao PDR finished two stages (420 MW) of its project on the Nam Ou River, which is the largest tributary of the Mekong River in northern Lao PDR.26 Malaysia continued rapid expansion of its hydropower capacity with the completion of the 372 MW Ulu Jelai project, and two new dams added 265 MW at Tasik Kenyir, the largest manmade lake in South-Eastern Asia.27

Turkey’s reported hydropower capacity expanded by 0.8 GW in 2016, bringing total installed capacity to 26.7 GW.28 Following a sharp recovery in production in 2015, hydropower output remained virtually unchanged in 2016, at 66.9 TWh.29

India brought online approximately 0.6 GW of new hydropower capacity, all in units of 65 MW or smaller.30 At year’s end, the country had a total of 47.5 GW of hydropower capacity.31 India’s hydropower facilities generated 129 TWh during 2016, similar to total output in the previous year.32

The United States continued to rank third globally for installed hydropower capacity, adding a net of 380 MW, for a year-end total of 80 GW.33 Output increased 6.7% relative to 2015, with 266 TWh generated.34 The state of California saw its hydropower output more than double, from 13.8 TWh in 2015 to 28.9 TWh in 2016, thanks to high levels of precipitation after several years of persistent drought conditions.35 Following erosion damage to spillways at California’s Oroville Dam, the state announced a plan in early 2017 to bolster dam safety and flood protection. The plan will require the state to allocate additional funds for flood control and emergency response capability, to enhance its existing dam inspection programme and to seek federal action to further improve dam safety.36

The Russian Federation remained one of the top countries for total capacity. During 2016, the country’s stated hydropower capacity increased by about 230 MW for a total of 48.1 GW.37 Two new facilities were finalised late in the year in the northern Caucasus. The 30 MW Zaragizhskaya facility in Kabardino-Balkaria completes a three-plant cascade and was built without a dam, and the 140 MW (160 MW in pump mode) Zelenchukskaya is a mixed pumped storage plant that incorporates two reversible turbines to combine conventional hydropower generation with pumped storage capability.38 Both plants are expected to boost local power generation and to contribute to system reliability. The Russian Federation also completed modernisation projects at several hydropower facilities in order to improve their reliability, safety and efficiency.39 Hydropower generation (178 TWh) increased by a significant 11.3% in 2016, following a drop in 2015, due to improved hydrological conditions.40 For example, inflows to reservoirs in the far east of Russia were 30-60% above the long-run average.41

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, while noting that resettlement of communities, flooding of large areas of land and significant changes to river ecosystems must be carefully considered and mitigated.42 Under the Africa Climate Business Plan, launched at the Paris climate conference in late 2015, the Bank highlighted the importance of deploying hydropower (and associated water regulation), along with other renewable power technologies, as a key component in its efforts to accelerate climate-resilient and low-carbon development in sub-Saharan Africa.43

The Bank aims to increase the share of hydropower in sub-Saharan Africa’s energy mix from 24% in 2016; progress during the year included advancement of the Lom Pangar project in Cameroon, which is expected to ensure all-season water flows in addition to providing needed electricity.44 Also in 2016, the World Bank suspended financing for the 4.8 MW Inga-3 Basse Chute project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo following the country’s decision to deviate from a previously agreed strategic direction.45 However, the Bank said it would continue dialogue with the government, with the goal of ensuring that the project follows international good practice.46

Growing shares of variable renewable energy have given extra impetus to the deployment of additional electricity storage capacity.47 ( See Feature and Enabling Technologies chapters.) Pumped storage is the dominant source of large-scale energy storage, and new projects are under development. Global pumped storage capacity rose by more than 6 GW in 2016, with new capacity installed in China, South Africa and Europe.48

South Africa completed the installation of three turbines (333 MW each) of the 1.3 GW Ingula pumped storage plant in 2016; the fourth and final turbine became operational in January 2017.49 Peak flow through the plant’s turbines is reported to equal the volume of eight Olympic-sized swimming pools every minute.50

In Europe, Switzerland’s 1 GW Limmern pumped storage plant was partially completed in 2016 as two of four reversible pump turbines were synchronised with the grid. The two remaining turbines were expected to begin operation in 2017.51 Portugal started operating the 189 MW Baixo Sabor pumped storage plant and completed construction of the 780 MW Frades II station (also known as Venda Nova III), with the latter entering service in early 2017.52 Both are open-loop storage plants, using reversible pumps to supplement generation from natural flow with pumping capability.53 During several days in May 2016, Portugal met all of its electricity demand with domestic renewable power, due in part to the country’s ability to use pumped storage to balance demand and supply.54

On a smaller scale, pumped storage is being pursued to supplement mini-grids and to help integrate variable renewable energy. For example, a 200 MW pumped storage facility is being implemented in the Canary Islands as part of a larger programme to improve grid stability and to accommodate variable generation.55 In Gaildorf, Germany, a hybrid wind power and pumped storage pilot project is under way; the upper reservoirs are being integrated into the towers and bases of the wind turbines, creating the added benefit of taller hub heights and thus greater potential wind power generation.56

Hydropower Industry

As the vast stock of hydropower facilities around the world ages, modernisation and retrofitting of existing facilities continues to be a significant part of industry operations, with the potential to increase greatly the performance of existing plants. For example, as part of a comprehensive modernisation programme of RusHydro (Russian Federation), completion of the Kamskaya plant retrofitting in 2016 increased the plant’s capacity by 14%, and modernisation was expected to improve reliability and safety as well.57

In addition to ongoing improvements to mechanical equipment such as turbines, plant operators also continued to implement advanced control technologies and data analytics for digitally enhanced power generation. It is expected that these steps will help to optimise plant management for greater reliability, efficiency and lower cost, while also allowing for more flexible integration with other grid resources, including variable renewable energy.58 With improved system integration, hydropower plants can better enhance their added value within larger power systems – for instance, by shifting generation from baseload duty to cycling duty, as system conditions may dictate. ( See Feature and Enabling Technologies chapters.)

Climate risk is a pressing concern for the hydropower industry. On one hand, freshwater reservoirs emit greenhouse gases, and there is a significant risk that hydropower may be excluded from some “green” investment mechanisms due to its perceived carbon footprint. On the other hand, the impacts of climate change may positively or negatively affect the hydropower sector in the future.59 The relative resilience of hydropower projects in the face of climate variability – including increased glacial run-off and variability of rainfall – is both a planning and operational consideration going forward, and a further risk in the context of securing project financing. To address these concerns, in 2016 an international research initiative developed a tool for estimating net greenhouse gas emissions from planned and existing reservoirs to provide a more consistent estimate of hydropower’s greenhouse gas footprint.60 Also in 2016, the Climate Bond Initiative launched a working group with the aim of developing criteria to identify hydropower-related investments that deliver climate mitigation benefits and/or incorporate climate resilience and adaptation.61

The most significant providers of hydroelectric equipment in 2016 included GE (United States), Andritz Hydro (Austria), Voith Hydro (Germany), Harbin (China), Dongfang (China) and Power Machines (Russian Federation).62

As hydropower development at home has slowed, Chinese-based corporations have been expanding their involvement in hydropower projects elsewhere, including construction, the supply of hydroelectric equipment, and plant operations, with particular focus on developing countries.63 For example, Dongfang was the equipment supplier for the 1.87 GW Gibe III plant in Ethiopia, and Harbin (with Andritz) supplied hydroelectric equipment for the 1.5 GW Coca Codo plant in Ecuador.64

GE’s renewable energy segment reported increased revenues during the year, in part due to higher hydropower-related sales following the acquisition of Alstom hydropower operations in 2015.65 Andritz Hydro reported unchanged, difficult market conditions with a continued decline in new orders (-13%) and sales (-5%) for 2016, and announced the launch of structural reorganisation of operations.66 Voith Hydro also was affected by weakness in the global market during 2016. Although the company managed to increase sales by 6%, new orders were down slightly (-1%).67

Despite the value of pumped storage to grid stability and integration of renewable energy in general, the European regulatory environment is characterised as unfavourable for pumped storage facilities.68 For example, seven years on since the initial project approval for the Limmern plant in Switzerland, the plant owner has questioned its short- to medium-term profitability due to low wholesale electricity prices and to the small price differential between peak and off-peak power.69 Yet, with an eye to growing shares of variable generation and the plant’s 80-year investment horizon, the long-term prognosis is considered to be favourable.70

i Unless otherwise specified, all capacity numbers exclude pure 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. i

ii This total may include some “mixed” plants that incorporate pumping capability alongside net incremental generation from natural inflows (open loop) and, as such, can be counted as hydropower capacity. The global capacity of mixed plants in 2016 was estimated at about 38 GW, corresponding to global pure pumped storage capacity of 122 GW for a total of nearly 160 GW of pumping capability. International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi, UAE, personal communication with REN21, May 2017. ii

iii Brazil reports hydropower capacity separately by size category, describing all facilities smaller than 30 MW as “small”. India reports hydropower above a threshold of 25 MW, with smaller units reported as “renewable energy”. iii

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 Very few commercial ocean energy facilities have been built to date. Of the approximately 536 MW of operating capacity at the end of 2016, more than 90% was represented by two tidal barrage facilities: the 254 MW Sihwa plant in the Republic of Korea (completed in 2011) and the 240 MW La Rance tidal power station in France (built in 1966).2

Aside from tidal range facilities such as Sihwa and La Rance, which use established in-stream turbine technology, ocean energy technologies are still largely in pre-commercial development stages. Tidal current technologies are the furthest along, with the first tidal turbine arrays nearing commercial deployment. Wave energy converters are advancing to the pre-commercial demonstration stage, and some pilot projects have been developed utilising ocean thermal energy conversion and salinity gradient technologies.3 Since most of the advancement in the industry is tied to pre-commercial testing and development, the global ocean energy sector continues to rely on backing from national and regional governments in the form of funding and infrastructure support.4

A potentially significant commercial tidal range project, the 320 MW Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon in Wales, was awaiting final government approval at the end of 2016.5 An independent review into the feasibility and practicality of tidal lagoon energy in the United Kingdom, completed late in the year, found a strong case for a pioneering project on a scale comparable to Swansea Bay based on economic and decarbonisation benefits, among others, but it also noted the need for monitoring for potential impacts on marine life.6

A great number of research and development (R&D) projects is under way in a growing number of countries, with several new deployments of ocean energy devices in 2016. Most of the projects focus on tidal stream and wave energy, but some active projects also exist in the areas of thermal and salinity gradients. To accommodate R&D, ocean energy test centres are proliferating around the world, often with the active support of local governments.7 As of late 2016, projects were under way in Canada, Chile, China, the Republic of Korea, the United States and several countries in Europe.

Ocean Energy Industry

The character of 2016 was similar to the previous year for the ocean energy industry, with a growing number of companies around the world advancing their technologies and deploying new and improved devices. However, commercial success for ocean energy technologies remained in check due to perennial challenges. These include financing obstacles in an industry characterised by relatively high risk and high upfront costs and the need for improved planning, consenting and licensing procedures.8 As in 2015, at least one ocean energy technology developer succumbed to the economic headwinds.9

The tidal industry was again very active in 2016 and celebrated notable achievements, with several deployments in Scotland as well as in France and Canada. In Scotland, Nova Innovation (United Kingdom), with Belgian partner ELSA, claimed the distinction of operating the world’s first grid-connected tidal array with two 100 kilowatt (kW) M100 direct-drive turbines deployed in Shetland’s Bluemull Sound; a third turbine was installed in early 2017.10 Scotrenewables Tidal Power (United Kingdom) installed its 2 MW SR2000 turbine for the first time at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland.11 Claimed to be the world’s largest tidal turbine, the SR2000 is an integrated tidal energy generator with two horizontal-axis turbines mounted on a floating hull platform.12

Also in Scotland, the Meygen tidal energy project reached a significant milestone in late 2016 with the first 1.5 MW tidal turbine installed and delivering power to the grid. The Andritz Hydro Hammerfest (United Kingdom) turbine fully met its expected power specifications.13 By early 2017, all three Andritz turbines were in place, and the first Lockheed Martin-designed (United States) 1.5 MW AR1500 turbine was deployed at the site, completing the first project phase.14 The project, which is to reach 400 MW over several years, is owned by Tidal Power Scotland – of which Atlantis Resources (United Kingdom) is a majority stakeholder – and by Scottish Enterprise.15

Tidal stream technology developer Sabella SAS (France) completed one year of testing of its full-scale, grid-connected 1 MW D10 tidal turbine off the coast of Brittany, in the Fromveur Strait, where it had supplied electricity to Ushant Island.16 Also in French waters, OpenHydro (a subsidiary of DCNS, France) installed two open-centre tidal turbines at EDF’s (France) tidal array at Paimpol-Bréhat.17 Another OpenHydro turbine hit the water across the Atlantic, where Cape Sharp Tidal (Canada) installed its first 2 MW tidal turbine at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) development facility in the Bay of Fundy, supplying electricity to the Nova Scotia power grid.18 The project, which plans to install a second turbine in 2017, is a joint venture between OpenHydro and Emera Inc. (Canada).19 As of early 2017, several other tidal technology developers were planning for deployment at FORCE in the coming years.20

Wave energy also continued to progress in 2016 with several pilot and demonstration projects around the world, including in Spain, Sweden, the United States, the Republic of Korea and China. Spain saw its first floating wave energy converter connected to the grid at the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP), in the form of a 30 kW prototype by Oceantec (Spain).21 Spain is home to the Mutriku multi-turbine wave power plant, the first such facility in the world. The plant has been in operation since 2011 and generates electricity by harnessing wave-driven compressed air (oscillating water column, OWC), similar to the new Oceantec device.22 On the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Eco Wave Power (Israel) connected a 100 kW array of its energy conversion devices to the power grid of Gibraltar in 2016, with plans to expand the array to 5 MW.23

Swedish wave energy companies also made progress. In early 2016, Waves4Power deployed its WaveEL wave energy buoy in Norwegian waters, and Seabased connected its 1 MW Sotenäs Wave Power array to the grid.24 The Sotenäs plant couples linear generators on the sea floor to surface buoys (a technology known as point absorbers) and is said to be the world’s first array of multiple wave energy converters in operation.25

In the Pacific, the Bolt Lifesaver device by Fred Olsen (Norway) was deployed for one year of testing at the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Center (WETS) in Hawaii. The test was completed in March 2017 with the unit having produced power continuously over a span of six months.26 Northwest Energy Innovations (United States) continued grid-connected testing of its half-scale 20 kW Azura wave energy device at WETS.27 In addition, Columbia Power Technologies (United States) began land-based testing of its StingRAY wave energy converter at the National Wind Technology Center, due to its core similarities to direct-drive wind turbines, with open-water tests at WETS scheduled for 2017.28

Wave energy technologies are among the variety of ocean energy technologies being developed in the Republic of Korea. Among notable projects launched in 2016 was a study focused on integrating wave energy converters, such as OWC devices, with mini-grid connected energy storage on islands and other remote locations that have suitable breakwaters.29 The construction of a 500 kW OWC pilot plant near Jeju Island was completed during the year.30

In 2016, electricity started flowing from the first two turbines of a seven-turbine, 3.4 MW wave energy demonstration project in Zhejiang Province, China.31 China also installed a 10 kW ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) device; OTEC uses the temperature difference between cooler deep and warmer surface waters to produce energy.32 At the start of 2017, the country released its 13th Five-Year Plan on Ocean Energy, which targets 50 MW of installed capacity by 2020.33 The plan also envisions expanded testing and demonstration facilities and a research focus on tidal, wave and thermal energy conversion.34

Plans and roadmaps to support the industry advanced in other parts of the world as well, often through collaborations between government and industry. The core agenda of the European Commission’s Ocean Energy Forum was completed in 2016 with the publication of the Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap. Intended to establish a path towards a thriving European market for ocean energy, the Roadmap outlined four Action Plans designed to establish: a common technology development process to minimise project risk and waste; a European investment support fund for ocean energy farms; a European insurance and guarantee fund to underwrite project risk; and an integrated planning and consenting programme.35

Some examples of smaller-scale, cross-border co-ordination already exist in Europe. The FORESEAi project, launched in 2016, provides competitive funding opportunities to ocean energy technology companies to place their devices at test centres in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and France. With a total budget of USD 11.3 million (EUR 10.8 million), more than half of which is funded by the EU, a first round of awards was made in late 2016 and another in early 2017.36

Another example of active support from government came from Wave Energy Scotland (WES), formed in 2014 as a subsidiary of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise of the Scottish Government. By late 2016, WES had awarded nearly USD 14.5 million (GBP 11.8 million) to wave energy developers.37 Another USD 3.7 million (GBP 3 million) was awarded to 10 wave energy projects in early 2017 to explore new materials and manufacturing processes.38 The European Investment Bank committed up to USD 10.1 million (EUR 10 million) in loans for the Finnish wave energy technology developer AW-Energy. The funding was expected to keep the company on track towards commercialisation of its WaveRoller technology, with a 350 kW full-scale device pending installation in Portugal.39

Project de-risking by governments can come in the form of direct research funding and also through the establishment and operation of ocean energy test centres. In 2016, the US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded USD 40 million to the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center in the state of Oregon to construct a full-scale, grid-connected facility to test wave energy technologies in open water. For the occasion, the DOE noted that the country’s technically recoverable wave energy resources are in the vicinity of 1,000 TWh annually, which is about one-quarter of US net generation in 2016.40

Mexico also completed preparations for the Mexican Centre for Innovation in Ocean Energy (CEMIE-Ocean), which aims to foster collaboration between academia and industry for the advancement of ocean energy science and technologies. The Centre’s activities were scheduled to commence in early 2017.41 Far to the south, Chile’s Marine Energy Research and Innovation Center (MERIC) started its work to establish a foundation for ocean energy development in the country. The centre was launched in 2015 with USD 20 million in funding for the first eight years of operation. Early research has focused on resource assessment, permitting and legal frameworks related to marine concessions, biofouling and marine corrosion.42

In a similar vein, two important reports examining ocean energy-related challenges were published in 2016. One report focused on the status of scientific knowledge on potential interactions between ocean energy devices and marine animals, such as the 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.43 Many of the concerns associated with such interactions are driven by uncertainty, due to lack of data, which continues to confound differentiation between real and perceived risks.44

The other report addressed the challenges of consenting processes for ocean energy development, where lack of clarity in the process may create potential barriers to the industry. The report's recommendations include the need to acknowledge and define the role of marine spatial planning; to clarify jurisdictions of different authorities; and to co-ordinate and streamline licensing and consenting processes.45

As in 2015, a UK ocean energy company was forced into administration mere months after deploying its device. In late 2015, Tidal Energy Ltd. had launched its 400 kW DeltaStream tidal demonstration device off the coast of Wales, but by October 2016 difficult economic tides forced the company to seek new ownership.46

i An effort is made to report all capacity data in direct current (DC). Where capacity is known to be in alternating current (AC), it is made explicit in the text and endnotes. (p See endnotes and Methodological Notes for further details.) i

Solar Photovoltaics (PV)

Solar PV Markets

During 2016, at least 75 GWdci of solar PV capacity was added worldwide – equivalent to the installation of more than 31,000 solar panels every hour.1 More solar PV capacity was installed in 2016 (up 48% over 2015) than the cumulative world capacity five years earlier.2 By year’s end, global solar PV capacity totalled at least 303 GW.3 ( See Figure 15.)

Figure 15. Solar PV Global Capacity and Annual Additions, 2006-2016


Source: IEA PVPS. See endnote 3 for this section.

For the fourth consecutive year, Asia eclipsed all other markets, accounting for about two-thirds of global additions.4 The top five markets – China, United States, Japan, India and the United Kingdom – accounted for about 85% of additions; others in the top 10 for additions were Germany, the Republic of Korea, Australia, the Philippines and Chile.5 For cumulative capacity, the top countries were China, Japan (which passed Germany) and the United States, with Italy a distant fifth.6 ( See Figure 16.) While China continued to dominate both the use and manufacturing of solar PV, emerging markets on all continents have begun to contribute significantly to global growth.7 By end-2016, every continent had installed at least 1 GW, at least 24 countries had 1 GW or more of capacity, and at least 114 countries had more than 10 MW.8 The leaders for solar PV capacity per inhabitant were Germany, Japan, Italy, Belgium and Australia.9

Figure 16. Solar PV Global Capacity, by Country and Region, 2006-2016


Source: See endnote 6 for this chapter.

Market expansion was due largely to the increasing competitiveness of solar PV, as well as to rising demand for electricity and improving awareness of solar PV’s potential as countries seek to alleviate pollution and reduce CO2 emissions.10 In many emerging markets solar PV now is considered a cost-competitive source for increasing electricity production and for providing energy access.11 Nevertheless, markets in most locations continue to be driven largely by government incentives or regulations.12

In 2016, China added 34.5 GW (up 126% over 2015), increasing its total solar PV capacity 45% to 77.4 GW, far more than that of any other country.13 ( See Figure 17 and Reference Table R6.) The record increase came despite a downwards adjustment in China’s target for 2020, made in response to a slowdown in the growth of electricity demand.14 A rush of installations (an estimated 20 GW) came online in advance of a mid-year cut-off date for approved projects to receive the 2015 FIT rate.15 Following a brief dip, the market picked up again and continued strongly into 2017, in anticipation of the next cut-off deadline (June).16

Figure 17. Solar PV Capacity and Additions, Top 10 Countries, 2016


Source: See endnote 12 for this chapter.

Xinjiang province (3.3 GW) was the top market in China – followed by Shandong (3.2 GW) and Henan (2.4 GW) provinces – even though Xinjiang was a “no-go” development area due to high curtailment rates.17 Although much of the new capacity was installed far from population centres, 15 provinces added more than 1 GW each, and 9 of those are in China’s eastern regions.18 Large-scale solar PV plants continued to represent most added capacity and more than 86% of the cumulative total at end-2016, despite the central government’s effort to encourage smaller-scale distributed installations. Even so, the distributed market more than tripled relative to 2015.19

The rapid increase in solar PV capacity in China, up 11-fold since the end of 2012, has caused grid congestion problems and interconnection delays.20 Curtailment started to become a serious challenge in 2015, and problems increased during 2016 due to inadequate transmission.21 To address challenges related to curtailment, in 2016 China set minimum guaranteed utilisation hours (purchase requirements) for solar (and wind) power plants in affected areas and continued to build several ultra-high-voltage transmission lines to connect north-western provinces with coastal areas.22 Against these challenges, solar PV generated 66.2 TWh of electricity during the year (up 69% over 2015), equivalent to 1% of China’s annual generation.23

The United States was a distant second after China for new installations in 2016. For the first time, solar PV represented the country’s leading source of new generating capacity.24 More than 14.8 GW of capacity – almost double the installations in 2015 – was brought online, for a total of 40.9 GW.25 Overall, 22 states installed more than 100 MW each, up from 13 states in 2015.26 California again led for capacity added (5.1 GW), followed by Utah (1.2 GW) and Georgia (1 GW), which became the third largest state market even without additional mandates, subsidies or tax incentives beyond federal tax credits.27

Although all US sectors expanded, growth occurred primarily in the utility segment.28 A record 10.6 GW of large-scale capacity came into operation, with a further 17.8 GW in the pipeline at year’s end.29 Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) accounted for the largest portion of projects in development in the United States, but new procurement was driven by other factors, such as cost-competitiveness with new natural gas plants in an increasing number of locations across the country.30 Large corporate customers accounted for a record 10% of large-scale additions.31

The US non-residential (commercial and industrial) market increased 49%, to 1.6 GW, due primarily to looming regulatory deadlines in two key states and to an increase in community solar projects.32 The residential sector experienced slower expansion (up 19%), after record growth in recent years, in part because some major markets are approaching saturation among early adopters.33 The majority (70%) of new residential installations occurred in just five states; even so, additional states began to emerge as important markets.34 The success of distributed solar PV and falling costs have led some US utilities to establish their own solar programmes and others to fight for revisions or elimination of supportive policies. 35 Net metering, which has driven most US customer-sited solar PV capacity, continued to be at the centre of regulatory disputes in several states during 2016.36

Japan’s market was the world’s third largest in 2016 – despite contracting 20% after the 2015 boom – and was enough to propel the country past Germany to rank second for cumulative solar PV capacity. An estimated 8.6 GW was installed, bringing the country’s total to 42.8 GW.37 Japan’s slowdown was the result of several factors, including declining FIT payments as prices fall, ongoing land shortages and difficulties securing grid connections.38

Large-scale projects have driven most of Japan's solar PV expansion in recent years.39 However, the country saw growing demand in the residential sector, which accounted for 11.8% of new installations.40 There also was increased interest in residential solar-plus-storage options: as of early 2016, roughly 50,000 residential systems in Japan included storage.41

Since the introduction of a FIT in 2012, Japan has seen a rapid increase in renewable power capacity, with solar PV representing most of the total. The large volume of solar PV projects and their output has begun challenging Japan’s fragmented electric power grid, leading the government to revise regulations and leading some utilities to refuse new interconnections and to curtail output from existing plants without compensation.42 The first curtailment of solar PV occurred under the new regulations in early 2016.43 Even so, solar PV’s share of Japan’s power mix increased to 4.4% in 2016 (from about 0.4% in 2012).44

The third largest market in Asia was India, which ranked fourth globally for additions and seventh for total capacity.45 India added about 4.1 GW (up from 2 GW in 2015) for a total approaching 9.1 GW.46 Tamil Nadu (with nearly 1.6 GW) overtook Rajasthan (1.3 GW), followed by Gujarat (1.1 GW) and Andhra Pradesh (1 GW) for cumulative capacity.47 Much of Tamil Nadu’s annual market was due to the commissioning of one 648 MW facility.48 Demand for large-scale solar projects in India has been driven by rapidly falling prices combined with strong policy support in several states and at the national level since 2014. 49

India’s rooftop solar market has expanded significantly in recent years but accounted for only about 10% of the country's total solar PV capacity at the end of 2016.50 Financial, regulatory and logistical challenges have hindered growth, and India remains a long way from its rooftop target of 40 GW by 2022.51 But the most immediate challenges for India’s solar sector are congestion in the grid and curtailment.52 To help address these challenges, by year’s end India was constructing eight “green energy corridors”: transmission lines to carry power from solar-rich states to high-demand regions.53

The Republic of Korea followed India in the region, adding 0.9 GW to rank seventh for additions and to end 2016 with 4.4 GW.54 The Philippines and Thailand both passed national targets, adding nearly 0.8 GW (total of 0.9 GW) and more than 0.7 GW (total of 2.15 GW) respectively, although a pause in Thai government procurement drove many developers to seek out new markets.55 Pakistan and Vietnam both had several large plants under development by year’s end, but policy uncertainties were delaying progress.56

The EU became the first region to pass the 100 GW milestone in 2016 (quickly surpassed by Asia); the region ended the year with an estimated 106 GW, more than 32 times its 2006 capacity.57 Even so, as global additions increased 48% relative to 2015, EU demand fell by 24%.58 The United Kingdom accounted for most of the market decline, with several other EU countries seeing capacity increases relative to 2015.59

Approximately 5.7 GW was added in 2016, mostly in the United Kingdom, Germany and France – which together installed about 70% of the region’s new grid-connected capacity.60 Others adding capacity included Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands.61

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.62 Further, electricity demand is stagnating and conventional utilities are lobbying simply to maintain their position.63 In Germany and elsewhere, the reaction from utilities is mixed – ranging from opposition to distributed solar PV deployment to participation.64 Electricity market design and new business models are receiving increased attention.65 ( See Feature chapter.)

Despite the market contraction in 2016, the United Kingdom remained the region’s top market, adding about 2 GW for a total of 11.7 GW.66 The country’s biggest month for additions was March, just before the Renewables Obligation closed to projects of 50 kW and larger.67 Solar PV generated more electricity than coal from April through September, reflecting historic lows for coal-fired generation and the changing face of the UK electricity supply; solar PV represented about 3% of UK generation for the year.68 Despite ranking third in Europe, France saw its lowest annual growth since 2009, adding 0.6 GW for a total of 7.1 GW.69

Germany’s annual market remained at about 1.5 GW, well below the Renewable Energy Law (EEG) annual target of 2.5 GW, bringing total capacity to about 41.3 GW.70 In October, Germany and Denmark opened the world’s first cross-border auctions for solar PV, in which companies could bid for installations in either country.71 All successful bids were awarded to projects to be sited in Denmark, due to differing conditions between the two countries (e.g., site restrictions in Germany but not Denmark).72 Germany’s solar-plus-storage market is growing rapidly as consumers shift from FITs to self-consumption.73 The share of newly installed residential systems paired with storage rose from 14% in 2014 to 41% in 2015 and more than 50% in 2016, when Germany represented about 80% of Europe's home energy storage market.74

Utilities in Australia also are facing major impacts from solar PV. The country added nearly 0.9 GW in 2016, for a total approaching 5.8 GW.75 Australia’s market has been predominantly residential, although the commercial and large-scale sectors started to take hold in 2015 and 2016.76 By late 2016, almost 1.6 million solar PV installations were operating in the country.77 About 30% of dwellings in both Queensland and South Australia had solar PV installations, with high shares also in several other states and territories.78

Australia’s low wholesale electricity prices and high retail prices are encouraging consumers to shift to solar PV while providing them with little incentive to sell their generation into the grid.79 Additionally, utilities have continued to lobby for further charges on self-consumption by solar PV system owners.80 These factors have driven a small but rapidly growing market for residential storage.81 The market for rooftop solar-plus-storage systems took off in 2016: an estimated 5% of new solar rooftop installations included storage, amounting to 6,750 battery installations (52 megawatt-hours (MWh)), up from 500 in 2015.82

In addition to Australia, Germany and Japan, interest in solar-plus-storage is picking up in other developed countries (e.g., France, Italy and the United Kingdom) for on- and off-grid applications, where incentives exist or economics align.83 Markets also continue to expand in many developing countries (e.g., Bangladesh, India, Malawi, Peru), particularly in the off-grid sector.84 ( See Distributed Renewable Energy chapter.)

Solar PV is playing an important role in providing energy access in Latin America and the Caribbean, although the vast majority of capacity installed to date has been in large-scale projects.85 Chile was the region’s top installer and ranked tenth globally for newly added capacity, thanks to a booming mining industry that has pushed rapid development in the north.86 ( See Figure 18.) The country added over 0.7 GW in 2016 for a year-end total of 1.6 GW.87 Mexico followed, adding about 150 MW for a total of 0.3 GW.88 The market was driven largely by the country’s first tenders, although distributed systems accounted for at least one-third of additions in response to rising electric rates for large consumers combined with falling solar PV prices.89 Argentina also held its first tender during the year.90 In Brazil, the only renewable energy auction scheduled for 2016 was cancelled, and most projects awarded contracts in tenders through 2015 were stalled by a variety of factors, including high costs associated with local content rules and difficulty obtaining affordable financing.91 Throughout the region, grid access, financing and administrative barriers remained challenges to growth.92

Figure 18. Solar PV Global Capacity Additions, Shares of Top 10 Countries and Rest of World, 2016


Source: See endnote 13 for this chapter.

Although relatively little capacity was operating in the Middle East by the end of 2016, interest in solar PV has started to pick up. Countries without domestic fossil fuels have begun investing in solar power to diversify energy sources and economies, and oil producers are taking advantage of good solar resources, low land and labour costs, and favourable loan rates to preserve their fossil resources for export.93 Israel remained the region’s leading market, adding 0.1 GW for a total over 0.9 GW.94 Jordan and Kuwait both brought large plants online during the year, and, in early 2017, Dubai inaugurated a 200 MW plant.95 Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi and Dubai (UAE) all held tenders, and Iran signed several agreements to deploy solar PV and build manufacturing facilities.96

Across Africa, countries are turning to solar PV to diversify their energy mix, meet rising electricity demand and provide energy access.97 ( See Distributed Renewable Energy chapter for more on solar PV for energy access.) Rapidly falling costs, new business models and a global certification scheme have combined to enable the emergence of projects of all sizes.98 Leaders for new capacity in 2016 were South Africa (0.5 GW) and Algeria.99 Due to a number of challenges – including lack of financing and clear policies, weak legal frameworks, poor transmission infrastructure and unclear land rights – numerous projects that began years ago still awaited construction at year’s end.100 However, several countries, including Ghana, Senegal and Uganda, brought plants online in 2016.101 Tenders for projects (on- and off-grid) were launched or PPAs were signed in several countries across Africa, including Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Zambia, which set a new regional benchmark for low-cost solar PV power.102

While demand is expanding rapidly for off-grid solar PV, the capacity of grid-connected systems is rising more quickly and continues to account for the vast majority of solar PV installations worldwide.103 Decentralised (residential, commercial and industrial rooftop systems) grid-connected applications have struggled to maintain a roughly stable global market (in terms of capacity added annually) since 2011, particularly with the transition from FITs and net metering to self-consumption.104 Centralised large-scale projects, by contrast, have comprised a rising share of annual installations – particularly in emerging markets – despite grid connection challenges, and now represent the majority of annual installations.105 ( See Figure 19.) The drivers include increased use of tenders and availability of low-cost capital.106 By one estimate, the average solar (mostly PV) project size in early 2016 ranged from 3 MW in Europe and 11 MW in North America, to 45 MW in Africa and 64 MW in South America.107

Figure 19. Solar PV Global Additions, Shares of Grid-Connected and Off-Grid Installations, 2006-2016


Source: Source: IEA PVPS See endnote 105 for this section.

Around the world, the number and size of large-scale plants continued to grow in 2016. By year’s end, at least 164 (up from 124 a year earlier) solar PV plants of 50 MW and larger were operating in at least 26 countries, with Israel, Jordan, the Philippines and the United Kingdom joining the list during the year.108 The cumulative capacity of plants of 50 MW and larger that came online in 2016 was more than 5.9 GW.109 China’s Yanchi project in Ningxia reportedly became the world’s largest plant, at 1 GW.110 Considering plants of 4 MW or larger, about 35 GW of projects was installed in 2016, bringing the world total to an estimated 96 GW.111

Several retailers and international corporations based in China, Europe, India, North America and elsewhere invested heavily in solar PV during the year.112 Locally owned community solar also continued to expand, although the pace of growth slowed in some countries due to policy changes.113 New projects came online in Australia, Europe and the United States.114 Japan had an estimated 45 MW of community-ownedii solar PV capacity by the end of 2016.115 Increasingly in Australia and the United States, utilities and other energy companies are developing “community” projects to retain existing customers and attract new ones.116

Solar PV plays a substantial role in electricity generation in several countries. In 2016, solar PV accounted for 9.8% of net generation in Honduras and met 7.3% of electricity demand in Italy, 7.2% in Greece and 6.4% in Germany.117 At least 17 countries (including Australia, Chile, Honduras, Israel, Japan and several in Europe) had enough solar PV capacity at end-2016 to meet 2% or more of their electricity demand.118 At the end of 2016 there was enough solar PV capacity in operation to produce close to 375 TWh of electricity per year.119

Solar PV Industry

Despite tremendous demand growth in 2016, the year brought unprecedented price reductions for modules, inverters and structural balance of systems.120 Due to even greater increases in production capacity, as well as to lower market expectations (particularly in China) for 2017, module prices plummeted.121 Average module prices fell by an estimated 29%, to USD 0.41 per watt (W) between the fourth quarter of 2015 and a year later, dropping to historic lows.122

Downwards pressure on prices has challenged manufacturers, whose costs have not declined as quickly and who are seeing small, if any, margins.123 By contrast, 2016 was a good year for developers.124 Lower capital expenditures and improvements in equipment efficiency and capacity factors are helping to drive down costs; the cost of solar generation fell faster during the year than experts had expected, and continued downwards in early 2017.125 Subsequently, solar PV is increasingly cost-competitive with traditional power sources, with large-scale solar PV outcompeting even new fossil fuel projects in some markets, especially in regions with low-cost financing.126 However, challenges remain, with solar PV still vulnerable to policy changes or measures to protect fossil fuels in some countries.127

Countries around the world increasingly have been using tenders to raise their solar generating capacity ( See Policy Landscape chapter), and new record low bids were set again in 2016, with bidding in some markets below USD 0.03 per kWh.128 Argentina, Chile, India, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the UAE all saw very low bids for solar PV in 2016 and early 2017.129 The year also brought national record low bids for winning tenders in China (Inner Mongolia), Denmark and Germany, and a new low for Africa in Zambia.130 In the United States, falling PPA pricesiii have made solar PV more attractive than new natural gas capacity in many locations.131

Low bids were due at least in part to expectations that technology costs would continue to fall, as well as to relatively low weighted average cost of capital and expected low operating costs in some locations.132 The cost of financing plays a major role in determining project costs, and depends heavily on operational and regulatory risk.133 Yet low bids have spurred questions about whether the cheapest projects will be profitable, or even built.134 There also is concern that low prices threaten product quality.135

A wide range in prices exists among different locations due to variations in soft (non-technology) costs and cost of capital, as well as in solar resource, market and regulatory conditions. Project scale also has a significant impact on price.136 Distributed rooftop solar PV remains more expensive than large-scale solar PV but has followed similar price trajectories, and is competitive with (or cheaper than) retail prices in many locations.137

China dominated global shipments in 2016, for the eighth year running.138 Asia accounted for 90% (and China 65%) of global module production; Europe’s share continued to fall, to about 5% in 2016; and the US share remained at 2%.139 The top 10 module manufacturersiv accounted for about 50% of shipments during the year, and the vast majority of manufacturing is China-based, with overseas plants in South-Eastern Asia.140 They included JinkoSolar in the top spot, followed by Trina Solar and JA Solar (all China), as well as Canadian Solar (Canada) and Hanwha Q Cells (Republic of Korea); GCL (China), First Solar (United States), Yingli Green, Talesun and Risen (all China) rounded out the top 10.141

Locked in a race to build bigger, more advanced factories to produce panels faster and more cheaply than their competitors, companies announced expansions throughout the year.142 The largest Chinese manufacturers continued expanding module assembly capacity in South-Eastern Asia, in response to ongoing trade disputes and to avoid US and EU import duties.143 Chinese giants GCL-Poly and Longi Silicon Materials both announced plans for new production lines.144 Expansions elsewhere included: the first module manufacturing plant in Ghana opened to serve the West African market; Canadian Solar commenced module production at a new facility in Brazil; Japanese thin film module producer Solar Frontier began commercial production at a new plant; a new facility opened in Kosovo; and, in early 2017, Solarion (Germany) announced plans to expand its Leipzig facility to supply projects in Turkey.145

However, some manufacturers and other solar companies scaled back expansion plans, closed facilities, changed strategies or restructured to adjust to changing landscapes.146 Although some new production capacity opened in Europe, the region’s overall module manufacturing output declined by 16%, to 2.7 GW.147 Companies including Panasonic (Japan), Enel (Italy) and Mainstream Renewable Power (Ireland) sought new markets abroad as incentives and markets dried up at home.148 Dow Chemical (United States) halted production of its solar shingle line, and some big US manufacturers announced plans to refocus at home (e.g., from large plants to rooftops) and to expand into emerging markets abroad.149

On balance, global production of crystalline silicon cells and modules rose significantly in 2016. 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.150 Preliminary estimates of 2016 production capacity exceeded 80 GW for cells (up 29% year-over-year) and 83 GW for modules (up 33% year-over-year).151 Thin film production increased by an estimated 11%, accounting for 6% of total global PV production (down from 8% in 2015).152

Consolidation continued as downwards pressure on prices and slim margins made 2016 a challenging year for even the most competitive producers, and led manufacturers in and outside of China to lay off workers and some companies to fail.153 In Japan, the number of bankruptcies in solar-related companies reportedly reached a record high (65), due to fierce competition in a shrinking market.154 The highest-profile insolvency case was that of US-based project developer SunEdison which, after rapid growth and substantial debt accumulation, filed for bankruptcy protection in April and liquidated assets throughout 2016.155

Mergers and acquisitions, as well as new partnerships, continued as companies aimed to capture value in project development or to move into new markets (locations or applications).156 For example, solar PV inverter specialist Ingeteam (Spain) purchased Bonfiglioli’s (Italy) solar PV business to strengthen its position internationally for sales and for operation and maintenance (O&M).157 Longi, Trina Solar and Tongwei (all China) partnered to build a 5 GW monocrystalline silicon ingot pulling production plant in China, and China National Building Materials Group partnered with UK solar developers WElink Energy and British Solar Renewables to develop solar energy projects and zero-carbon homes in the United Kingdom.158 Numerous projects around the world changed hands; rapidly declining prices have created high demand for projects won under tenders and not yet built.159

Falling prices and expanding markets for solar PV have lured new players to the industry.160 In 2016, Apple supplier Foxconn (Taipei) purchased financially troubled Sharp (Japan), which started making solar PV cells in the 1960s; and US electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla partnered with Panasonic (Japan) and acquired US installer SolarCity with plans to make an integrated solar PV-storage-EV product.161 Four of the world’s top wind turbine companies – GE, Gamesa, Goldwind and Mingyang – had entered the solar industry by year’s end.162 Electric utilities became more active in the sector, serving the distributed market and constructing and operating large-scale solar PV plants.163 For example, Tata Power Company acquired a 1.1 GW solar and wind power portfolio from Welspun Renewable Energy in India’s largest clean energy deal; RWE subsidiary Innogy acquired developer Belectric Solar & Battery (both Germany) to further its transition to renewable energy; and EDF (France) acquired installer Global Research Options to expand its US presence.164

Fossil fuel producers also moved further into solar energy in 2016. For example, Bangchak Petroleum (Thailand) bought SunEdison’s solar PV plants in Japan; Coal India Limited, Thai state-owned oil and gas company PTT and Wärtsilä (Finland) all entered into solar PV project development, as did oil and gas operator Eni (Italy) and Africa’s largest oil and gas company Sonatrach (Algeria), which agreed to develop projects jointly in Algeria.165 Statoil (Norway) invested in the UK technology company Oxford PV.166

Banks, pension funds and mutual funds also are investing in large-scale solar PV (and wind power) projects and partnering with solar companies, providing new pools of funding.167 For example, APG Asset Management, the Netherlands’ largest pension fund, committed to investing in solar companies in India, and the largest US public pension fund invested in solar farms in California.168 Crowdfunding also continued to be an important means for financing projects as well as technology innovations, with new platforms launched in 2016.169

Innovations and advances continued during the year in manufacturing, product efficiency and performance, installation and O&M.170 They were driven largely by rapid price reductions, which have forced companies to move forward their roadmaps to decrease costs and differentiate themselves, as well as by growing customer demands for increased functionality and a rising number of grid requirements in some countries.171 SolarWorld (Germany) and REC Solar (Norway) were among the big players that upgraded production lines to Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) technologyv, a trend that continued into 2017.172 Module manufacturers continued increasing the number of busbarsvi to reduce internal electrical resistance, as well as reducing barren spaces on modules to enhance light trapping.173 Perovskitesiii achieved further improvements in efficiency and stabilisation through ongoing R&D, and Oxford PV purchased a former Bosch Solar facility to ramp up production of its perovskite technology.174

Efficiency gains from such advances have reduced the number of modules required for a given capacity, lowering soft costs.175 Labour and other soft costs of large-scale projects also are falling thanks to customised design testing, pre-assembly of systems and advances in racking.176 The year also saw an increased interest in hybrid projects that locally integrate solar PV with other renewables and energy storage technologies, an innovation that can strengthen a plant’s generation profile and enable sharing of resources for construction and maintenance.177


As component and installation costs fall and as markets mature, attention is focused increasingly on O&M.178 Significant challenges remain in many developed markets where O&M is exposed to rising price pressures and where there are significant inconsistencies in scope and quality of service, as well as in emerging markets that lack O&M skills and local capacity for manufacturing solar components.179 However, O&M costs have fallen rapidly in some countries due to clustering of projects and economies of scale, improved performance and reliability of inverters, evolution in plant and tracker designs, and robotic cleaning systems.180

Inverters also are becoming more sophisticated and making a growing contribution to grid management, and manufacturers are working to improve long-term reliability and system-prediction methods.181 During 2016, key areas of focus included advancing both materials and self-regulating technologies in order to build higher-voltage central inverters and thereby reduce balance of systems costs and the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE), as well as improving performance and software to reduce O&M costs.182 As with solar PV production, inverter manufacturing is shifting to Asia (and Asia-based companies), and, in 2016, large US and European manufacturers were fighting to maintain market share.183 As the market matures, the industry is becoming more concentrated, and the top 10 vendors accounted for 80% of global shipments in the first half of 2016.184 The top companies globally for shipments during the full year were Huawei (China), Sungrow (China) and SMA (Germany).185

The concentrating PV (CPV) industry had another challenging year. Despite record efficiencies and declining system prices, CPV has been unable to compete with conventional solar PV.186 A handful of companies remains; most are based in North America, and many are relatively new to the industry.187 In 2016, heavily indebted Semprius (United States) was working with partners to improve conversion efficiency in previously uneconomical locations.188 Saint-Augustin Canada Electric acquired Soitec’s (France) CPV technology to increase its presence in the renewable energy sector, with plans to open its first production line in 2017.189 Also in 2016, Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) acquired the Alamosa (Colorado) project from Cogentrix Solar Holdings to move into the US power market.190

Efforts to advance recycling processes continued, although there was relatively small demand for recycling of waste and solar panels (at end-of-life, or damaged or defective panels) as of 2016.191 In addition to recycling’s potential environmental benefits, the process can yield materials to be sold in global commodity markets or can be used for the production of new solar panels.192 In 2016, Australia’s Reclaim PV teamed with major manufacturers to refine its processes; a US industry programme was launched with the goal of making the national industry landfill-free; Japanese companies NPC and Hamada established a joint venture with the aim of recycling 80% of panel materials and reusing the rest; and the Japanese government issued recycling guidelines.193 The EU has regulated solar PV-related waste since 2014.194

i Defined as having at least two of three criteria: most if not all of the project is locally owned; a community-based organisation controls voting; and the majority of the project’s social and economic benefits are distributed locally. i

ii US PPA prices reflect federal tax credits and other subsidies. ii

iii The solar PV value chain also includes manufacturers upstream (e.g., polysilicon, wafers, solar glass, chemicals, backsheets, and balance of systems components) as well as downstream actors, including engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies, project developers, and O&M providers. iii

iv 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. iv

v Busbars are the thin strips of copper or aluminium between cells that conduct electricity. The size of the busbar determines the maximum amount of current that it can carry safely. v

vi 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 several years. vi

Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP)

CSP Markets


Concentrating solar thermal power (CSP), also known as solar thermal electricity (STE), saw 110 MW of capacity come online in 2016, bringing global capacity to more than 4.8 GW by year’s end.1 ( See Figure 20 and Reference Table R7.) This was the lowest annual increase in total global capacity in 10 years, at just over 2%.2 Even so, CSP remains on a strong growth trajectory, with as much as 900 MW expected to enter operation during the course of 2017.3

Figure 20. Concentrating Solar Thermal Power Global Capacity, by Country and Region, 2006-2016


Source: See endnote 1 for this section.

South Africa led the market in new additions in 2016, becoming the second developing country to do so after Morocco in 2015.4 South Africa was followed by China, where the first of numerous new CSP plants came online in 2016.5 CSP market growth continued to be driven outside of the traditional markets of Spain and the United States, and, by year’s end, facilities were under construction in several countries representing nearly all regions.6


For the second year in a row, all new facilities that came online incorporated thermal energy storage (TES).7 Most new CSP plants are being developed with TES, and 2016 marked a decade since the first commercial CSP system with TES was deployed.8 ( See Figure 21.) TES continues to be viewed as central to the competitiveness of CSP by providing the flexibility of dispatchability.9

Figure 21. CSP Thermal Energy Storage Global Capacity and Annual Additions, 2007-2016


Source: See endnote 8 for this section.

Parabolic trough and tower technologies continued to dominate the market, with parabolic trough systems representing the bulk of capacity that became operational in 2016 as well as most of the capacity expected to come online during 2017.10 Fresnel and parabolic dish technologies are still largely overshadowed, apart from some smaller plants in the development and construction phases.11

Spain remained the global leader in existing CSP capacity, with 2.3 GW at year’s end, followed by the United States with just over 1.7 GW.12 These two countries still accounted for over 80% of global installed capacity.13 However, no capacity has entered commercial operation in Spain since 2013, and no new facilities were under construction in either country at end-2016.14

South Africa brought its first commercial tower plant online with the launch of the 50 MW (with 2.5 hours of TES; 465 MWhi) Khi Solar One facility in early 2016, followed shortly thereafter by the 50 MW (9.3 hours; 100 MWh) Bokpoort parabolic trough plant.15 These two plants brought total installed capacity in the country to 200 MW.16 At year’s end, a further 300 MW was under construction and was expected to come online during the course of 2017, 2018 and 2019.17 Several additional CSP projects under development faced uncertainty after the state-owned utility, Eskom, delayed the signing of PPAs under the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP).18

China brought its first 10 MW of capacity online in 2016.19 China’s aggressive CSP programme, which aims to have 1.4 GW of CSP installed by 2018, started to bear fruit in 2016 with the addition of the 10 MW (15 hours; 150 MWh) Shouhang Dunhuang facility.20 As much as 650 MW of trough, tower and Fresnel capacity was at varying phases of construction by year’s end.21

Around the world, several projects that are being built are expected to come online over the next three years. CSP continued its push into developing countries that have high direct normal irradiance (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, a need for energy storage, or strong industrialisation and job creation agendas.22

Apart from China, India was the only Asian country with CSP facilities under construction by the end of 2016. India’s projects included the 25 MW Gujarat Solar 1 plant (9 hours; 225 MWh) and the 14 MW National Thermal Power Corporation’s Dadri Integrated Solar Combined-Cycle (ISCC)ii plant.23

While Morocco did not bring new capacity online in 2016, it continued to be a key driver of CSP expansion. Both the 200 MW Noor II parabolic trough (7 hours; 1,400 MWh) and the 150 MW Noor III tower (7 hours; 1,200 MWh) facilities are expected to enter commercial operation during 2017.24 These follow the 160 MW Noor I facility, commissioned in 2015, and will bring Morocco’s total capacity to over 0.5 GW.25

Elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, construction continued on Israel’s 121 MW Ashalim Plot B tower facility, which aims to achieve commercial operation in 2017.26 The 110 MW Ashalim Plot A parabolic trough facility also was under construction in 2016, with operation expected to begin in 2018.27

In Saudi Arabia, two ISCC plants were under construction during the year. The 42 MW Duba 1 facility and the 50 MW Waad al Shamal plants are expected to enter operation in 2017 and 2019, respectively.28 Construction continued on Kuwait’s 50 MW (10 hours; 500 MWh) Shagaya plant, which is planned for operation in 2017.29 In the UAE, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority received a strong response to its request for proposals, released in early 2017, for a 200 MW CSP facility at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.30

In Latin America, construction was halted at Chile’s 110 MW (17.5 hours; 1,925 MWh) Atacama 1 (Planta Solar Cerro Dominador) plant due to financial challenges faced by Abengoa (the initial developer and owner of the facility, now involved only as a contractor).31 Construction is expected to resume in 2017, with operations commencing in 2019.32 The 12 MW Agua Prieta II plant in Mexico is scheduled for commissioning in 2017.33

Some CSP activity continued in Europe during 2016. In France a 9 MW Fresnel facility was under construction in the Pyrenees-Orientales district.34 In Denmark, a hybrid biomass-CSP facility that will incorporate 17 MW of CSP was under construction.35 As a CHP plant, the facility will generate both electricity and low-temperature heat for district heating, representing an important potential application for CSP in colder climates.36

CSP Industry

CSP activity saw a significant shift from Spain and the United States to developing countries in 2015, and this trend continued in 2016. The ongoing stagnation of the Spanish market, along with a long-predicted slowdown in the United States, resulted in ongoing growth of industrial activity and increased partnerships in new markets, including South Africa, the MENA region and particularly China.37

Recognising CSP’s potential for local manufacturing, engineering and skills development, many countries – including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the UAE – continued to promote or enforce local content requirements in their CSP programmes during 2016.38

Abengoa (Spain), the industry’s largest developer and builder, avoided the threat of insolvency that emerged early in 2016 when it reached a USD 1.2 billion (EUR 1.14 billion) restructuring deal with its creditors.39 The company undertook significant changes, including the restructuring of ownership and the disposal of non-core solar PV and wind power assets.40 Abengoa’s rising debt was partially a result of Spanish energy reforms enacted in 2013, which reduced FITs for CSP facilities.41

With the exception of the fundamental restructuring that took place at Abengoa, 2016 was a relatively quiet year for CSP companies in terms of mergers, acquisitions and closures, with no major reports of significant corporate shifts.42 Abengoa and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power led the market in the ownership of projects that commenced operations or were under construction during 2016.43 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.44 Other top companies that were engaged in construction, operation and/or manufacturing in 2016 included Rioglass Solar (Belgium); Supcon (China); Acciona, ACS Cobra, Sener and TSK (all Spain); and Brightsource, GE and Solar Reserve (all United States).45

Although commercial developers have continued to focus on trough and tower plants, with many facilities exceeding 100 MW in size, Fresnel facilities also are being planned and built, particularly for non-traditional or smaller facilities. This development is most notable in China, where four Fresnel plants totalling 90 MW were under construction at end-2016, and in France, where a 9 MW facility also under construction will be the first Fresnel plant to include several hours of TES capacity.46

The track record of larger TES systems continued to advance during the year, with various facilities proving their ability to generate power in the absence of sunlight and even throughout the night. In South Africa, for example, the newly commissioned Khi Solar One facility reached a technological milestone for the region when it completed a 24-hour cycle of uninterrupted solar power generation.47 The bulk of new facilities coming online in 2017 is expected to include TES; the exceptions are plants that are hybridised with, or located alongside, natural gas plants – such as Israel’s Ashalim facilities and the ISCC plants under construction in Saudi Arabia.48

CSP costs vary widely depending on the specific economic characteristics and DNI levels of a given location. Nonetheless, research specific to the US market found that CSP prices have declined in line with the trajectory proposed in 2012 by the US DOE's SunShot Initiative.49 The initiative targeted a 75% decline in the cost of CSP systems between 2012 and 2020, to USD 0.06 per kWh; since 2012, costs have declined from a non-incentivised USD 0.206 per kWh (for an oil-based parabolic trough facility with no TES) to an estimated USD 0.12 per kWh in 2015 based on a new power tower facility with 10 hours of TES.50 Cost declines also are evident elsewhere, with a 30% reduction over two bid cycles in Chile in 2015 and a 43% reduction over five bid cycles between 2011 and 2015 in South Africa.51

Although CSP costs have seen a significant decline, CSP deployment has been hampered by rapid and substantial decreases in the price of solar PV, driving the CSP industry’s continued focus on maximising value through the use of TES systems, which enable CSP facilities to provide dispatchable power.52

R&D in the CSP sector in 2016 continued to focus strongly on improvements, alternatives and cost reductions in TES; on cost reductions in key CSP components (such as collectors); on alternate applications of CSP; and on efficiency of the heat transfer process.53 R&D efforts were under way in numerous countries around the world, with universities, public scientific organisations and private companies in Australia, Europe and the United States announcing potentially significant advances.54

In Australia, for example, researchers achieved 97% efficiency in converting sunlight into steam.55 Previously (in 2014), Australian researchers generated “supercritical” steam at the highest temperatures achieved from a non-fossil-based thermal fuel.56 Research supported by the EU yielded advances in thermochemical energy storage and hybridised CSP systems.57 In the United States, wide-ranging research programmes under way during 2016 included the analysis of sand-like particles as an alternative to molten salt in TES systems; efforts to advance thermochemical storage systems for CSP, which offer the possibility of increased energy storage density at lower costs; and the application of the supercritical CO 2 Brayton Cycleiii, which offers the potential to increase CSP efficiency and further reduce costs.58

Significant progress is being made in understanding the real value of CSP with TES in providing dispatchable power to grids with increasing shares of variable renewable power.59 ( See Feature chapter.) While CSP remains more expensive than wind power and solar PV on a pure generating cost basis, the overall value of CSP with TES can be higher as a result of its ability to dispatch power during periods of peak demand. During 2016, SolarPACES, an international network of CSP researchers and industry experts, made significant progress in quantifying the real value of CSP incorporating TES and standardising yield assessment methodologies required to evaluate new projects.60

i For CSP plants that incorporate thermal energy storage (TES), the hours of thermal storage and capacity are provided, in parentheses, in hours and in MWh. Where thermal storage capacity has been reported in hours, it is assumed that these are full load hours (i.e., hours of storage at full plant discharge capacity). This section has converted capacity to MWh by multiplying peak plant capacity by full load hours. i

ii Integrated solar combined-cycle facilities are hybrid gas and solar power plants that utilise both solar energy and natural gas for the production of electricity. ii

iii The Brayton Cycle uses air as the working fluid in a gas turbine. This is distinct from the Rankine Cycle (used in existing CSP plants) which makes use of water as the working fluid, in conjunction with a steam turbine. The Brayton Cycle can achieve higher operating temperatures, which results in higher efficiency. iii

Solar Thermal Heating And Cooling

Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling Markets


Solar thermal technology is used extensively in all regions of the world to provide hot water, to heat and cool space, to dry products and to provide heat, steam or refrigeration for industrial processes or commercial cooking. By the end of 2016, solar heating and cooling technologies had been sold in at least 127 countries.1 The cumulative capacity of glazed (flat plate and vacuum tube technology) and unglazed collectors in operation increased to a year-end total of 456 GW ( See Figure 22.)

Figure 22. Solar Water Heating Collectors Global Capacity, 2006-2016


Source: IEA SHC. See endnote 2 for this section.

As in 2015, the top five countries for cumulative capacity were China, the United States, Turkey, Germany and Brazil.3 ( See Figure 23.) Solar thermal collectors of all types provided approximately 375 TWh (1,350 PJ) of heat annually by the end of 2016, equivalent to the energy content of 221 million barrels of oil.4

Figure 23. Solar Water Heating Collectors Global Capacity in Operation, Shares of Top 12 Countries and Rest of World, 2015


Note: Total does not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Source: IEA SHC. See endnote 3 for this section.

Due to low fossil fuel prices throughout the year, new global installations of solar thermal systems declined again in 2016. The year’s gross additions of 36.7 GW ( See Figure 24.) Among the 20 largest markets, significant market growth was reported in Denmark (84%), Mexico and India (both 6%).7 As in 2015, the five leading countries for new installations in 2016 were China, Turkey, Brazil, India and the United States. The top 20 countries for solar thermal installations accounted for an estimated 94% of the global market in 2016.

Figure 24. Solar Water Heating Collector Additions, Top 20 Countries for Capacity Added, 2016


Note: Additions represent gross capacity added.

Source: See endnote 6 for this section.

In most of these top 20 countries, markets were dominated by flat plate collectors. In China and India more than half of 2016 additions were vacuum tube collectors.8 In the United States, Australia and South Africa more than half of new installations were unglazed collectors (used mostly for heating swimming pools). Among the top 20 markets, vacuum tube collectors accounted for 75% of new installations, flat plate collectors made up 21%, and unglazed water collectors accounted for the remaining 4%.9


Despite the downwards trend in China since its record year in 2013, the country remains the world’s largest solar thermal market by far. New gross installations totalled 27.7 GWth (39.5 million m2) in 2016, almost 19 times more than the second largest market, Turkey.10 At year’s end, Chinaʻs operating capacity was 325 GWth (464 million m2), just over half of the 560 GWth by 2020 target that was announced in the 13th Five-Year Plan for Solar Applications.11


The transition in China from small residential solar thermal units to larger projects for multi-family houses, tourism and the public sector accelerated in 2016, with large projects accounting for 68% of the country’s annual additions, up from 61% in 2015.12 This trend was supported by an increasing demand for centralised solar space heating systems in southern China, where heating systems have been uncommon thus far and where fossil fuels are expensive.13 The transition also was driven by building codes in urban areas, which mandate the use of solar thermal (and heat pumps) in new construction and major renovations as a means to reduce local air pollution.

Turkey’s market remained strong but is difficult to measure because it again consisted of a formal sector with brand-name companies and an informal sector, in which systems are provided by unregistered small producers. The formal market remained fairly stable, with an estimated 1.1 GWth (1.53 million m2) installed in 2016.14 Residential demand (primarily for vacuum tube collectors) accounted for 47% of new installations, up from 40% in 2015.15 Demand for flat plate collectors remained strong for commercial projects at schools, dormitories, military stations and prisons.16 Unregistered small producers accounted for another one-third of the year’s installations, bringing total new additions to around 1.47 GWth (2.1 million m2).17 The 13.6 GWth (19.4 million m2) of solar thermal capacity in operation at the end of 2015 saved Turkey around 10% of its annual natural gas consumption.18

Brazil continued to rank third for new installations and remained the largest solar thermal market in South America. With 0.91 GWth (1.3 million m2) added in 2016, Brazil was only slightly ahead of India.19 The decrease in Brazil’s solar thermal market was relatively small (-7%) considering the country’s ongoing economic and political crises and the slowdown of the social housing programme Minha Casa Minha Visa (“My House, My Life”), which mandated solar water heaters in new buildings for very poor families.20 Reduced purchasing power resulted in a 10% decline in sales of unglazed collectors for swimming pools.21

India added 0.9 GWth (1.28 million m2) in 2016, an increase of 6% relative to 2015.22 The market appears to be bouncing back, following a temporary reduction in demand that resulted from the suspension of India’s national grant scheme in 2014.23 The share of imported vacuum tubes grew to 88% (up from 82% in 2015).24 This segment included an increasing number of vacuum tubes backed with aluminium mirrors (so-called compound parabolic concentrators), which are used primarily for industrial process heat applications. This trend was supported by a national 30% capital subsidy scheme for concentrating solar thermal technologies, which has reduced the payback times to three to four years for manufacturing businesses.25 Only 0.11 GWth of flat plate collectors (down from 0.15 GWth in 2015) was sold by the handful of manufacturers that remains in India.26

The United States was the fifth biggest market worldwide. The country’s market volume was down only 3% relative to 2015, with 0.68 GWth (974,977 m2) added in 2016, despite low oil and natural gas prices and the country’s increasing focus on solar PV.27 The United States continued to be the largest market for unglazed swimming pool systems (0.56 GWth), followed by Brazil (0.38 GWth) and Australia (0.27 GWth).28 The significantly smaller US segment of glazed collectors saw additions of 0.12 GWth in 2016, representing a slight increase (1%) following two consecutive years of decline; the increase was driven by state-level rebate schemes such as the California Solar Initiative – Solar Thermal, and rebates in Massachusetts and New York State, as well as the solar obligation in Hawaii.29

The European Union (EU-28) was again the second largest regional market after Asia, with estimated gross additions of 1.8 GWth (approximately 2.5 million m2), 6.4% lower than in 2015.30 The largest European market was again Germany, followed by Denmark, which almost doubled its new installations in 2016.31 Beyond Denmark, 2016 was a challenging year in key markets because of factors such as low oil and gas prices, declining demand from homeowners and reduced interest in solar thermal technology among installers. In Germany and Italy, these impeding factors had a stronger impact on investment decisions than did a high level of subsidies.32

In addition, energy-efficient building regulations supported the installation of heat pumps in new buildings in Germany and France, suppressing markets for solar thermal systems.33 In Poland, a lack of political support for solar thermal and increased competition with hot water heat pumps, which are considered cheaper and easier to install, resulted in a 58% decline in the annual solar thermal market, to 81 MWth.34 The EU´s cumulative installed capacity in operation at the end of 2016 was approximately 34.4 GWth, representing around 8% of the worldʼs total.35

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 2015 (the most recent data available).36 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 2015, this commercial sector accounted for only 29% of the total collector capacity in operation worldwide, but it represented 54% of newly installed collector capacity.37 ( See Figure 25.)

Figure 25. Solar Water Heater Applications for Newly Installed Capacity, by Economic Region, 2015


Source: IEA SHC. See endnote 37 for this section.

Globalisation of solar heating and cooling technologies continued in 2016, with sales picking up in several new emerging markets, including Argentina, the Middle East and parts of eastern and central Africa.38 In Argentina, solar water heater installations doubled year-on-year between 2012 and 2015.39 They have seen increased popularity since July 2016, when the country’s president ordered a 260-litre thermosiphon system for his residence.40 Rising electricity prices (e.g., Argentina) and solar building obligations (e.g., Kenya and Dubai) also helped to drive demand in these new markets.41

Solar district heating enjoyed increased attention across Europe and China, led by Denmark, which had a record year for new installations and experienced the fastest growth of new solar thermal capacity among the top 20 markets. Denmark brought into operation 31 new solar district heating plants and expanded 5 existing plants, for a total of 347 MWth added in 2016; this compares to 15 new and 3 expanded plants (totalling 175 MWth) in 2015.42 The large majority of all plants use flat plate collectors; the exception is the installation in Brønderslev (18.9 MWth), which uses parabolic trough collectors.43

The strong market in Denmark was supported by good framework conditions – including national taxes on fossil fuels, sufficient land for cost-effective ground-mounted collector fields, and the existence of non-profit, user-owned co-operatives that operate local district heating systems. It also was motivated by pending expiration (in December 2016) of a 2012 energy savings agreement between Danish district heating companies and Denmark’s energy ministry, which prompted several utilities to complete their solar district heating systems by year’s end.44 In December, the Danish Energy Ministry signed a new agreement with district heating companies, allowing them to fulfill energy savings mandates for the period 2016-2020 by extending existing solar district heating plants or by initiating the construction of new facilities by mid-2018.45

Among Denmark’s new installations is the world´s largest solar thermal plant, with 110 MWth (156,694 m2) of installed capacity, in the town of Silkeborg.46 The solar district heating plant was commissioned (by Danish turnkey supplier Arcon-Sunmark) in December, after only seven months of construction.47 The world’s second largest solar thermal plant – the 49 MWth (70,000 m2) district heating field in Vojens – also is located in Denmark.48 At the end of 2016, Denmark’s solar district heating capacity totalled 911 MWth (1.3 million m2), with 104 systems in operation.49

The successes in Denmark have inspired intensive discussions and project development activities in other central European countries, especially in Germany and Poland.50 Consequently, Germany’s first record-size solar district heating plant in 11 years came online in August 2016, when 5.8 MWth (8,300 m2) of vacuum tube collectors began feeding into the municipal district heating network in Senftenberg.51 In total, Germany installed a combined 9 MWth (12,921 m2) in four new systems, increasing the country’s district heating capacity to 39 MWth by year’s end.52

In addition, two other solar district heating plants larger than 350 kWth (500 m2) began operation in Europe in 2016: Sweden added a 0.7 MWth (1,050 m2) installation in Tornberget, and a 0.58 MWth (830 m2) solar thermal plant began supplying heat to multi-family houses in a new neighbourhood near Paris, France.53 Spain’s plans for new large-scale solar thermal installations in Barcelona did not materialise due to a lack of affordable space for the collectors in the dense urban area.54 At the end of 2016, Europe was home to 290 large-scale systems with a total of 1.1 GWth (1.58 million m2), making up around 3% of the region´s total operating solar thermal capacity.55

Interest in solar district heat increased beyond Europe as well. In the Chinese province of Shandong, a subsidy scheme was announced in 2016 to support central space heating systems in public buildings, such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes and daycare facilities.56 One of the first larger solar district heating plants, completed in 2013, is a 8.1 MWth (11,592 m2) vacuum tube collector system that provides heat for student flats at the Hebei University of Economics and Business; in recent years, this facility has helped to draw attention to the huge potential of solar thermal technology in the world’s largest district heating market.57

The share of solar energy that can be achieved in a district heating network depends heavily on the type and scale of integrated storage solutions. The plant in Silkeborg, Denmark was built with short-term storage of 32,000 m3 and was designed to meet around 20% of the annual heating demand of the network’s 21,000 users.58 In contrast, the solar share at Denmark’s Vojens plant has reached 45% because the facility includes a water-filled basin with 203,000 m3 of storage.59 Canadaʼs Drake Landing Solar community, with borehole seasonal storage, demonstrated in 2016 that solar district heating has the potential to cover even a 100% share of a system’s heating demand in winter. System improvements such as lowering the district loop temperature and enhancing the thermal stratification in the tank made it possible for the system to meet the entire space heating demand of 52 energy-efficient residential buildings during the winter of 2015-16.60

Solar thermal technologies – including concentrating collector types such as linear Fresnel, parabolic trough and dish collectors – also are used to provide process heat for a growing number of manufacturing facilities.61 Process heat accounts for around two-thirds of final energy consumption in the industry sector, and 52% of that heat demand is in the low- and medium-temperature range (below 400°C) and thus suitable for solar thermal technologies.62 The potential for solar thermal in the industry sector is significant.

The year 2016 saw the first assessment for the world market of solar heat for industrial processes (SHIP).63 At the end of 2016 at least 525 SHIP plants were in operation, totalling a minimum of 416,414 m² of collector and mirror area (291 MWth) – enough capacity to provide approximately 18 GWh (1 PJ) of industrial process heat by the end of 2016.64 Prior to the assessment, it was estimated that 195 SHIP systems were in operation worldwide, with a total collector/mirror area of 177,892 m2 (125 MWth).65

The industry segments with the highest numbers of realised SHIP plants in 2016 were food and beverage, machinery and textiles.66 A number of projects were built around the world during the year, paving the way for other manufacturing businesses. One example was the Amul Fed Dairy in India, which installed a 561 m2 parabolic trough collector field to supply steam for milk pasteurisation; this project has the potential to be replicated by several other dairies in the region.67 In South Africa, the Cape Brewing Company installed a 120 m2 flat plate collector field to supply heat for its brewing process; this system was only the fifth SHIP plant in the country.68

Good sun conditions for solar concentrating technologies in Australiaʼs desert, coupled with relatively high gas and oil prices, facilitated the construction of a concentrating solar plant at a tomato farm in the state of South Australia.69 A mirror field (52,000 m2) reflects the sunlight towards a receiver that provides heat for three different applications: heating greenhouses in winter and during cold summer nights, desalinating seawater and periodically running a steam turbine to produce electricity.70 Austria saw the installation of a record-size process heat installation at the automotive consulting company AVL List; the new 1,585 m2 flat plate collector field supplies energy for the heat demand of the factory’s test facilities.71

Copper mining and enhanced oil recovery have seen the largest SHIP installations to date. The largest solar process heat plant in operation worldwide in 2016 was a 27.5 MWth (39,300 m2) facility located at the Gabriela Mistral mine in Chile. Over the first 35 months of its operation, the plant recorded a specific yield of 1,112 kWh per m2; the output was as simulated, notwithstanding the operational challenges of the large fieldʼs hydraulics and the dusty surroundings.72 In September 2016, Mexico saw the completion of its first solar-heated copper mine project at La Parreña, in the centre of the country. The 4.4 MWth (6,270 m2) facility was designed to cover 58% of the mine’s demand for heat.73 Despite these positive developments, deployment of solar thermal technology in copper mining has been limited due to the industry’s reluctance to make long-term investments while the global price of copper has been in decline.74

Also in 2016, construction continued on the 1 GWth enhanced oil recovery plant in Oman.75 As of early 2017, the USD 600 million facility, which is 36 times bigger than the largest SHIP plant in operation, was ahead of schedule and under budget, and the first of 36 greenhouse blocks was expected to start producing steam before the end of 2017.76

Solar process heat is far from meeting its economic and technical potential. Low fossil fuel prices and lack of concern among industry stakeholders about CO2 emissions and other environmental challenges have limited interest in alternative energy sources, including solar thermal. According to suppliers of SHIP, the most important conditions for enabling robust market development are high fossil energy prices and political mandates for the use of solar process heat.77 In a survey, 79% of participating SHIP suppliers identified energy heat supply contracts as an important means to increase deployment; however, only 34% offered such contracts as of 2016.78 The industry has acknowledged a need to develop business models that reduce the risk and the upfront costs for small and medium-sized enterprises in order to expand the SHIP market.79

Solar PV-thermal (PV-T) technologies capture the waste heat from solar PV modules, which utilise only 12-15% of the incoming sunlight, to provide heat for space and water. Monitoring of a largescale demonstration PV-T plant in Switzerland found that the system could achieve an annual thermal yield of 330 kWh per m2 in addition to the annual 163 kWh per m2 of solar electricity that it produced.80 In 2016, France and Switzerland both reported increased numbers of new PV-T projects, but with different applications. In France, about 55,000 m2 of systems — mostly air-based PV-T elements for single-family houses — was installed during the year; this total was close to the newly installed water-driven flat plate collector area (65,900 m2). 81 In Switzerland, unglazed water collectors dominate the market, increasingly in combination with heat pumps to regenerate boreholes over the summer; by the end of 2016, the country had an estimated 300 PV-T installations.82

Solar thermal cooling continued to face challenges during 2016 in the key markets of Europe and China due to falling solar PV prices, which allow for the cost-effective operation of compression chillers powered by solar electricity during daylight, and to low fossil fuel prices.83 Even so, significantly hot summer periods in southern Europe, as well as the use of natural refrigerants like water or ammonia, have increased the awareness of solar cooling technologies in the region’s construction industry. As a result, solar cooling systems are used increasingly for commercial and public buildings when also supplying year-round solar hot water.84

Preliminary findings in Europe are that multi-usage solar thermal systems that supply hot water throughout the year, space heating during transition periods, and space cooling during hot summer periods are highly efficient and have the potential to cover up to 50% of the total heat and cooling demand of high-efficient buildings in the region.85 Server centres also are a promising market for solar cooling (as in Italy).86 Thanks to the high subsidy of the national rebate programme Conto Termico 2.0, Italy was the key sales market for solar thermal-driven chillers in Europe in 2016.87

In China, increasing use of solar space heating installations during 2016 also offered new opportunities for solar cooling because surplus heat in summer can be used for air conditioning. This combined heating and cooling operation mode was first demonstrated in 2016 in an office building in Shanghai with a 200 m2 flat plate collector field and a 23 kW absorption chiller.88

Increasing demand for air conditioning in sun-rich countries, combined with financial support from international development agencies, has helped to spread interest in solar heat-driven cooling systems in non-OECD countries. In 2016, three new solar cooling systems were completed in Jordan: Royal Culture Center (160 kW of cooling), Irbid Chamber of Commerce (50 kW of cooling) and Mutah University (20 kW of cooling).89 During the non-cooling season, these systems can support the buildings’ hot water demand and thereby increase the usable solar yield over the year. In neighbouring Egypt, a 35 kW chiller, supplied by a linear Fresnel collector, began cooling a medical centre north of Cairo in October 2016. The project was jointly implemented by experts from Egypt, Greece, Italy and Cyprus and received European funding.90

Also in 2016, a Brazilian university in the province of Minas Gerais, in co-operation with a local electricity supplier, installed two solar cooling demonstration systems, with a 10 kW and a 35 kW imported absorption chiller and locally produced collectors.91 As of early 2017, a 3.1 MWth (4,450 m2) collector field was under construction to supply space cooling and hot water to a hospital in Managua, Nicaragua.92 The USD 4.2 million (EUR 4 million) project was financed through a soft loan provided by Raiffeisen Bank International for developing countries.93

Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling Industry


The year 2016 was a turning point in the solar thermal industry. Demand from homeowners, for many years the core sales segment for the solar thermal industry, again declined, and installers – the key supply chain partners of the industry in Europe – showed less interest in solar thermal technology. To counter the declining demand from established sales partners and end-consumers, an increasing number of manufacturers of solar collectors and tanks changed their product lines and sales strategies.

Many suppliers of solar thermal systems responded to the challenges by taking new directions and diversifying their portfolios. In Austria, for example, several collector manufacturers added heat pumps and solar PV solutions to their product offerings in order to provide complete heating system solutions.94 In China, manufacturers concentrated on new applications such as space heating and cooling, as well as drying of agricultural products.95

In addition to focusing on new applications for solar thermal technologies, some suppliers are developing new business models. In Germany, manufacturers of solar thermal systems provided potential end-consumers with online sales platforms for heating systems with or without solar energy; clients could provide information online about their desired heating system and then receive an offer directly from the system supplier, bypassing the installer.96 In Spain, the industry has sold a growing number of non-subsidised systems (20% of the total market volume) by offering loans in partnership with financial institutions.97

Despite the challenges in much of Europe and China, some industrial players benefited from strong tailwinds in 2016. In response to strong market growth in Argentina, at least 32 businesses started commercial activities during the year, for a total of at least 134 solar thermal businesses.98 Greek manufacturers saw their exports rise 14% in 2016 (to 231 MWth), following a 7% increase in 2015, due to the cost-competitiveness and good reputation of their products. Their exports even exceeded domestic sales, of 189 MWth.99

Manufacturers of air collectors in Germany and Austria recorded increasing sales, despite the general downwards trend in these countries. This growth was supported by cost-effective system solutions (e.g., in contrast to water-driven solar systems, air units do not need tanks, pumps or expansion vessels), combined with high investment subsidies.100

The year 2016 was a bright period for suppliers of solar district heating systems in Denmark, where the capacity of solar thermal plants supplying district heat doubled in 2016.101 The strong demand led market leader Arcon-Sunmark to greatly increase its production volume; this Danish collector manufacturer and turnkey system supplier was responsible for 87% of Denmark’s new installations during the year.102 In mid-2016, Arcon-Sunmark expanded its business model to China, the world's largest district heating market, with around 463 GWth of installed capacity as of 2014 (the latest data available).103 Arcon-Sunmark established a joint venture with China’s market leader, Jiangsu Sunrain Solar Energy, to offer large-scale solar heating solutions to the Chinese market.104

Denmarkʼs district heating networks are optimised for the feed-in of solar heat with low feed-line and return temperatures. Outside of Denmark, district heating networks usually operate at significantly higher temperatures, reducing the efficiency of conventional flat plate collectors.105 To meet this challenge of transferring solar district heating to other countries, an increasing number of manufacturers in Europe developed mid-temperature flat plate collectors that employ either a second glass cover or a foil between the absorber and the glass cover.106 In mid-2016, initial monitoring results confirmed the remarkable performance of this new generation of collectors even for use with higher-temperature district heating networks (feed-line 80-129°C and return line 58-70°C).107

Most leading solar thermal manufacturers worldwide consolidated their positions in 2016. The largest manufacturers of vacuum tube collectors were again Sunrise East Group (including the Sunrain and Micoe brands), Himin, Linuo Paradigma and Sangle – all based in China.108 The largest manufacturers of flat plate collectors were again Greenonetec (Austria), Fivestar (China), Soletrol (Brazil) and Bosch Thermotechnik (Germany).109 Two large players dropped from the ranking in 2016: Ezinç (Turkey) stopped production in June, and Prosunpro (China) has cut production sharply in recent years because of financial troubles.110

Poland’s industry experienced significant consolidation in 2016. The Polish collector manufacturer Hewalex, which is among the leading flat plate collector manufacturers worldwide, saw its sales fall by 60% in 2016, due to a 58% drop in domestic sales.111 Following the production closure of Watt in 2015, two additional Polish flat plate collector manufacturers – Solver and Geres Asco – stopped production in 2016. Several solar thermal system suppliers that focused on imported vacuum tubes closed up shop, following a near 90% drop in sales of vacuum tube collector systems in Poland during the year.112

An increasing number of companies considered solar thermal for industrial processes (SHIP) to be an attractive business area in 2016. A world map published in early 2017 included 71 SHIP-related companies from 22 countries; 42 of these companies reported that they had already completed turnkey SHIP reference plants.113 An additional 29 companies were SHIP start-ups or market-ready SHIP plant suppliers that already had experience with commercial solar installations, such as solar for cooling or power generation.114 Nearly two-thirds (58%) of the identified SHIP suppliers operated their own collector production facilities, with the most common collector type being parabolic trough (18 companies), followed by flat plate (10), linear Fresnel and vacuum tube (5 companies each) and concentrating dish (4). 115 The hubs of turnkey SHIP technology supply are China, Mexico, India and Germany.116

In the solar cooling industry, a key area of focus has been on reducing costs. Standardisation of systems is one way to reduce investment costs of technologies, such as solar cooling, that continue to see only small market volumes. Individually engineered solutions that consist of a chiller, a collector field, tanks and a re-cooler generally result in higher costs. Manufacturers from around the globe have responded to the challenge by developing pre-engineered solar cooling kits with cooling capacities between 2.5 kW and 40 kW that are suitable for single-family, multi-family and commercial properties.117 As of early 2017, 10 such commercial or semi-commercial solar cooling kits were available, including 4 powered by solar thermal collectors, 5 powered by solar PV units, and 1 powered by both of these solar energy sources.118

PV-T technologies combine solar electricity with solar heat production in one element. After several years of a highly fluctuating industry landscape, with PV-T manufacturers coming and going, in 2016 the market was firmly in the hands of specialised suppliers with approved PV-T technologies.119 As of early 2017, 53 manufacturers and suppliers of PV-T panels were identified, with 52% of them based in Germany (10), Italy (8), France (5) and Switzerland (5).120 The majority of them (38 companies) offered water-driven unglazed PV-T elements, 9 firms sold air-driven PV-T collectors, and 6 companies offered glazed, water-driven PV-T models.121

Wind Power

Wind Power Markets


Almost 55 GW of wind power capacity was added during 2016, increasing the global total about 12% to nearly 487 GW.1 Gross additions were 14% below the record high in 2015, but they represented the second largest annual market to date.2 ( See Figure 26.) By the end of 2016, over 90 countries had seen commercial wind power activity, and 29 countries – representing every region – had more than 1 GW in operation.3

Figure 26. Wind Power Global Capacity and Annual Additions, 2006-2016


Source: See endnote 2 for this section.

A significant decline in the Chinese market (following a very strong 2015) was responsible for most of the market contraction.4 Even so, China retained its lead for new installations, followed distantly by the United States and Germany, with India passing Brazil to rank fourth.5 Others in the top 10 for additions were France, Turkey, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada.6 ( See Figure 27 and Reference Table R9.) New markets continued to open elsewhere in Asia and across Africa, Latin America and the Middle East; and Bolivia and Georgia installed their first wind plants of scale in 2016.7 At year’s end, the leading countries for total wind power capacity per inhabitant were Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Ireland and Portugal.8

Figure 27. Wind Power Capacity and Additions, Top 10 Countries, 2016


Note: Germany's additions are net of decommissioning and repowering. "~0" denotes capacity additions of less than 50 MW.

Source: See endnote 6 for this section.

For the eighth consecutive year, Asia was the largest regional market, representing about half of added capacity, with Europe and North America accounting for most of the rest.9 Growth in some of the largest markets was affected by uncertainty about future policy changes, and cyclical or policy-related slowdowns affected some markets; however, wind deployment also was driven by 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

China added 23.4 GW in 2016, for total installed capacity approaching 169 GW, and accounted for one-third of total global capacity by year’s end.12 New installations were down 24% relative to 2015, when a record annual market was driven by looming reductions in China’s FIT.13 The drop was due in part to weak electricity demand growth and to grid integration challenges.14 About 19.3 GW was integrated into the national grid and started receiving the FIT premium in 2016, with approximately 149 GW considered officially grid-connected by year’s end.15


The top provinces for capacity additions were Yunnan (3.3 GW), Hebei (1.7 GW) and Jiangsu (1.5 GW), with the latter two relatively close to demand centres.16 Although the northern and western provinces were still home to a significant portion of China’s wind power capacity at year’s end, for the first time new installations increased substantially in the southern and eastern regions, in response to new regulations to steer investment away from high-curtailment areas.17

Despite the central government’s introduction of new regulations to ensure guaranteed annual full load hours for wind (and solar) energy, curtailment remained a major challenge (even for nuclear power) in China in 2016 due to poor grid connections, lack of transmission infrastructure, slower-than-expected demand growth and grid managers’ preference for coal-fired generation.18 Overall, an estimated 49.7 TWh of potential wind energy was curtailed, or a national average of 17% for the year, with far higher rates in some provinces.19 Even with curtailment, wind power’s share of China’s total generation has increased steadily in recent years, reaching 4% in 2016 (up from 3.3% in 2015), or 241 TWh.20

Elsewhere in Asia, India installed 3.6 GW to end 2016 with 28.7 GW, firming up its fourth-place position for total capacity.21 India’s record installations were due largely to a rush to take advantage of incentives that were set to decline or expire in early 2017.22 Turkey had a record year, adding nearly 1.4 GW in 2016 to rank again among the top 10 for new capacity, for a total of 6.1 GW.23 Pakistan (0.3 GW), the Republic of Korea and Japan (both around 0.2 GW) also added capacity, helping to push Asia’s total above 203 GW.24 By late 2016, significant additional capacity was under construction in the region, including Indonesia’s first utility-scale wind farm, and Vietnam had just contracted another 940 MW.25


The United States ranked second for additions (8.2 GW), for cumulative capacity at year’s end (82.1 GW) and for wind power generation (226.5 TWh; only 6% below China) during 2016.26 Wind power accounted for one-fourth of newly installed US power generating capacity, ranking third after solar PV and natural gas for gross capacity additions, and second for net additions.27 Texas led for capacity added (2.6 GW), and at year’s end the state was home to one-quarter of US capacity; it was followed by Oklahoma (added 1.5 GW), Iowa (0.7 GW), Kansas and North Dakota.28 Nebraska became the 18th US state to exceed 1 GW of cumulative wind power capacity.29

US utilities continued to invest strongly in wind power, with some going beyond state mandates based on favourable economics.30 The cost-competitiveness of wind power also drove corporate and other purchasers, with a diverse range of new companies entering the market. Non-utilities accounted for 39% of more than 4 GW contracted in 2016, down from 2015 (52%) but up significantly over the previous two years (23% in 2014 and 5% in 2013).31 By the end of 2016, an additional 10.4 GW of wind power capacity was under construction.32


To the north, Canada added 0.7 GW, about half the 2015 level, for a total of 11.9 GW.33 Although growth slowed relative to 2014 and 2015, wind energy has represented Canada’s largest source of new electricity generation for 11 years.34 The province of Ontario continued to lead for cumulative capacity, adding 0.4 GW (for a total of 4.8 GW), followed by Québec (added 0.2 GW for a total of 3.5 GW), while Prince Edward Island had the country’s highest penetration rate (25%).35

The EU installed nearly 12.5 GW of gross capacity (12 GW net, accounting for decommissioning), down 3% from the region’s 2015 record high; additions were up 11% onshore and down almost 50% offshore.36 Total capacity at year’s end reached 153.7 GW (92% onshore and 8% offshore).37 Wind represented the largest percentage of new power capacity in the region (51% of gross additions), followed by solar PV; new fossil fuel power capacity (less than 14% of additions) was far exceeded by retirements.38 By the end of 2016, 16 EU member states had more than 1 GW each.39


However, ongoing economic crises and austerity measures, combined with the transition from regulated prices (under FITs) to tenders has affected growth.40 In response to abrupt and, in some cases, retroactive policy changes, annual installations have contracted significantly in several well-established markets, including Italy and Spain.41 As of early 2017, only seven EU member states had renewable energy targets in place for beyond 2020.42 Consequently, installations were concentrated in a handful of countries: the top five markets in 2016 (Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Poland) accounted for 75% of the region’s newly added capacity.43 Despite ranking among the top five, installations in Poland and the United Kingdom were down significantly relative to 2015.44

Germany again was the largest European market, increasing operating wind power capacity by almost 5 GW for a total of 49.5 GW (45.4 GW onshore and 4.2 GW offshore).45 Germany’s boom was driven largely by the looming shift from guaranteed FITs to competitive auctions for most renewables installations as of January 2017.46 Five other EU countries had a record year for new installations, including France (adding 1.6 GW), the Netherlands (0.9 GW, mostly offshore), Finland (0.6 GW), Ireland (0.4 GW) and Lithuania (0.2 GW).47 Finland and Lithuania both saw their total wind power capacity increase by over 56%, and the Netherlands joined the global top 10 for annual additions for the first time in decades.48 Total EU generation from wind power in 2016 was around 300 TWh, up only slightly over 2015 due to a relatively poor wind year following an unusually strong one.49 Elsewhere in Europe, the Russian Federation ended the year with little capacity but awarded about 700 MW of projects in its first wind power auction in 2016.50


Latin America and the Caribbean was the next largest installer by region. Eight countries added more than 3.5 GW and, by end-2016, the region had over 18.8 GW in at least 16 countries.51 Additions were significantly below 2015, due largely to reductions in Brazil and Mexico.52 Brazil continued to lead the region and to rank among the global top 10, despite the ongoing economic recession and weak electricity demand growth.53 Approximately 2 GW was commissioned for a total exceeding 10.7 GW, although not all was grid-connected by year’s end, due to a lack of transmission lines and to the slow pace of construction.54 Brazil met 5.7% of its electricity demand with wind power in 2016.55 The cancellation of December’s auction made this the first year since 2009 that Brazil did not procure renewable power; as a result, wind equipment manufacturers were seeing idled capacity in early 2017.56

Other countries in the region to add capacity included Chile (0.5 GW), which had a record year; Mexico (0.5 GW), which held its first auction in 2016; Uruguay (0.4 GW); and Peru (0.1 GW).57 Both Chile and Uruguay passed the 1 GW mark for total capacity.58 Argentina brought no capacity online but built up a solid pipeline of more than 1.4 GW over the year in response to tenders.59

The African market was smaller than in 2014 and 2015, with South Africa adding only 0.4 GW for a total approaching 1.5 GW.60 Morocco auctioned 850 MW of wind projects at record-low prices, and construction continued on Kenya’s Lake Turkana project.61 The Lake Turkana project (310 MW) is the single largest private investment in Kenya’s history to date and, upon commissioning in 2017, will represent approximately 15% of the country’s generating capacity and will be Africa’s largest wind farm.62

There was little activity in the Oceania region during the year. Australia added only 140 MW for a total of 4.3 GW.63 In the Middle East, Kuwait was constructing a 10 MW wind farm during 2016, and, in early 2017, Saudi Arabia commissioned its first utility-scale turbine and announced a 400 MW tender.64

Offshore, about 2.2 GW of capacity was connected to grids (and 9 MW decommissioned) in 2016, for a world total approaching 14.4 GW.65 As in previous years, Europe was home to the majority of capacity brought online (1.6 GW; 70% of global additions) and total operating offshore (12.6 GW; almost 88%).66 ( See Figure 28.) Germany (0.9 GW), the Netherlands (0.7 GW) and the United Kingdom (56 MW) were the only European countries to add capacity offshore, although several gigawatts of projects were under construction in European waters at year’s end, driven by rapidly falling costs.67

Figure 28. Wind Power Offshore Global Capacity, by Region, 2006-2016


Source: See endnote 66 for this section.

China accounted for most of the remainder (adding 0.6 GW), driven in part by limited potential for further onshore deployment in the country’s northern and western regions.68 Even so, development is proceeding relatively slowly, and China remains far short of its original target of 5 GW by 2015 (pushed to 2020 in 2016).69 The Republic of Korea and the United States both completed their first commercial offshore wind farms (30 MW each), and Japan connected a single (7 MW) floating turbine.70 The US offshore industry has advanced relatively slowly for several reasons, including a complex regulatory environment and higher relative costs; however, as of late 2016, several gigawatts of additional capacity were in various stages of development.71

In terms of total offshore capacity, the United Kingdom maintained its lead, with almost 5.2 GW at year’s end, followed by Germany (4.15 GW), China (1.9 GW), which overtook Denmark (1.3 GW), and the Netherlands (1.1 GW), which passed Belgium (0.7 GW).72

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 increased in other sectors.73 Corporations continued to purchase wind power from utilities, signing PPAs or buying their own turbines to power operations to obtain access to reliable low-cost power.74 By end-2016, US cumulative corporate PPA capacity exceeded 5.6 GW, and Europe’s had reached 1 GW.75 Sweden and Norway, for example, have seen a surge in demand for wind generation from insurance companies and large corporations.76

Community and citizen ownership of wind generation also expanded during 2016, but only slowly.77 Spain’s first community-owned wind project was under development; a project was completed in Australia; and Ontario (Canada’s) first community-owned project achieved commercial operation.78 Japan had an estimated 37 MW of communityi wind power capacity at end-2016.79 However, there is concern that policy changes – particularly transitions from FITs to tenders – are slowing the pace of development.80

Policies also have affected the market for small-scaleii turbines, which are used for a variety of applications, including defence, rural electrification, water pumping, battery charging and telecommunications, and increasingly to displace diesel in remote locations.81 The global market grew 5-7% in 2015 (the latest data available), and total capacity was up an estimated 12-15%.82 By year’s end, more than 995,000iii small-scale turbines, or over 935 MW, were operating worldwide (up from 830 MW at end-2014).83

While most countries have some small-scale turbines in use, the majority of units and capacity operating at the end of 2015 was in China (415 MW), the United States (230 MW) and the United Kingdom.84 Other leaders included Italy (59 MW) and Germany (26 MW), with Italy seeing a significant increase in 2016.85 In response to obstacles such as policy changes and competition with solar PV, the top markets have contracted in recent years.86 China has seen a steady decline since its 2009-2011 high, the UK market was down significantly in 2015, and the US market increased slightly in 2015 but was down substantially relative to 2013.87 However, other markets such as Japan are starting to emerge.88

Repowering has become a billion-dollar market, particularly in Europe.89 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 (including software improvements).90 During 2016, at least 721 turbines (totalling around 533 MW) were decommissioned, representing a significant increase in numbers and capacity over 2015.91 Germany dismantled 242 turbines (262 MW), followed by Denmark, the United States, Finland, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and Japan.92 In the United States, the extension of federal tax credits has incentivised repowering (and retrofitting) of existing assets, which enables owners to quality for another decade of credits.93

Wind power is playing a greater role in power supply in a growing number of countries. In 2016, wind energy covered an estimated 10.4% of EU demand and equal or higher shares in at least 11 EU member states, as well as in Uruguay and Costa Rica.94 ( See Figure 29.) At least 24 countries around the world met 5% or more of their annual electricity demand with wind power.95 In the United States, utility-scale wind power represented over 5.5% of total electricity generation and accounted for more than 15% of generation in nine states, including Iowa (36.6%).96 Two German states had enough wind capacity at year’s end to meet over 86% of their electricity needs, and four had enough capacity to meet over 60% of their needs.97 Globally, wind power capacity in place by the end of 2016 was enough to meet an estimated 4% of total electricity consumption.98

Figure 29. Share of Electricity Demand Met by Wind Power, Selected Countries with over 10% and EU-28, 2016


Source: See endnote 94 for this section.

Wind Power Industry

The year saw several developments that could have significant implications (positive and negative) for the wind power industry in future years, including ratification of the Paris Agreement, the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the EU, elections in key wind power markets and additional large energy companies entering the sector.99 It was a good year for top turbine manufacturers, with several seeing their orders and revenue up over 2015.100 Driven largely by competition with low-cost natural gas capacity and increasingly with solar PV, companies continued innovating in order to reduce prices and improve yields.101

Energy costs vary widely according to wind resource, regulatory and fiscal framework, the cost of capital and other local influences.102 In 2016, the LCOE of wind energy continued to fall as know-how about siting and maintenance advanced, turbine production became more standardised, and turbine size, efficiency and capacity factors increased further.103 There were record low bids in tenders in Chile, India, Mexico and Morocco, and prices fell rapidly in some offshore tenders in Europe (see below).104 Onshore wind was the most cost-effective option for new grid-based power during 2016 in many markets, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, and parts of Australia, China, Europe and the United States.105

Even so, challenges remain, with wind power still vulnerable to policy changes or measures to protect fossil fuels in some countries.106 In addition, 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, lack of public acceptance, and curtailment where regulations and current management systems make it difficult to integrate large amounts of variable renewables.107 ( See Feature chapter.) Curtailment in China cost the country’s industry significant revenue in 2016.108

Most wind turbine manufacturing takes place in China, the EU, India and the United States, and the majority is concentrated among relatively few players.109 In 2016, Vestas (Denmark) retook its lead from Goldwind (China), due largely to its strong year in the US market.110 GE (United States) rose one step to take second place, followed closely by Goldwind (down two), with Gamesa (Spain; up one) and Enercon (Germany; up one) rounding out the top five.111 Others in the top 10 were Siemens and Nordex Acciona (both Germany), followed by United Power, Envision and Mingyang (all China).112 ( See Figure 30.) Goldwind and other top Chinese companies lost ground due mainly to their heavy reliance on the domestic market.113 Vestas was the most globalised supplier in 2016, with installations in 34 countries.114

Figure 30. Market Shares of Top 10 Wind Turbine Manufacturers, 2016


Source: FTI Consulting.See endnote 112 for this section.

Note: Total exceeds 100% due to rounding.

The world’s top 10 turbine manufacturers captured 75% of the 2016 market.115 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 and North Africa, to be closer to new markets.116

In response to increasing demand for wind power technologies and projects, turbine suppliers and project developers expanded or opened new factories and offices around the world. In the United States, at least seven companies enlarged existing manufacturing plants.117 To support the European offshore industry, Siemens opened a new blade plant in England and broke ground on a nacelle factory in Germany.118 The company also finalised an agreement to build a rotor blade manufacturing factory in Morocco.119 Senvion (Germany) opened regional subsidiaries in Japan and India; Innogy (RWE; Germany) moved into Ireland to build an onshore portfolio, and DONG (Denmark) opened an office in Chinese Taipei to develop offshore projects.120

Companies expanded their scale and reach through some important mergers and acquisitions, and consolidation continued across the value chain.121 Nordex completed its acquisition of Acciona Windpower, which was well-positioned in emerging markets, to form a new major player.122 In June, the merger between Siemens and Gamesa was confirmed (and cleared by the EU in early 2017), creating the world’s largest wind power company in terms of capacity in operation.123 Later in the year, Siemens-Gamesa announced plans to purchase French nuclear firm Areva’s share of Adwen (Germany), a player in the offshore industry.124 To gain assets upstream, GE acquired LM Wind Power (Denmark), a blade manufacturer that has supplied blades to most of the world’s top turbine manufacturers; Senvion acquired blade manufacturer Euros Group (Germany); Nordex purchased SSP Technology (Germany), a developer and manufacturer of rotor blade moulds; and Vestas acquired Availon (Germany) to expand its service business.125 Several state-owned Chinese companies acquired assets around the world, and Electricité de France (EDF) became the first European wind operator to enter the Chinese market when it acquired UPC Asia Wind Management.126


The wind industry also showed growing interest in hybrid installations, particularly with solar PV. By the end of 2016, four of the world’s top turbine companies – GE, Gamesa, Goldwind and Mingyang – had entered the solar industry.127 Some companies were developing locally integrated solar PV-wind hybrid projects during the year, and Suzlon (India) and Gamesa both announced plans to increase their focus on wind-solar hybrids, which can strengthen a plant’s generation profile and enable sharing of resources for construction and maintenance.128 Hybrid projects that include storage technologies also are being developed.129 Early in 2016, Gamesa unveiled a hybrid solar-wind-diesel system with energy storage for the off-grid sector.130

At the same time, non-wind companies are moving (back) further into the wind power sector. During 2016, Shell (Netherlands), Statoil (Norway) and Keystone (United States) leveraged their expertise in offshore oil into offshore wind energy development; Swedish utility Vattenfall, which started with coal, had more offshore wind power capacity than coal-fired power capacity by year’s end; and DONG Energy announced that it was selling its core oil and gas business to focus on offshore wind power.131 In addition, China General Nuclear Power acquired 14 Irish wind farms from Gaelectric, and Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom entered the wind energy market with plans to develop a 610 MW project pipeline.132

Wind energy technology continued to evolve, driven by mounting global competition; by the need to improve the ease and cost of turbine manufacturing and transportation; by the need to optimise power generation at lower wind speeds; and increasingly by demanding grid codes to deal with rising penetration of variable renewable sources.133

The industry refined materials and design, as well as O&M regimes – particularly for blade tips, which undergo much wear and tear. To reduce logistical challenges and costs of transport, and to increase use of local labour, innovations have included two-part blades, nesting towers and portable concrete manufacturing facilities for tower construction.134 Siemens unveiled a low-noise blade add-on, inspired by the silent flight of owls, and Vestas began testing its four-rotor concept turbine, which aims to reduce transportation requirements and to minimise structural costs.135


Digitalisation continued in an effort to provide better quality of and access to data for siting and design, performance management, and trading and balancing of output.136 GE introduced new software applications for its digital ecosystem, released in 2015; other major manufacturers, including Vestas and Envision, launched advanced data analytics packages; and Goldwind introduced a 3 MW platform with smart turbine controls.137

To boost output, the general trend continued towards larger machines – including longer blades, higher hub heights and, in particular, larger rotor sizes.138 Such changes have driven capacity factors significantly higher within given wind resource regimes, creating further opportunities in established markets as well as new ones.139 For example, average capacity factors for all operational wind farms in Brazil increased from 38.8% in 2015 to over 40.9% in 2016, as new projects with better technology came online.140

Manufacturers raced to launch larger turbines during 2016, with new machines released or announced by several companies, including Enercon, GE, Nordex and Senvion for onshore, and Siemens and MHI Vestas for offshore.141 Increasingly, large manufacturers are developing new turbine options based on tested and well-proven existing platforms, which enables them to more easily develop turbines for specific markets while also minimising costs.142

Not surprisingly, capacity ratings also climbed in 2016: the average size turbine delivered to market was up 6.4% over 2015, to 2.16 MW.143 By region, average turbine sizes were highest in the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States (2.8 MW), due to the installation of several 3.3 MW machines, followed by Europe (2.7 MW), Latin America (2.3 MW), North America (2.2 MW), and Africa and Oceania (both below 2 MW).144 Turbines in the 2-2.5 MW size range accounted for nearly two-thirds of global supply in 2016.145

Offshore, the need to reduce costs through scale and standardisation has driven up sizes of turbines as well as of projects.146 In Europe, the average capacity of new turbines under construction offshore was 4.8 MW, up 15% relative to 2015 and 62% larger than a decade ago; the average size of turbines ordered in the second half of 2016 was 7.7 MW.147 Vestas, Siemens, GE and Adwen all had 8 MW turbines on the market or nearly commercialised by year’s end, and the first 8 MW turbines to be installed offshore were grid-connected in 2016.148 In early 2017, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind unveiled an up-rated version of its 8 MW turbine that can achieve a rated power of 9 MW; the turbine’s swept area is larger than the London Eye ferris wheel.149


The offshore wind industry differs technologically and logistically from onshore wind.150 Siemens was the leading offshore turbine supplier in 2016, accounting for nearly 67% of added capacity, followed by Shanghai Electric Wind Power Equipment, or Sewind (China; 24.6%); considering all capacity operating globally by year-end, Siemens and MHI Vestas combined had supplied nearly three-fourths of the total.151 DONG Energy (Denmark) was the largest owner, accounting for more than 16% of cumulative offshore installations in Europe, followed by Vattenfall, E.ON and Innogy.152 During the year, GE moved into the offshore marketplace, and European developers, including DONG, were positioning to play a role offshore in the United States.153

The offshore industry continued to move farther out and into deeper waters, and the average size of projects under construction continued to rise.154 Substructures are evolving to help reduce project costs and logistical challenges. Although the majority of turbines installed off Europe in 2016 continued to stand on monopiles (88%), followed by jackets (12%), a wide array of foundations is in demonstration and development.155 Siemens, for example, is developing a hybrid gravity-jacket concept.156 The industry also continued to develop floating turbines (anchored by mooring systems), adapted from deep water oil and gas drilling rigs.157 In 2016, Japan added a turbine to its demonstration project off the coast of Fukushima, making it the largest floating project to date, and France awarded tenders for pilot plants.158 A commercial project using Statoil’s Hywind design off the Scottish coast was under development during the year, and, in early 2017, projects using floating turbines were announced or granted consent in Ireland, Japan and Scotland.159

Other significant advances in 2016 included the installation of DONG Energy’s advanced BEACon radar system, developed by SmartWind Technologies (United States), which provides minute-by-minute three-dimensional data of wind as it flows through a wind farm or stretch of sea. The radar can provide valuable insights to inform the siting, design and operation of future offshore projects.160 In addition, Siemens launched a customised transport vessel that allows for rolling nacelles on and off deck, avoiding the need for crane operations.161

The economics of offshore wind power have improved far faster than experts expected, driven down rapidly by a combination of economies of scale achieved by larger turbines and large projects; increased competition among developers; increased experience, which reduces operating costs; technical improvements with turbines, installation processes, grid connection, and maintenance strategies and logistics; and lower cost of capital due to reduced perception of risk in financial markets.162

In June 2016, nine European countries agreed to co-operate on offshore wind power through joint tenders. The same day, 11 companies signed an open letter calling for a stable legal framework and aiming to produce offshore wind power more cheaply than coal within the decade: for less than EUR 80 per MWh (USD 84 per MWh as of end-2016) per project by 2025.163 The industry moved closer to these targets during the year, and tenders in late 2016 brought record low bids for projects off the Danish and Dutch coasts: between EUR 50 per MWh and EUR 72 per MWh GBP 100 per MWh (USD 123 per MWh), excluding grid-connection costs.164 By one estimate, the industry achieved a 2012 UK government goal – to reduce the offshore LCOE by one-third, to GBP 100 per MWh (USD 123 per MWh) by 2020 – four years ahead of schedule. 165

Small-scale wind turbine costs also are trending downwards, while capacity factors are rising.166 To increase the competitiveness of small-scale wind, several leading US companies have begun offering long-term leases to build on the success of third-party financing for solar PV.167 In 2016, Statoil and United Wind (United States) announced a joint venture, securing Statoil’s entry into the US small-scale and distributed wind market; and Northern Power Systems announced that it was partnering with LFC Capital (both United States) to offer a lease programme.168 Other companies are building, owning and operating on-site turbines and selling power through PPAs.169

China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States account for a large portion of small-scale turbine manufacturers; aside from China, developing countries still play a minor role.170 Even so, the number of producers in China and the United States has declined significantly in recent years.171 Endurance Wind Power (Canada) filed for bankruptcy in 2016, after UK FIT cuts reduced demand in the company’s primary market.172 US manufacturers continued to rely heavily on export markets; US exports doubled (to 21.5 MW) from 2014 to 2015 (latest available data) and accounted for 83% of sales (up from 29% in 2010).173 Chinese manufacturers also rely on international markets, mainly developed countries, for larger machines (e.g., 20-30 kW).174

See Sidebar 2 and Table 2 on the following pages for a summary of the main renewable energy technologies and their characteristics and costs.175

Table 2. Status of Renewable Energy Technologies: Costs and Capacity Factors


Source: See endnote 175 of Wind Power section in this chapter.

Table 2. Status of Renewable Energy Technologies: Costs and Capacity Factors (continued)


Source: See endnote 175 of Wind Power section in this chapter.

* All projects indicate the same capacity factor.

Note: All monetary values are expressed in USD2016. LCOE is computed using a weighted average cost of capital of 7.5% for OECD countries and China and 10% for the rest of the world. For recent cost and characteristics data for heating and cooling, biofuels and distributed renewable energy technologies, see Table 2 in GSR 2015. The costs and analysis exclude subsidies and/or taxes. Regional groupings for this table only are defined in IRENA, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014 (Abu Dhabi: 2015),

i Defined as having at least two of the following three criteria: a project is mostly, if not fully, locally owned; a community-based organisation controls voting; and the majority of social and economic benefits are distributed locally.

ii 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 2017 (Bonn: 2017), Summary, ii

iii Total number of units does not include some major markets, including India, for which data were not available. Taking this into account, more than 1 million units are estimated to be operating worldwide, from WWEA, Small Wind World Report 2017. iii


Biomass Energy
  1. International Energy Agency (IEA), Bioenergy How2Guide (Paris: 2017),
  2. Ibid.2
  3. For a description of the various bioenergy options and their maturity, see, for example, IEA, Energy Technology Perspectives 2017 (Paris: 2017); for advanced biofuels, see International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Innovation Outlook, Advanced Biofuels (Abu Dhabi: 2016),
  4. IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016 (Paris: 2016),
  5. European Commission, Final Report from Special Group on Advanced Biofuels: Building Up the Future (Brussels: forthcoming 2017).5
  6. IEA, Renewables Information (Paris: 2016),
  7. Projections for 2015 and 2016 are from a linear extrapolation based on data for 2010-14 from IEA, World Energy Outlook 2016 (Paris: 2016),
  8. Ibid.8
  9. Ibid.9
  10. Figure 7 based on the following sources: Total 2015 final energy consumption (estimated at 363.5 EJ) is based on 359.9 EJ for 2014 from IEA, World Energy Statistics and Balances, 2016 edition (Paris: 2016) and escalated by the 0.97% increase in global primary energy demand from 2014 to 2015, derived from BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 (London: 2016), Traditional biomass use in 2015 of 799 Mtoe assumes an increase of 23 Mtoe from 2014 based on 2014 value of 776 Mtoe from IEA, op. cit. note 7, p. 412; 2013 value of 753 Mtoe from IEA, World Energy Outlook 2015 (Paris: 2015), p. 361. Modern bio-heat energy values for 2014 (industrial, residential and other uses, including heat from heat plants of 13.6 EJ) from IEA, op. cit. note 4, p. 218. with 67% assigned to industrial uses (p. 226). Bio-power generation of 1.59 EJ based on 476,251 GWh of generation from IEA, idem, and converted assuming average losses of 7%.
  11. 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., IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (Cambridge, UK and New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 216-17) 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.
  12. IEA, World Energy Statistics and Balances, op. cit. note 10.11
  13. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), “Forest Products Statistics”,, viewed 7 March 2017. Conversion assumes density of 450 kilograms per m3 (dry weight) and calorific value of 18 GJ per dry tonne, from FAO, FAO Forest Handbook (Rome: 2015).12
  14. Ibid.13
  15. FAO data on charcoal production for 2015 show a slight decrease compared with 2014 (52.1 million tonnes compared with 52.4 million tonnes for 2014). Given recent trends, estimated production remained close to 52 million tonnes in 2016. FAO, “Forestry production and trade”, FAOSTAT database,, viewed 31 March 2017.14
  16. Total modern biomass use in 2016 is based on an IEA estimate of total direct supply of modern bioenergy heat in 2014 of 12.8 EJ. In addition, 0.8 EJ of renewable heat was provided via commercial heat supply (e.g., district heating, most of which is supplied by biomass); two-thirds of the heat supplied by biomass is for industrial use, per IEA, op. cit. note 4, pp. 218, 226. Growth in heat from biomass has slowed to around 1% per year in recent years; assuming continuing growth, at this rate production is estimated at 13.7 EJ in 2015 and 13.9 EJ in 2016.15
  17. Estimate assumes the same percent increase in capacity between 2014 and 2016 as for modern heat generation (2%) (See endnote 16), applied to the biomass heat capacity data in 2014 from GSR 2015.16
  18. Based on analysis of data for contribution of wastes and biomass to industrial final energy contribution from 2009 to 2014 in IEA, World Energy Outlook (Paris: 2011-2016 editions), Annex A “World New Policy Scenario”.17
  19. IEA, Energy Technology Perspectives 2016 (Paris: 2016), Note that a range of biomass and waste fuels is used in processes like cement manufacture. Some of these materials are of biogenic origin, but other materials originating from fossil sources are also used and should not be included in estimates of renewable fuel use.18
  20. IEA, op. cit. note 4.19
  21. Ibid.20
  22. Based on analysis of data for bioenergy use in industry sector in IEA, op. cit. note 18.21
  23. Val Stori, Clean Energy Group, Montpelier, VT, personal communication with Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), 17 March 2017.22
  24. 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.23
  25. Based on data in IEA, op. cit. note 4, and in EurObserv’ER, Solid Biomass Barometer 2016 (Brussels: 2016),
  26. Katie Fletcher, “Baltic boom”, Biomass Magazine, 22 January 2016,
  27. John Bingham, “The Global Outlook for Wood Pellet Markets”, presentation at WPAC Annual Conference, Harrison Hot Springs, BC, Canada, 20 September 2016,; Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Global Pellet Outlook 2017 (Revelstoke, BC: 2017),
  28. Bingham, op. cit. note 27; Wood Pellet Association of Canada, op. cit. note 27.27
  29. European Commission, Intelligent Energy Europe Projects Database, “Development of sustainable heat markets for biogas plants in Europe (BIOGASHEAT)”,, viewed 13 May 2016.28
  30. Gaurav Kedia, Chief Executive, Biogas India, personal communication with REN21, 26 January 2017.29
  31. Bio-power capacity data based on 2016 forecast data in IEA, op. cit. note 4, except for the following: United States from US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Office of Energy Projects, “Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2016” (Washington, DC: 2016),; Germany from German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland, unter Verwendung von Daten der Arbeitsgruppe Erneuerbare Energien-Statistik (AGEE-Stat) (Dessau-Roßlau, Germany: February 2017), Table 4,; United Kingdom from UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, Energy Trends Section 6: Renewables, Table 6.1, updated 3 April 2017,; Japan from Hironao Matsubara, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, Tokyo, Japan, personal communication with REN 21, 13 April 2017; Brazil from Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE), Brazilian Energy Balance 2016 (Rio de Janeiro: 2016), and from Ministério de Minas e Energia (MME), Anuário Estatistico 2016 (Rio de Janeiro: EPE, 2016); India from Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), “Physical progress (achievements) for 2015 and 2016”,, viewed 19 January 2017.30
  32. Bio-power capacity and generation do not always grow proportionately. If new capacity is added late in the year, it does not fully contribute to that year’s generation, so capacity can grow faster than generation in that year. In the following year, then, generation growth can exceed that for capacity. By contrast, when growth in generation is due to co-firing of biomass (usually with coal), the co-firing capacity often is not recorded and the capacity data relate only to dedicated generation. In that case, generation may rise much faster than reported capacity. Biopower generation statistics are based on 2016 forecast data from IEA, op. cit. note 4, except for the following: US data (corrected for difference between net and gross electricity generation) from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly, 24 March 2017,; Germany from BMWi, Development of Renewable Energy Sources in Germany 2016 (Bonn: 2016),; United Kingdom from UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, op. cit. note 31. Data for 2016 are still subject to revision; Japan from Matsubara, op. cit. note 31; Brazil from EPE, op. cit. note 31, and from MME, op. cit. note 31.31
  33. Figure B8 based on IEA data for 2005-2013 from IEA, op. cit. note 4, and on REN21 analysis of generation for 2013, 2014 and 2015, from REN 21, Renewables Global Status Report (Paris: 2014-2016 editions). Data for 2015 may be changed to account for updated data when these replace preliminary or provisional data.32
  34. US data from EIA, op. cit. note 32, corrected for difference between net and gross electricity generation.33
  35. US capacity data based on FERC, op. cit. note 31. However, note that EIA (EIA, Electric Power Monthly, February 2017, Table 6.1) shows a net reduction in US bio-power capacity for 2016, with a year-end total of 14.1 GW. The FERC number has been used for consistency with previous editions of the GSR.34
  36. European Commission, “Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC” (Brussels: 2009),
  37. BMWi, op. cit. note 31, Tables 3 and 4.36
  38. UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, op. cit. note 31; data for 2016 are still subject to revision, notably for combustible bioenergy sources such as landfill gas. Anaerobic digestion in the UK saw strong growth in 2016: 85 new anaerobic digestion plants became operational (taking the total to over 400, which excludes traditional water treatment facilities), and 50 new plants began development. National Non Food Crops Centre (NNFCC), Anaerobic Digestion Deployment in the UK (York: April 2017),
  39. IEA, op. cit. note 4.38
  40. Ibid. The current five-year plan has a target of achieving 15 GW by 2020, a reduction of the earlier objective of 30 GW, which exceeded what is likely to be achieved.39
  41. Ibid. Note that MSW contains both biogenic wastes and wastes derived from other sources. It is useful to distinguish between these to estimate the renewable fraction. A convention of taking 50% as the renewable fraction is often used, but it is frequently difficult to establish whether this distinction has been made in the statistics.40
  42. Matsubara, op. cit. note 31. Capacity figure does not include co-firing capacity. Bio-power expansion is fuelled mainly by forestry products including imported chips and pellets and palm kernel shells. The domestic supply chain of chips from forestry is so far limited and high-cost.41
  43. IEA, op. cit. note 4.42
  44. Government of India, MNRE, op. cit. note 31.43
  45. Brazil from EPE, op. cit. note 31, and from MME, op. cit. note 31.44
  46. Ibid.45
  47. Ibid.46
  48. Fuel ethanol data from F.O. Licht, “Fuel Ethanol: World Production by Country”, 2017. Where provisional data have been replaced in the source, these have been used.47
  49. Based on analysis of data in F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 48, and in F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, 2017. With permission from F.O. Licht/Licht Interactive Data.48
  50. >Figure 9 from F.O. Licht, op. cit. notes 48 and 49.
  51. Ibid. Preliminary data for 2015 updated when necessary.50
  52. F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 48. Preliminary data for 2015 updated when necessary.51
  53. Ibid.52
  54. EIA, Monthly Energy Review, April 2017, Table 10.3,
  55. Fuel ethanol data from F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 48. Preliminary data for 2015 updated when necessary.54
  56. Ibid.55
  57. Ibid.56
  58. IEA Bioenergy Task 39, The Potential of Biofuels in China (Paris: 2016),
  59. “China unveils plan to beef up ethanol production by 2020”, Biofuels International, 6 December 2016,
  60. Fuel ethanol data from F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 48. Preliminary data for 2015 updated when necessary.59
  61. Ibid.60
  62. Fuel ethanol data from F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 48. Preliminary data for 2015 updated when necessary.61
  63. F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, op. cit. note 49. Preliminary 2015 data that appeared in GSR 2015 have been updated where necessary.62
  64. Ibid.63
  65. Ibid.64
  66. Ibid.65
  67. Ibid.66
  68. IEA, op. cit. note 4.67
  69. F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, op. cit. note 49.68
  70. US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN), Argentina Biofuels Annual 2016 (Washington, DC: 21 July 2016),; F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, op. cit. note 49.69
  71. F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, op. cit. note 49.70
  72. Ibid.71
  73. German data from BMWI, op. cit. note 31, p. 9; other data from F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, op. cit. note 49. Note that F.O. Licht estimates German biodiesel production at 3.0 billion litres. Preliminary 2015 data that appeared in GSR 2015 have been updated where necessary.72
  74. Meghan Sapp, “New rules to ensure Indonesia achieves 20% blending target”, Biofuels Digest, 25 October 2016,; F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, op. cit. note 49.73
  75. F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, op. cit. note 49; USDA, FAS, GAIN, China Biofuels Annual (Washington, DC: 7 February 2017),
  76. F.O. Licht, “Biodiesel: World Production, by Country”, op. cit. note 49.75
  77. Ibid.76
  78. Based on data in US Environmental Protection Agency, “RIN Generation and Renewable Fuel Volume Production by Fuel Type from January 2017”,, posted February 2017.77
  79. Ibid.78
  80. Detailed 2014 results for Germany and Sweden, with data extrapolated from 2014 to 2016, from European Commission, Eurostat, SHARES database,
  81. “Dong Energy makes Studstrup plant run on wood pellets instead of coal”, Bioenergy Insight, 13 October 2016,
  82. Drax, “Drax given green light to complete biomass upgrade, saving 12 million tonnes of carbon every year”, press release (Selby, North Yorkshire, UK: 19 December 2016), Among many other examples, in Vienna the power plants consume around 190,000 tonnes of biomass, from Wien Energie, “Simmering biomass power plant”,, viewed 1 May 2017.81
  83. William Strauss, Future Metrics, “Industrial Wood Pellets in Japan: Market Drivers and Potential Demand”, presentation at Sixth International Pellet Exporting Conference, Miami, FL, 6-8 November 2017,; “Japan prepares for biomass power plant surge and increases imports of wood chips”, Bioenergy Insights, 27 February 2017,
  84. Wood Pellet Association of Canada, op. cit. note 27.83
  85. Ibid.84
  86. Ibid.85
  87. EIA, “Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report”,, viewed 28 April 2017.86
  88. Wood Pellet Association of Canada, op. cit. note 27.87
  89. Wood Pellet Association of Canada, “Prospects for 2017”,, viewed 1 May 2017.88
  90. Fletcher, op. cit. note 26.89
  91. Drax Biomass, “About us”,, viewed 1 May 2017.90
  92. “Pellet Plants – Operational”, Biomass Magazine,, updated 26 January 2017.91
  93. Fletcher, op. cit. note 26.92
  94. Duncan Brack, The Impacts of the Demand for Woody Biomass for Power and Heat on Climate and Forests (London: Chatham House, 23 February 2017),; IEA Bioenergy, “IEA Bioenergy response to Chatham House report ‘Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Impacts on the Global Climate’”, 13 March 2017,
  95. European Commission, “Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources” (Brussels: 30 November 2016),
  96. OFGEM, “Biomass sustainability”,, viewed 1 May 2017; Stine Leth Rasmussen, Danish Energy Association, “The Danish Industry Agreement for Sustainable Biomass”, undated presentation,
  97. IEA Bioenergy Task 32 and Task 40, “Torrefaction”, joint webinar, 26 October 2016,; IEA Bioenergy Task 32, Status Overview of Torrefaction Technologies, 2015 (Paris: 2015),; IEA Bioenergy Task 40, Possible Effects of Torrefaction on Biomass Trade (Paris: 2016),
  98. “Bioenergy torrefaction: rich rewards”, Bioenergy Insights, September/October 2016, p. 26,; see also Airex website,
  99. Scandinavian Biopower Oy, “Scandinavian Biopower to invest in a biocoal plant in Mikkeli Finland – construction works to start late 2017”, press release (Mikkeli, Finland: 29 November 2016),
  100. “U.S. ethanol plants”, Ethanol Producer Magazine, updated 23 January 2016,; Brazil from Connectas, “The ethanol Czars”, undated,
  101. See, for example: “Shell and Cosan beef up sugarcane ethanol JV in Brazil”, Biofuels International, 23 November 2016,; Honeywell UOP, “Renewable fuels”,; UPM Biofuels website,; Neste Oil, “Neste Renewable Diesel”,
  102. EIA, “Petroleum and other liquids, fuel exports by destination, fuel ethanol”,, viewed 14 March 2017.101
  103. “US ethanol exports to china poised to collapse with 30% tariff”, Biofuels News, 1 February 2017,
  104. EIA, “Monthly biodiesel production report”, December 2016,
  105. USDA, FAS, GAIN, op. cit. note 70.104
  106. IRENA, Bioethanol in Africa: The Case for Technology Transfer and South-South Cooperation (Abu Dhabi: 2016),
  107. The measures include a USD 246 million Green Fund to support the development of projects, supported by the World Bank, the UK’s Department for International Development and UN Environment, to help the country meet international emissions reductions commitments, as well as a call for international strategic investors. Meghan Sapp, “Nigeria all in for biofuel future”, Biofuels Digest, 18 October 2017,; Meghan Sapp, “Nigeria announces $246 million in Green Bonds for 19 projects including jatropha biofuels”, Biofuels Digest, 16 November 2016,; Meghan Sapp, “Nigeria Issues call for strategic biofuels investors to implement projects”, Biofuels Digest, 6 April 2016,
  108. Meghan Sapp, “Nigeria’s Cross River to get $2.5 million cassava ethanol plant”, Biofuels Digest, 26 May 2016,; “NNPC planning a $300m ethanol plant in Nigeria”, Biofuels International 21 July 2016,; Meghan Sapp, “Union Dicon Salt agrees with Delta State to develop 10,000 hectares of cassava and processing”, Biofuels Digest, 7 September 2016, 107
  109. Lydia Heida, “Biofuels Nigeria signs deal for 16.5 million biodiesel plant in Kogi State”, Biofuels Digest,
  110. Meghan Sapp, “US and China team to invest $62.5 million in South African sweet sorghum project”, Biofuels Digest, 11 May 2016,; Blume Distillation LLC, “Ethala Biofuels Joint-Development Agreement in Durban, South Africa”, press release (Johannesburg: 2 December 2015),
  111. For a fuller rationale see, for example, IRENA, op. cit. note 3. Figure 10 based on various publications on bioenergy, on IRENA, op. cit. note 3, and on IEA, op. cit. note 3.110
  112. See, for example, the description of a range of advanced biofuels value chains at European Biofuels Technology Platform, “The EIBI Value Chains”,, viewed 1 May 2017.111
  113. See New Zealand Institute of Chemistry, “Tall oil production and processing”,, viewed 1 May 2017.112
  114. American Institute of Chemical Engineering, “Is Finland’s Neste the world’s first 21st century oil company?” 2 February 2016,
  115. Renewable Energy Group, “REG announces several milestones”, 2 March 2017,
  116. Beta Renewables, “Projects: Alpha”,, viewed 14 March 2017.115
  117. North European Oil Trade, “Current projects”,, viewed 1 May 2017.116
  118. DuPont, “DuPont and New Tianlong Industry Co., Ltd. sign historic deal to bring cellulosic ethanol technology to China”, press release (Changchu, China: 16 July 2015),
  119. PTI, “India gets its first 2G Ethanol plant in Uttarakhand”, Economic Times, 22 April 2016,
  120. Meghan Sapp, “MOUs for five second generation ethanol plants in India signed”, Biofuels Digest, 7 December 2016,
  121. Jim Lane, “Sugar, sugar: Toray, Mitsui set out to build monster cellulosic sugar plant in Asia”, Biofuels Digest, 16 January 2016,
  122. Enerkem, “Enerkem Alberta biofuels”,, viewed 1 May 2017.121
  123. European Commission, op. cit. note 5.122
  124. IRENA, Biofuels for Aviation: Technology Brief (Abu Dhabi: 2017),
  125. The two new pathways are Alcohol to Jet based on isobutanol (ATJ), and Alcohol to Jet Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (ATJ-SPK), which is created from isobutanol derived from renewable feedstocks such as sugar, maize and forest wastes. The other fuels are: Synthesised Iso-parafins (SIP) which are produced by converting sugars into jet fuel, Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (HEFA-SPK), which use fats, oils and greases, and Fischer-Tropsch Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (FT-SPK) and Fischer-Tropsch Synthetic Kerosene with Aromatics (FT-SKA). Both fuels use various sources of renewable biomass such as MSW, agricultural and forestry wastes, wood and energy crops.124
  126. IRENA, op. cit. note 124; Chelsea Harvey, “United Airlines is flying on biofuels. Here’s why that’s a really big idea”, Washington Post, 11 March 2016,
  127. SkyNRG, “Sky Green Fund and Swedavia enable sustainable aviation fuel flights from Stockholm Arlanda Airport”, press release (Stockholm: 3 January 2017),
  128. Advanced Biofuel USA, “US Air Force to produce biofuels for US DoD applications”, 2 September 2016,; US Navy, “Great Green Fleet”,, viewed 1 May 2017.127
  129. The initiative involves a joint venture between Good Fuels Marine NRG and ship manufacturers Boskalis and Wärtsilä (Finland). GoodFuels, “Boskalis on Bio: Sustainable Marine Biofuel Initiative”,
  130. European Biofuels Technology Platform, “Use of biofuels in shipping”,, viewed 1 May 2017.129
  131. Jim Lane, “Ocean going vessels going green”, Biofuels Digest, 22 November 2016,
  132. Mattias Svensson, Country Report Sweden (Berlin: IEA Bioenergy Task 37, 2015),; Clare T. Lukehurst, UK Country Report (Berlin: IEA Bioenergy Task 37, 2015),
  133. Analysis based on data in IEA, op. cit. note 12.132
  134. “BP buys Clean Energy Fuels’ biomethane arm”, Bioenergy Insight, 2 March 2017,
  135. “Suez buys share in biogas business”, ENDS Waste and Bioenergy, 27 September 2017,
  136. Xergi, “Xergi among Danish Gazelle companies”, 14 December 2016,
  137. Kedia, op. cit. note 30.136
  138. “Green & Smart brings its first wholly-owned Malaysian biopower plant online”, Bioenergy Insight, 19 December 2017,; see also Green & Smart, “Green & Smart raises £4mln in AIM listing to build palm oil biogas plants in Malaysia”, 12 May 2016,
  139. “New energy-from-waste plant launched in South Africa”, Bioenergy Insight, 26 January 2017,
  140. “First African grid connected biogas powered electricity plant comes on line in Kenya”, Bioenergy Insight, 11 January 2017,
Geothermal Power and Heat
  1. End-2015 capacity data for Iceland, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand from IEA Geothermal, op. cit. note 1; Italy from Di Pardo, op. cit. note 1, and from GSE, op. cit. note 1; end-2015 capacity data for other countries from inventory of existing and installed capacity in 2015 from GEA, op. cit. note 1; capacity additions in 2016 by country from sources noted elsewhere in this section.1
  2. Capacity additions in 2016 by country from sources noted elsewhere in this section. Figure 11 based on end-2015 capacity data for Iceland, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand from IEA Geothermal, op. cit. note 1; Italy from Di Pardo, op. cit. note 1, and from GSE, op. cit. note 1; end-2015 capacity data for other countries from inventory of existing and installed capacity in 2015 from GEA, op. cit. note 1; capacity additions in 2016 by country from sources noted elsewhere in this section.2
  3. End-2015 capacity data for Iceland, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand from IEA Geothermal, op. cit. note 1; Italy from Di Pardo, op. cit. note 1, and from GSE, op. cit. note 1; end-2015 capacity data for other countries from inventory of existing and installed capacity in 2015 from GEA, op. cit. note 1; capacity additions in 2016 by country from sources noted elsewhere in this section. Figure 12 from idem.3
  4. Capacity of 1.44 GW at end of 2015 from Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, “Pemerintah Targetkan Kapasitas Terpasang PLTP 1.751 MW Selama 5 Tahun”, press release (Jakarta: 8 January 2016),; capacity of 1.64 GW at end-2016 from Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, “Sistem Satu Data Tekan Biaya Eksplorasi Panas Bumi”, press release (Jakarta: 15 February 2017),
  5. Toshiba Corporation and Ormat Technologies Inc., “One of the world’s largest geothermal power plants commences commercial operation”, press release (Reno, NV and Tokyo: 22 March 2017),
  6. Capacity of 1.44 GW at end-2015 from Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, “Pemerintah Targetkan Kapasitas Terpasang PLTP 1.751 MW Selama 5 Tahun”, op. cit. note 5; capacity of 1.64 GW at end-2016 from Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, “Sistem Satu Data Tekan Biaya Eksplorasi Panas Bumi”, op. cit. note 5.6
  7. Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, “Sistem Satu Data Tekan Biaya Eksplorasi Panas Bumi”, op. cit. note 5; Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, “Tiga Terobosan Pengembangan Panasbumi”, press release (Jakarta: 10 August 2016),; Ayomi Amindoni, “Govt prepares feed-in tariff mechanism to boost geothermal energy”, Jakarta Post, 11 August 2016,
  8. Philippe Dumas, European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC), personal communication with REN21, March-May 2017; capacity of 820.9 MW and 31 plants at end-2016 and capacity of 623.9 MW and 21 plants at end-2015 from Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEİAŞ),
  9. Generation from TEİAŞ,
  10. Dumas, op. cit. note 9.10
  11. Toshiba Corporation, “Toshiba expands green footprint in Turkey”, press release (Tokyo: 13 September 2016),
  12. Ormat Technologies Inc., “Ormat announces commercial operation of Plant 4 in Olkaria III in Kenya, expanding complex capacity to nearly 140 MW”, press release (Reno, NV: 4 February 2016),
  13. Capacity in 2015 of about 600 MW from GEA, op. cit. note 1.13
  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; Francisco Rojas, “Grupo Dragon to commission 25.5 MW Unit 3 at Domo de San Pedro in Mexico”, ThinkGeoEnergy, 21 April 2016,
  15. Luis C.A. Gutiérrez-Negrín, “Mexico: Exploratory drilling, more exploration permits, second electricity auction”, International Geothermal Association (IGA), IGA News, no. 105 (October-December 2016),
  16. Ibid.16
  17. “Small geothermal plants gaining steam in Japan”, Nikkei Asian Review, 27 February 2017,
  18. Mayumi Negishi, “Japan’s shift to renewable energy loses power”, Wall Street Journal, 14 September 2016,; Junko Movellan, “Popular hot springs in Japan co-exist with binary geothermal power plants”, Renewable Energy World, 14 December 2015,; ElectraTherm, “ElectraTherm Power+ generator exceeds 3,000 hours in Japan”, press release (Reno, NV: 29 August 2016),; total additions of 0.6 MW from Hironao Matsubara, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, Tokyo, personal communication with REN21, April 2017.18
  19. Negishi, op. cit. note 19; Movellan, op. cit. note 19.19
  20. “Geothermal power promises energy boon for Japan, but hurdles remain”, The Mainichi, 24 July 2016,
  21. Ibid.21
  22. Generation from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly, March 2017, Table ES1.B,; installed nameplate capacity from GEA, op. cit. note 1; net capacity from EIA, op. cit. this note, Table 6.2.B.22
  23. Anna Wall and Katherine Young, Doubling Geothermal Generation Capacity by 2020: A Strategic Analysis (Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), January 2016),
  24. Benjamin Matek, 2016 Annual U.S. & Global Power Production Report (Washington, DC: GEA, March 2016),
  25. Jed Macapagal, “FIT for geothermal plants pushed”, Malaya Business Insight, 17 August 2016,
  26. Amy R. Remo, “Group seeks perks for new geothermal technology”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 August 2016,
  27. Asian Development Bank, “ADB backs first climate bond in Asia in landmark $225 million Philippines deal”, press release (Manila: 29 February 2016),
  28. China National Energy Administration (CNEA), 13th Five-Year-Plan for Geothermal Power (Beijing: 6 February 2017),
  29. Ibid.; Zheng Xin, “Sinopec to harvest more heat from earth”, China Daily, 15 February 2017,
  30. “Malaysia’s first geothermal power plant to open in Tawau”, The Star, 8 August 2016,; Eric Bagang, “Sabah home to Malaysia’s first geothermal power plant”, New Sabah Times, 6 August 2016,
  31. Linda Archibald, “M’sia boldly explores geothermal”, The Malaysian Reserve, 14 October 2016,
  32. Mannvit, “Velika Ciglena geothermal power plant contract”, press release (Kopavogur, Iceland: 23 December 2015),; Joseph Bonafin, Turboden, “The Velika Ciglena Geothermal Project – Turboden 16 MW Binary Plant”, presentation at the Iceland Geothermal Conference, Reykjavik, 28 April 2016,
  33. Ibid., both references.33
  34. GEA, op. cit. note 1.34
  35. Reykjavik Geothermal, “Corbetti Geothermal Power”,, viewed 31 March 2017; Alexander Richter, “Corbetti projects signs 500 MW PPA with Ethiopian state utility”, ThinkGeoEnergy, 27 July 2016,
  36. International Finance Corporation, “Ethiopia’s full steam push for an energy breakthrough”, 14 January 2016,
  37. “Ethiopia: Geothermal energy heats up with royalty payments exemption”, AllAfrica, 2 August 2016,
  38. Naser Al Wasmi, “Abu Dhabi’s Dh55m loan to St Vincent for geothermal power”, The National, 2 February 2016,; “ADFD signs AED55 million loan agreement with St. Vincent and the Grenadines to support key renewable energy project”, MENA Herald, 2 February 2016,
  39. Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, “New Zealand invests in Dominica’s exploration of geothermal energy”, press release (New York: 21 September 2016),
  40. Ormat Technologies Inc., “Ormat announces closing of acquisition of the Bouillante Geothermal Power Plant in the Island of Guadeloupe”, press release (Reno, NV: 5 July 2016),
  41. Data for 2014 from Lund and Boyd, op. cit. note 1. Capacity and generation for 2016 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.41
  42. Lund and Boyd, op. cit. note 1.42
  43. Ibid.43
  44. Ibid.44
  45. Ibid.45
  46. Ibid.46
  47. Ibid.47
  48. Ibid.48
  49. Ibid.49
  50. Ibid.50
  51. Dumas, op. cit. note 9.51
  52. Ibid.52
  53. Stadtwerke München GmbH, “Vision: Fernwärme aus regenerativen Energien”, viewed 2 May 2017,; Bundesverband Geothermie, “Tiefe Geothermieprojekte in Deutschland”, February 2017,
  54. Bundesverband Geothermie, op. cit. note 54.54
  55. ENGIE, “ENGIE wins public service delegation contract for a new geothermal heating network in the Plaine Rive Droite area of Bordeaux”, press release (Paris: 12 January 2017),
  56. Roquette, “Roquette inaugurating the Rittershoffen deep geothermal power plant”, press release (Lestrem, France: 7 June 2016),; Albert Genter, ES-Géothermie, “The Rittershoffen Case Study (France)”, presentation at the Iceland Geothermal Conference, Reykjavik, 26-29 April 2016,
  57. Ibid., both references.57
  58. Genter, op. cit. note 57.58
  59. CNEA, op. cit. note 29.59
  60. Ibid.60
  61. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, “UNFC is now applicable to geothermal energy resources”, press release (Geneva: 5 October 2017),
  62. See, for example, “Atlas diversifies into geothermal wells drilling on low oil prices”, Business Daily, 5 February 2015,; P. Dumas, M. Antics, and P. Ungemach, Report on Geothermal Drilling (Brussels: Geoelec, March 2013),
  63. See, for example, Matek, op. cit. note 25.63
  64. Chevron Corporation, “Chevron announces sale of geothermal operations”, press release (San Ramon, CA: 23 December 2016),
  65. Ayala Energy and Infrastructure Group, “AC Energy completes acquisition of Chevron’s Indonesia geothermal assets”, April 2017,; Danessa Rivera, “AC Energy seals purchase of Chevron assets”, Philippine Star, 4 April 2017,
  66. Ormat Technologies Inc., “Ormat and Toshiba sign strategic collaboration agreement”, press release (Reno, NV and Tokyo: 14-15 October 2015),
  67. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, “Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems commences operation, aims to become global leader in thermal power generation systems”, 3 February 2014,; Chisaki Watanabe, “MHI, Hitachi venture eyes Africa, Latin America for geothermal”, Bloomberg, 24 November 2016,
  68. Watanabe, op. cit. note 68.68
  69. Iceland Deep Drilling Project, “The drilling of the Iceland Deep Drilling Project geothermal well at Reykjanes has been successfully completed”, February 2017,; Iceland Deep Drilling Project, “SAGA Report No. 10”, 24 June 2016,
  70. Bjarni Mar Juliusson, “The Sulfix project”, presentation at the Iceland Geothermal Conference, Reykjavik, 26-29 April 2016,; Bjarni Mar Juliusson et al., “Tackling the challenge of H2S emissions”, Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2015, Melbourne, Australia: 19-25 April 2015,
  71. Juliusson, “The Sulfix project”, op. cit. note 71.71
  72. Juerg M. Matter et al., “Rapid carbon mineralization for permanent disposal of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions”, Science, 10 June 2016,
  73. Juliusson, op. cit. note 71, both references; Rhea Healy, “Haldor Topsoe and HS Orka hf sign contract for CO2 capture plant from geothermal sources in Iceland”, gasworld, 25 April 2016,
  74. Alison Holm, Dan Jennejohn and Leslie Blodgett, Geothermal Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Washington DC: GEA, November 2012),
  75. Erik B. Layman, “Geothermal projects in Turkey: extreme greenhouse gas emissions rate comparable to or exceeding those from coal-fired plants”, Proceedings of the 42nd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford University, 13-15 February 2017,
  76. Niyazi Aksoy et al., “CO2 emissions from geothermal power plants in Turkey”, Proceedings of the World Geothrmal Congress 2015, Melbourne, Australia: 19-25 April 2015,
  77. Anna Hirstenstein, “These clean energy projects pollute more than coal power plants”, Bloomberg, 20 July 2016,; Climate Bonds Initiative, “Geothermal”,, viewed March 2017.77
  78. Ecofys, Ernst & Young Turkey and the Middle East Technology University, “Assessing the use of CO2 from natural sources for commercial purposes in Turkey”, 6 July 2016,
  79. Enel, “Enel begins operations at world’s first commercial geothermal-hydro hybrid power plant”, press release (Rome: 6 December 2016),
  80. US Department of Energy (DOE), “EERE success story – DOE-funded project is first permanent facility to coproduce electricity from geothermal resources at an oil and gas well”, 12 May 2016,
  81. DOE, 2016 Annual Report – Geothermal Technologies Office (Washington, DC: March 2017),
  82. DOE, “What is an Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS)?” fact sheet (Washington, DC: May 2016),
  83. Bergur Sigfússon and Andreas Uihlein, 2015 JRC Geothermal Energy Status Report (Petten, The Netherlands: European Commission Joint Research Centre, 2015),
  84. Ibid.84
  1. Global capacity estimate based on International Hydropower Association (IHA), 2017 Key Trends in Hydropower (London: April 2017),, and on IHA, personal communication with REN21, March-April 2017. Total installed capacity is 1,246 GW (31.5 GW added), less 150 GW of pumped storage (6.4 GW added).1
  2. Country data from the following sources: China: total capacity, capacity growth, utilisation and investment from China CNEA, summary of national electric industry statistics for 2016,; capacity additions in 2016, including pumped storage, from China Electricity Council, annual report on national power system, 25 January 2017,; capacity, including pumped storage, at year-end 2015 from CNEA, 13th Five-Year-Plan for Hydro Power Development (Beijing: 29 November 2016),; generation of 1,193.4 TWh and annual growth of 5.6% from National Bureau of Statistics of China, “Statistical communiqué of the People’s Republic of China on the 2016 national economic and social development”, press release (Beijing: 28 February 2017), Brazil: 5,292 MW (5,002 MW large hydro, 203 MW small hydro and 87 MW very small hydro) added in 2016, from National Agency for Electrical Energy (ANEEL), “Resumo geral dos novos empreendimentos de geração”,ç, updated March 2017; large hydro capacity is listed as 91,499 MW at end-2016, small (1-30 MW) hydro as 4,941 MW and very small (less than 1 MW) hydro as 484 MW (compared to 398 MW in the previous year), for a total of 96,925 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, February 2017, Tables 6.2.B and 6.3,; generation from idem, Table 1.1. Canada: data for 2015 only from Statistics Canada, “Table 127-0009 installed generating capacity, by class of electricity producer”,; generation for 2015 only 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 2016 (Moscow: 31 January 2017), India: installed capacity in 2016 (units larger than 25 MW) of 43,139 MW from Government of India, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), “All India installed capacity (in MW) of power stations”, December 2016,; capacity additions in 2016 (greater than 25 MW) of 415 MW from idem, “Executive summary of the power sector (monthly)”,; installed capacity in 2016 (<25 MW) of 4,325 MW from Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), “Physical progress (achievements)”,, viewed 19 January 2017; capacity additions in 2016 (<25 MW) of 148 MW based on difference of year-end 2016 figure (above) and year-end 2015 figure (4,177 MW) from MNRE, idem; generation for plants larger than 25 MW (120.4 TWh) from Government of India, CEA, “Executive summary of the power sector (monthly)”, op. cit. this note; output from hydro plants smaller than 25 MW (8.2 TWh) from idem, “Renewable energy generation report”, Norway: capacity and generation from Statistics Norway,, and from Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, Figure 13 based on capacity and generation sources provided in this note.2
  3. Estimate based on IHA, op. cit. note 1, and on IHA, Hydropower Status Report 2016 (London: May 2016),
  4. IHA, op. cit. note 1.4
  5. Capacity values by country from sources provided in endnote 2 and from IHA, op. cit. note 1. Figure 14 based on idem.5
  6. See text and sources throughout this section.6
  7. Total capacity, capacity growth, utilisation and investment from CNEA, op. cit. note 2; capacity additions in 2016, including pumped storage, from China Electricity Council, op. cit. note 2; capacity, including pumped storage, at year-end 2015 from CNEA, 13th Five-Year-Plan, op. cit. note 2.7
  8. Ibid., all references.8
  9. Growth of 6.2% and resource conditions from China Electricity Council, op. cit. note 2; generation of 1,193.4 TWh and annual growth of 5.6% from National Bureau of Statistics of China, op. cit. note 2.9
  10. CNEA, summary of national electric industry statistics for 2016, op. cit. note 2.10
  11. CNEA, 13th Five-Year-Plan, op. cit. note 2.11
  12. ANEEL, op. cit. note 2.12
  13. Generation from ONS, op. cit. note 2.13
  14. ANEEL, “Relatório de acompanhamento da implantação de empreendimentos de geração”, October 2016,
  15. Ibid.; ANEEL, “Acompanhamento das centrais geradoras hidrelétricas”, March 2017,
  16. ANEEL, op. cit. note 14; ANEEL, op. cit. note 15.16
  17. Sebastian Espinoza, Instituto Nacional de Eficiencia Energética y Energías Renovables (INER), Quito, Ecuador, personal communication with REN21, December 2016; doubling of capacity based on International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Energy Statistics 2017 (Abu Dhabi: 2017),
  18. “Ecuador’s largest hydro plant built by China inaugurated”, Xinhua, 14 April 2016,; China Gezhouba Group Co., Ltd, “Ecuadorian president attended the power generation ceremony of three generator units of Sopladora hydropower station”, China Daily, 25 August 2016,
  19. Government of Peru, Organismo Supervisor de la Inversión en Energía y Minería, inventory of hydropower projects,, viewed May 2017; Rumbo Minero, "Hidroeléctrica Chaglla inicia operación comercial",; BNAmericas, Central Hidroeléctrica Cerro del Águila,; IHA, 2016 Hydropower Status Report (London: May 2016),
  20. Salini Impregilo, “Ethiopia inaugurates tallest RCC dam in world built by Salini Impregilo”, press release (Milan: 17 December 2016),
  21. “Ethiopia: Gibe III feeds grid with 800 MW”, ESI Africa, 14 September 2016,; “Hydropower Ethiopia: Gibe III to come online mid 2015”, ESI Africa, 20 March 2015,; “Gibe III hydro plant: Ethiopia rolls out power generation”, ESI Africa, 1 September 2015,
  22. “Gibe III hydro plant: Ethiopia rolls out power generation”, op. cit. note 21; “Ethiopia uses Chinese transformers to bolster power transmission”, ESI Africa, 18 August 2014,
  23. IHA, op. cit. note 19; IHA, 2017 Key Trends in Hydropower, op. cit. note 1.23
  24. Vietnam Electricity Corporation – National Electricity Center, press release (Hanoi: 16 November 2016),; Vietnam Electricity Corporation – National Electricity Center, press release (Hanoi: 23 June 2016),; Vietnam Electricity Corporation – National Electricity Center, press release (Hanoi: 16 December 2015),
  25. “Huoi Quang hydropower plant’s second turbine becomes operational”, Vietnam Plus, 20 June 2016,; “Cốc San power plant opens”, Vietnam News, 9 June 2016,
  26. Lao PDR Ministry of Energy and Mines website,; IHA, personal communication with REN21, April 2017.26
  27. Tenaga Nasional, “Ulu Jelai hydroelectric project to boost TNB’s hydro installed capacity to 2,533 MW”, press release (Kuala Lumpur: 9 August 2016),; “New source of green power”, The Star, 24 September 2016,
  28. Capacity at end-2016 of 26.7 GW from TEİAŞ website,; increase of 0.8 GW based on total capacity of 25.9 GW at end-2015 reported in 2016 by same source.28
  29. Generation from TEİAŞ website,
  30. Capacity additions in 2016 (units larger than 25 MW) of 415 MW from Government of India, Ministry of Power, CEA, “Executive summary of the power sector (monthly)”, op. cit. note 2; capacity additions in 2016 (<25 MW) of 148 MW based on difference of year-end 2016 figure (4,325 MW) from Government of India, MNRE, op. cit. note 2, and year-end 2015 figure (4,177 MW) from MNRE, idem.30
  31. Installed capacity in 2016 (units larger than 25 MW) of 43,139 MW from Government of India, Ministry of Power, CEA, “All India installed capacity (in MW) of power stations”, op. cit. note 2; installed capacity in 2016 (<25 MW) of 4,325 MW from Government of India, MNRE, op. cit. note 2.31
  32. Generation for plants larger than 25 MW (120.4 TWh) from Government of India, CEA, “Executive summary of the power sector (monthly)”, op. cit. note 2; output from hydropower plants smaller than 25 MW (8.4 TWh) from idem, “Renewable energy generation report”,
  33. EIA, op. cit. note 2, Tables 6.2.B and 6.3; US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, “Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2016” (Washington, DC: December 2016),
  34. Annual generation data from EIA, op. cit. note 2, Table 1.1.34
  35. California output data from EIA, Electric Power Monthly with Data for December 2016 (Washington, DC: February 2017), Table 1.10.B, p. 37,; US Department of Energy (DOE), “Record precipitation, snowpack in California expected to increase hydro generation in 2017”, Today in Energy, 23 March 2017,
  36. Office of the Governor, State of California, “Governor Brown takes action to bolster dam safety and repair transportation and water infrastructure”, press release (Sacramento: 24 February 2017),; California Department of Water Resources, “Oroville spillway incident overview”,
  37. Based on 2016 year-end capacity of 48,086 MW from System Operator of the Unified Energy System of Russia, op. cit. note 2, and 47,855 MW at the end of 2015, from System Operator of the Unified Energy System of Russia, Report on the Unified Energy System in 2016 (Moscow: 1 February 2016),
  38. RusHydro, “RusHydro launches Zaragizhskaya small hydropower plant in the South of Russia”, press release (Moscow: 29 December 2016),; RusHydro, “RusHydro inaugurates Zelenchukskaya hybrid hydropower plant in the South of Russia”, press release (Moscow: 23 December 2016),
  39. System Operator of the Unified Energy System of Russia, monthly operational data for December 2016,; RusHydro, “RusHydro’s Kamskaya hydropower plant’s capacity uprated by 14% after modernization”, press release (Moscow: 1 February 2016),
  40. System Operator of the Unified Energy System of Russia, op. cit. note 2; System Operator of the Unified Energy System of Russia, op. cit. note 37.40
  41. RusHydro, “RusHydro Group announces its operating results for the 4Q and FY2016”, press release (Moscow: 30 January 2017),
  42. World Bank, “Overview on hydropower”,, viewed May 2017.42
  43. World Bank, Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development: Progress Report on the Implementation of the Africa Climate Business Plan (Washington, DC: October 2016),
  44. Ibid., pp. 75-76.44
  45. World Bank, “World Bank Group suspends financing to the Inga-3 Basse Chute Technical Assistance Project”, press release (Washington, DC: 25 July 2016),; World Bank, “Inga-3 Basse Chute and Mid-size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance Project”, 20 March 2014,; “DR Congo seeks managers, accountant for 4,800-MW Inga 3 Basse Chute, medium hydro projects”, HydroWorld, 21 September 2015,
  46. World Bank, “World Bank Group suspends financing…”, op. cit. note 45.46
  47. International Energy Agency (IEA), World Energy Outlook 2016 (Paris: 2016), p. 508.47
  48. IHA, 2017 Key Trends in Hydropower, op. cit. note 1.48
  49. Eskom, “Ingula: powering South Africa’s economy”, press release (Johannesburg: 8 March 2017),
  50. Ibid.50
  51. Axpo, “Festive inauguration of the Muttsee dam”, press release (Baden, Switzerland: 9 September 2016),
  52. João Graça Gomes, Portuguese Renewable Energy Association (APREN), personal communication with REN21, February-April 2017; Energias de Portugal (EDP),; Alexandre Ferreira da Silva et al., “Developing the Baixo Sabor pumped storage cascade in Portugal”, HydroWorld, 1 April 2017,
  53. EDP, op. cit. note 52; DOE, DOE Global Energy Storage Database,, viewed 4 May 2017.53
  54. João Graça Gomes, APREN, personal communication with REN21, February 2017; Directorate General for Energy and Geology, Estatísticas Rápidas, no. 146 (3 March 2017),
  55. “Key Canary Islands infrastructure completed for Soria-Chira pumped storage hydro project”, Renewable Energy World, 17 October 2016,; Red Eléctrica de España, “Soria-Chira pumped-storage hydropower plant”,
  56. Naturspeicher website,, viewed March 2017.56
  57. RusHydro, op. cit. note 39.57
  58. See, for example, GE, Powering the Digital Transformation of Electricity (Boston: 2016),
  59. IHA, 2017 Key Trends in Hydropower, op. cit. note 1.59
  60. Ibid.60
  61. Climate Bonds Initiative, “Hydropower”,; Sean Kidney, “Launch of Hydropower Technical Working Group: developing new criteria for green investment: science based focus on climate mitigation and adaptation for hydro energy”, Climate Bonds Initiative, 19 July 2016,
  62. Hydropower Equipment Association, Brussels, personal communication with REN21, February 2015.62
  63. China Electricity Council, review of global hydropower activity,
  64. Dongfang, “Inauguration ceremony for GIBE III hydroelectric power plant”, press release (Chengdu, China: 17 December 2016),; Andritz, “Coca Codo Sinclair – largest hydropower plant of Ecuador under construction”, Hydro News, no. 24 (2013),
  65. GE, 2016 Annual Report (Boston: 2016), p. 42,
  66. Andritz, Annual Report 2016 (Graz, Austria: 2017), pp. 51 and 57,
  67. Voith, Annual Report 2016 (Heidenheim, Germany: December 2016), pp. 35, 55, 64-65,
  68. Ibid., p. 55.68
  69. Axpo, “Axpo strongly impairs Limmern pumped-storage power plant – further value adjustments required as prices are likely to remain low”, press release (Baden, Switzerland: 19 September 2016),; Axpo, op. cit. note 51.69
  70. Axpo, op. cit. note 51.70
Ocean Energy
  1. The definition of ocean energy used in this report does not include offshore wind power or marine biomass energy.1
  2. International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Capacity Statistics 2017 (Abu Dhabi: April 2017),
  3. Ocean Energy Systems (OES), Annual Report 2016 (Lisbon: April 2017), p. 173,
  4. See, for example, Ibid., Executive Summary.4
  5. “Tidal lagoon: £1.3bn Swansea Bay project backed by review”, BBC News, 12 January 2017,
  6. UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), “Review of tidal lagoons”, press release (London: 10 February 2016),; Charles Hendry, The Role of Tidal Lagoons – Final Report, December 2016,
  7. OES, op. cit. note 3, p. 173.7
  8. European Commission (EC), Ocean Energy Forum, Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap – Building Ocean Energy for Europe (Brussels: November 2016),
  9. “Administrators seek buyer for Tidal Energy Ltd”, BBC News, 24 October 2016,
  10. Nova Innovation, “Nova & ELSA third turbine deployed in Shetland tidal array – a world showcase for Scottish renewable innovation”, press release (Edinburgh: 23 February 2017),; Nova Innovation, “Nova Innovation deploys world’s first fully operational offshore tidal array in Scotland”, press release (Edinburgh: no date),
  11. Scotrenewables Tidal Power, “Scotrenewables installs world’s largest tidal turbine at EMEC for first time”, press release (Edinburgh: 13 October 2016),
  12. Scotrenewables Tidal Power, “SR2000”,, viewed 27 April 2017; Scotrenewables Tidal Power, “The Concept”,, viewed 27 April 2017.12
  13. Atlantis Resources, “Meygen update – full power generation form turbine #1”, press release (Edinburgh: 6 December 2016),
  14. Atlantis Resources, “MeyGen Update – AR1500 turbine deployed in record time”, press release (Edinburgh: 20 February 2017),; Atlantis Resources, “MeyGen Update – AR1500 turbine generating to the grid”, press release (Edinburgh: 24 February 2017),
  15. Atlantis Resources, “MeyGen Update – AR1500 turbine deployed in record time”, op. cit. note 14.15
  16. Sabella SAS, “Fin de la première campagne d’essai de D10”, 15 July 2016,; Sabella SAS, “Sabella D10, 1re hydrolienne à injecter de l’électricité sur le réseau électrique français”, 7 November 2015,
  17. OpenHydro, “OpenHydro deploys second Paimpol-Bréhat turbine”, press release (Dublin: 30 May 2016),; OpenHydro, “The first of two OpenHydro tidal turbines on EDF‘s Paimpol-Bréhat site successfully deployed”, press release (Dublin: 20 January 2016),
  18. Cape Sharp Tidal, “Cape Sharp Tidal now powers Nova Scotia homes and businesses”, 22 November 2016,
  19. Ibid.19
  20. Minas Tidal, “Nova Scotia attracts international tidal energy players”, press release (Halifax, NS: 12 July 2016),; Black Rock Tidal Power, “BRTP tidal power platform to be fabricated by Aecon”, press release (Halifax: 18 May 2016),; OES, op. cit. note 3, p. 63.20
  21. Technalia, “Oceantec deployed at BiMEP its first wave energy converter”, 13 October 2016,; Oceantec website,, viewed 27 April 2017.21
  22. Basque Energy Agency (EVE), “Marine energy”,, viewed 25 April 2017; OES, op. cit. note 3, p. 143.22
  23. Eco Wave Power, “The future is here: Europe’s first grid connected wave energy array”, press release (Tel Aviv: 1 June 2016),; “Israeli wave energy player gets industry accolades”, Tidal Energy Today, 21 March 2016,
  24. Waves4Power, “6 months at Runde”, 9 August 2016,; Seabased, “Wave power generated to Nordic electricity grid!”, 21 January 2016,
  25. Seabased, op. cit. note 24.25
  26. Fred. Olsen & Co. website,, viewed 27 April 2017; Fred. Olsen & Co., “6 month of continuous power export”, 20 January 2017,
  27. 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 International Conference on Ocean Energy 2016, Edinburgh, 23-25 February 2016,; Steve Dent, “Wave generator supplies US electrical grid for the first time”, Engadget, 7 July 2015,
  28. US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), “National Wind Technology Center begins first validation of wave energy conversion device”, press release (Golden, CO: 13 January 2017),
  29. Korea Research Institute of Ships & Ocean Engineering, “Development of wave energy converters applicable to breakwater and connected to micro-grid with energy storage system”, 9 February 2017,; OES, op. cit. note 3, p. 132.29
  30. OES, op. cit. note 3, p. 133.30
  31. “World’s first 3.4-megawatt modular tidal current power generator put into use”, People’s Daily, 16 August 2016,
  32. OES, op. cit. note 3, p. 72.32
  33. China’s State Oceanic Administration, announcement of the 13th Five-Year Plan on ocean energy, 1 January 2017,
  34. Ibid.34
  35. EC, op. cit. note 8; Ocean Energy Europe, “Ocean Energy Europe: innovative finance needed to build an innovative industry”, press release (Brussels: 8 November 2016),
  36. Interreg NWE, “FORESEA programme awards support to ten offshore renewable energy technology developers”, press release (Lille, France: 9 November 2016),; Interreg NWE, “FORESEA: Project Summary”,, viewed 23 April 2017.36
  37. Wave Energy Scotland, “Wave energy technology projects awarded £2M,” 21 September 2016,
  38. Wave Energy Scotland, “£3m investment in wave energy projects”, 10 January 2017,
  39. AW-Energy, “EIB to bank WaveRoller commercialization project”, 6 July 2016,
  40. DOE, “Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center will support innovation in wave energy technologies”, press release (Washington, DC: 21 December 2016),; total net utility-scale generation in 2016 from US Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly, February 2017, Table 1.1,
  41. OES, op. cit. note 3, pp. 10, 109-111; Centro Mexicano de Innovación en Energía Océano website,, viewed 24 April 2017.41
  42. Nathalie Almonacid, Marine Energy Research & Innovation Center (MERIC), personal communication with REN21, February 2017; MERIC, “Nuestro trabajo”,, viewed 25 April 2017.42
  43. Andrea Copping et al., Annex IV 2016 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World (Richland, WA: Ocean Energy Systems and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, April 2016),
  44. Ibid.44
  45. OES, Consenting Process of Ocean Energy – Update on Barriers and Recommendations (Lisbon: July 2016),
  46. 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),; “Administrators seek buyer for Tidal Energy Ltd”, op. cit. note 9; Institution of Mechanical Engineers, “Tidal Energy hits back at its critics”, 11 January 2017,
Solar Photovoltaics
  1. At least 75 GW added from International Energy Agency (IEA) Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (PVPS), Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets 2016 (Paris: April 2017), p. 4, Note that some countries report data officially in alternating current (AC) (e.g., Canada, Chile, Japan since 2012, and Spain); these data were converted to direct current (DC) by relevant sources provided in this section for consistency across countries. Most utility-scale solar PV plants built in 2016 have an AC-DC ratio between 1.2 and 1.5, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. this note. The GSR 2017 attempts to report all solar PV data in DC units, and only capacity that is in operation at year’s end. Number of panels based on average of 270 watts per panel, from Gaëtan Masson, Becquerel Institute and IEA PVPS, personal communications with REN21, March-May 2016.1
  2. Market increase relative to 2015 based on data from IEA PVPS, Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets 2015 (Paris: April 2016),; from SolarPower Europe, “2015: A positive year for solar”, press release (Brussels: 3 March 2016),; and from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1. Larger than total five years earlier based on cumulative world capacity of 70 GW (69,876.2 MW) at the end of 2011, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. this note, p. 68.2
  3. At least 303 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 7. Figure 15 based on data from IEA PVPS, Trends in Photovoltaic Applications, 2016: Survey Report of Selected IEA Countries Between 1992 and 2015 (Paris: 2016),, and from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1.3
  4. Fourth consecutive year based on 2015 being the third consecutive year, from Masson, op. cit. note 1; share of global additions based on data from SolarPower Europe, “What’s next for solar in Europe?” press release (Brussels: 7 March 2017),, and from country-specific sources cited in this section.4
  5. About 85% calculated based on data from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; the share of the top five was 84%, from SolarPower Europe, personal communication with REN21, 1 April 2017; rankings of top 10 from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, and of top five also from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. this note.5
  6. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 10, and national data and sources cited elsewhere in this section. Figure 16 based on data from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 68, on IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1 and on national data for China, Japan, United States and Germany cited elsewhere in this section.6
  7. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 4; Anand Gupta, "PV Market Alliance announces the 2016 PV market at 75 GW and a stable market in 2017", EQ International, 19 January 2017,; SolarPower Europe, Global Market Outlook for Solar Power: 2015-2019 (Brussels: 2015).7
  8. Every continent and 24 countries from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 5; 114 countries based on Chris Werner et al., “Latest developments in global installed photovoltaic capacity and identification of hidden growth markets”, 2016, cited in IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3. Note that 196 countries had solar PV installations by the end of 2015, from Chris Werner et al., Global Photovoltaics in 2015 – Analysis of Current Solar Energy Markets and Hidden Growth Regions, paper for 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Munich, June 2016,
  9. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 12, and from Becquerel Institute, provided by Philippe Macé, Becquerel Institute, personal communication with REN21, 10 May 2017.9
  10. Masson, op. cit. note 1; SolarPower Europe, Global Market Outlook for Solar Power: 2016-2020 (Brussels: 2016); Gregory F. Nemet et al., Characteristics of Low-Priced Solar Photovoltaic Systems in the United States (Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), January 2016), p. 1, 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, 350
  11. Cost-effective through tenders, from Gaëtan Masson, Becquerel Institute and IEA PVPS, personal communication with REN21, 28 February 2017; energy access from, for example, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Solar PV in Africa: Costs and Markets (Abu Dhabi: September 2016), p. 9, See Distributed Renewable Energy chapter for more information.11
  12. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3, pp. 37-38; Jennifer Runyon, “Solar outlook 2017: the global market marches on”, Renewable Energy World, January/February 2017, pp. 14-17; Masson, op. cit. note 11; Paula Mints, “Notes from the Solar Underground: 2016 – what just happened?” SPV Market Research, 8 December 2016,; Mike Munsell, “5 trends that will shape the global solar market for the rest of the year”, Greentech Media, 3 August 2016,
  13. China added 34.54 GW for a year-end total of 77.42 GW, from Dazhong Xiao, “2016 photovoltaic power generation statistics”, China National Energy Board, 4 February 2017, (using Google Translate). China added 34.53 GW for a year-end total of 78.07 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15. Figure 17 based on country-specific data and on sources provided throughout this section, and on data for Italy and Spain from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1.13
  14. “China to slow green growth for first time after record boom”, Bloomberg, 22 September 2016,; Frank Haugwitz, Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Company, Ltd. (AECEA), personal communication with REN21, 8 May 2017.14
  15. Joe Ryan, “Solar industry braces with looming glut eroding panel prices”, Bloomberg, 23 August 2016,; Gaëtan Masson, “Market booms, overcapacities and 2016 as the beginning of a new PV market cycle”, Becquerel Institute, 10 November 2016,; Haugwitz, op. cit. note 14. China installed an estimated 20 GW during the first six months of 2016, although some of this was for experimental rooftop and installations in poor areas, which do not count toward the target, from Roberto Labastida, “Advanced module technologies moving onto the main stage”, Renewable Energy World, 31 October 2016,
  16. Haugwitz, op. cit. note 14; SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5.16
  17. Top market and installations based on data from Xiao, op. cit. note 13; “no-go” area from AECEA, Briefing Paper – China Solar PV Development, January 2017, p. 1; Xinjiang’s 2016 installations exceeded government guiding targets by 300%, from idem.17
  18. Xiao, op. cit. note 13. The nine provinces were Shandong (3.22 GW added), Henan (2.44 GW), Anhui (2.25 GW), Hebei (2.03 GW), Jiangxi (1.85 GW), Shanxi (1.83 GW), Zhejiang (1.75 GW), Hubei (1.38 GW) and Jiangsu (1.23 GW), from idem.18
  19. Figure of 86% based on data from Ibid.; of the total in operation at end-2016, 67.1 GW was classified as large-scale plants and 10.33 GW as distributed. Pushing for distributed and grid inadequacy from IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 43, The distributed market increased by more than 200%, from AECEA, op. cit. note 17, p. 1; note that “distributed” in China includes projects that are ground-mounted up to 20 MW and that meet various conditions, per Frank Haugwitz, AECEA, personal communication with REN21, 17 February 2017.19
  20. Up 11-fold based on cumulative capacity of 6,750 MW at end-2012, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 68; grid congestion and delays from, for example, “China’s NDRC order grid operators to purchase curtailed solar power in congested regions”, PV Magazine, 1 June 2016,; Feifei Shen, “China’s grid operator blames bad planning for idled renewable energy”, Renewable Energy World, 1 April 2016, 360
  21. Challenge in 2015 from China National Energy Board, cited in China Electricity Council, “2015 PV-related statistics”, 6 February 2016, (using Google Translate); inadequate transmission from Paula Mints, “Notes from the Solar Underground: The solar roller coaster and those along for the ride – First Solar, SunPower, Q-Cells”, Renewable Energy World, 1 September 2016,
  22. Minimum guaranteed hours from Julie Zhu, “Solar power’s time to shine in China”, Finance Asia, 14 June 2016,,solar-powers-time-to-shine-in-china.aspx; “China’s NDRC order grid operators to purchase curtailed solar power in congested regions”, PV Magazine, 1 June 2016,; Max Dupuy and Xuan Wang, “China’s string of new policies addressing renewable energy curtailment: an update”, Regulatory Assistance Project, 8 April 2016,; “China ban on new coal power eases clean energy waste, WRI says”, Bloomberg, 29 April 2016,; transmission lines from Li Ying, “Blowing in the wind”, China Dialogue, 31 March 2016,; Cathy Chen and David Stanway, “China pushes for mandatory integration of renewable power”, Reuters, 28 March 2016,; Feifei Shen, “China’s grid blames bad planning for idled renewable energy”, Bloomberg, 30 March 2016,
  23. Figure of 66.2 TWh and 1% of annual generation from Xiao, op. cit. note 13; increase based on 39.2 TWh of generation in 2015, from China National Energy Board, op. cit. note 21.23
  24. In 2016, the United States added 11,269.6 MW of solar PV capacity (utility-scale plus small-scale), 8,738.1 MW of wind power capacity, and 7,532.2 MW of natural gas capacity, from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly with Data for December 2016 (Washington, DC: February 2017), Table 6.1, The country added 7,748 MW of solar power capacity, 8,689 MW of natural gas capacity and 7,865 MW of wind power capacity, from US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), “Office of Energy Projects Energy Infrastructure Update for December 2016” (Washington, DC: 2016), Note that all EIA data are net additions; both FERC and EIA report lower capacity additions for solar PV and wind power because they omit plants with a total generator nameplate capacity below 1 MW.24
  25. The United States added 14,762 MW in 2016, up from 7,501 MW of additions in 2015, for a total of 40.9 GW at end-2016, from GTM Research, personal communication with REN21, 2 May 2017, and from GTM Research, cited in US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), “Solar Market Insight Report 2016 Year in Review”,, viewed 2 May 2017. The country added 7,864.9 MW of utility-scale solar PV plus 3,404.7 MW of small-scale for a total of 11.269.6 MW added in 2016, and a year-end cumulative capacity of 32,953.5 MW, from EIA, op. cit. note 24. Note that EIA data omit plants with a total generator nameplate capacity below 1 MW. The country added 14.73 GW for a total of 40.3 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15.25
  26. GTM Research and SEIA, U.S. Solar Market Insight 2016 Year in Review, Executive Summary (Boston: March 2017), pp. 7, 9,
  27. Ibid., p. 9; Georgia third largest installer without additional subsidies from Cheryl Katz, “Northern lights: large-scale solar power is spreading across the U.S.”, Yale e360, 23 March 2017,
  28. GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 26, p. 11.28
  29. The utility sector installed an estimated 10,593 MW in 2016, from Ibid., pp. 11, 13. An estimated 4,032 MW of projects were in construction by year’s end and other 13,762 MW were moving forward with signed PPAs, from idem, p. 13.29
  30. Ibid., p. 12; see also Katz, op. cit. note 27. The share of the market represented by voluntary procurement (not driven by government mandate) is becoming increasingly significant for utilities and corporate customers, due to falling prices, from Shayle Kann, GTM Research, cited in Herman K. Trabish, “As solar booms, utilities look to build new business models with strategic investments”, Utility Dive, 14 March 2017, About half of new utility-scale projects in 2016 were built because of state renewable energy mandates, but only 36% of the projects in development by early 2017 were driven by such policies; almost all new procurement as of early 2017 was non-mandate driven, from GTM Research, U.S. Solar Market Insight 2016 Year in Review, cited in Trabish, op. cit. this note.30
  31. GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 26, p. 12. Large corporate customers accounted for about 10% of the 10.593 MW of large-scale capacity installed during 2016, through a combination of direct access programmes, contracts for difference and green tariff programmes, from idem, pp. 11-12.31
  32. Ibid., pp. 5, 11. The states were California and Massachusetts.32
  33. Ibid., pp. 5, 8, 10. The slowdown also was due partly to declining incentives, although these were offset somewhat by falling prices, from David Renne, International Solar Energy Society, personal communication with REN21, 10 April 2017.33
  34. GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 26, p. 10.34
  35. GTM Research, U.S. Solar Market Insight 2016 Year in Review, cited in Trabish, op. cit. note 30; establish own programmes from, for example, North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, The 50 State of Solar: Q1 2016 Quarterly Report (Raleigh, NC: April 2016),
  36. SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, p. 13. 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,; Mints, op. cit. note 12; Krysti Shallenberger, “Utilities are getting ready for life with distributed generation – report”, E&E News, 11 August 2015,; GTM Research and SEIA, U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2015 Year in Review, Executive Summary (Washington, DC: March 2016), p. 8.36
  37. Down 20% based on 10,811 MWdc added in 2015, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 68, and on 8.6 GWdc added in 2016 for a total of 42.75 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15, and from Gaëtan Masson, op. cit. note 1. Japan added 6,836 MWac for a year-end total of 36,961 MWac (including 9,235 MWac of residential systems (under 10 kW), 17,037 MWac of systems >10 kW and <1 MW, and 10,688 MWac of capacity >1 MW), from Japan Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI), provided by Hironao Matsubara, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), personal communication with REN21, 28 April 2017.37
  38. BMI Research, cited in Anne Beade, “Sun setting on Japan’s solar energy boom”, Japan Times, 30 November 2016,; Chisaki Watanabe and Stephen Stapczynski, “Japan’s solar boom showing signs of deflating as subsidies wane”, Bloomberg, 5 July 2016,
  39. Beade, op. cit. note 38.39
  40. Brian Publicover, “Distributed-generation takes the lead in Japan’s new power capacity development”, Solar Asset Management, 18 May 2016,; residential sector’s share (based on projects <10 kW), from METI, provided by Matsubara, op. cit. note 37.40
  41. Increased interest from Publicover, op. cit. note 40; number of residential systems from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), cited in idem.41
  42. 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,
  43. Andy Colthorpe, “Asian super grid gets support from China, Russia, S. Korea and Japan”, PV-Tech, 31 March 2016,
  44. Share for 2012 from Watanabe and Stapczynski, op. cit. note 38. Japan’s power mix as measured by what is purchased and produced by the nation’s 10 regional utilities. The data for 2012 are drawn from government and industry sources. Share for 2016 is based on METI data and provided by Matsubara, op. cit. note 37. In 2016, Japan’s solar PV systems generated 46.3 TWh, including self-consumption (for most but not all of 2016), and Japan’s total power generation (including non-utility generation) was 1,044.9 TWh, from METI, idem.44
  45. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, pp. 10, 15. India joined the top five markets list in 2015, adding 2 GW that year, mainly in the form of utility-scale systems awarded through tenders, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, p. 14.45
  46. India added about 3.97 GW for a total of 9.01 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; added 4,112.53 MW for a year-end total of 9,055.41 MW (including grid-connected and off-grid), based on data from Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), “Physical progress (achievements)”, data as on 31 December 2016,, viewed 19 January 2017, and from MNRE, “”Physical progress (achievements)”, data as on 31 December 2015, viewed 1 February 2016, and assuming that India had 225 MW of CSP capacity (with no additions) in both years (see CSP section and Reference Table R7); added an estimated 4.9 GW (up from 2 GW in 2015) for a total surpassing 10 GW, from “2016 was a great year for the Indian solar industry but the best is yet to come”, Bridge to India, 19 December 2016, Year-end capacity was 9,018 MW, and India had a project pipeline of 14,030 MW as of December 2016, from Mercom Capital Group, “Mercom Exclusive: Top 10 Indian states account for 90 percent of the country’s large-scale solar installations and pipeline: a state by state analysis”, December 2016,
  47. Top states and capacities of Tamil Nadu (1,577 MW), Rajasthan (1,324 MW), Gujarat (1,101 MW) and Andhra Pradesh (1,009 MW) from Mercom Capital Group, op. cit. note 46; Tamil Nadu leads all other states for capacity due to lack of reliable electricity from the grid and high consumer awareness, from Jyoti Gulia, “Rooftop solar market in India witnessing rapid growth but 2022 target seems elusive”, Bridge to India, 31 May 2016,
  48. Ramanathapuram, “Adani’s 648-MW solar plant inaugurated”, The Hindu, updated 1 November 2016,’s-648-MW-solar-plant-inaugurated/article14993341.ece; ABB, “ABB connects power to the Indian grid from one of the world’s largest solar plants”, press release (Zurich: 13 June 2016),; “India unveils the world’s largest solar power plant”, Al Jazeera, 30 November 2016, The project is made up of five plants in a single location, from ABB, op. cit. this note, and comprises 2.5 million solar modules, from Ramanathapuram, op. cit. this note.48
  49. Tom Kenning, “India hits 10GW of solar – Bridge to India”, PV-Tech, 18 November 2016,
  50. Bridge to India, cited in Ibid.; “OPEX model takes hold in India but faces a key challenge”, Bridge to India, 17 October 2016,; “2016 was a great year…”, op. cit. note 46; the rooftop market passed 1 GW in September 2016, from idem.50
  51. Challenges include the fact that most rooftops are flat and thus not optimal for solar, from Ian Clover, “ADB extends loan for India solar rooftops to $500m”, PV Magazine, 5 October 2016,; most households lack funds or unshaded, appropriate rooftop space, from Ian Clover, “Rooftop PV and manufacturing: the next two hurdles for Indian solar”, PV Magazine, 9 September 2016,; and grid interconnection regulations and processes remain challenging despite fact that most states have net or gross metering policies for rooftop solar (poor implementation of polices), from “Poor implementation of net-metering policies poses a major challenge for rooftop solar”, Bridge to India, 7 November 2016, India’s National Solar Mission targets 100 GW solar by 2022, of which 40 GW should be rooftop capacity, from Gulia, op. cit. note 47. India’s target will be aided by the Solar Rooftop Investment Programme, which reached USD 1 billion in funding during 2016. In late 2016, the Asian Development Bank and Clean Technology Fund (multi-donor funding agency) announced USD 500 million in funding for India’s Solar Rooftop Investment Programme, on top of USD 300 million equity investment and USD 200 million in commercial bank loans, from Ian Clover, “ADB extends loan for India solar rooftops to $500m”, PV Magazine, 5 October 2016, The World Bank also provided funding for solar PV in India, lending more than USD 1 billion over the fiscal year 2017, from World Bank, “Solar energy to power India of the future”, 30 June 2016,
  52. “What will it take for India to achieve its massive renewable energy goals?” Renewable Energy World, March/April 2016, p. 14. States with high renewable energy penetration, particularly Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, already are experiencing significant grid curtailment, which is affecting return on investment, from “Tamil Nadu takes top slot for solar capacity in India”, Bridge to India, 22 August 2016,, and from “Solar developers stay away from Tamil Nadu tender”, Bridge to India, 28 November 2016,
  53. Kenning, op. cit. note 49.53
  54. Added 850 MW for a total of 4.35 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; and added 0.9 GW for a total of 4.5 GW, from Jaehong Seo, KOPIA, presentation for International Green Energy Conference 2017, Daegu, Republic of Korea, 5-6 April 2017, provided by Haugwitz, op. cit. note 14. 54
  55. The Philippines had an installation target of 500 MW, and Thailand had a 1.7 GW target, from Florence Tan et al., “Factbox – on the sunny side: Southeast Asian nations push into solar”, Reuters, 2 November 2016,; the Philippines added 756 MW for total of 0.9 GW, and Thailand added 726 MW for a total of 2.15 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; pause in procurement from Jason Deign, “Thai solar looks abroad amid lull in national procurement”, Solar Plaza, 8 April 2016, In the first six months of 2016, the Philippines added 520 MW of solar PV (second only to new coal-fired generating capacity), from Philippines Department of Energy, Electrical Power Industry Management Bureau, “January – June 2016 Power Situation Highlights”, (undated), In addition, Turkey added 584 MW for total of 832 MW, and Malaysia added 54 MW for a total of 286 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15.55
  56. Pakistan had several large (100 MW and larger) plants under construction, but some were stalled due to the FIT reduction at the end of 2015, from Aamir Saeed, “Solar scale-up in Pakistan hits roadblock after payments slashed”, Reuters, 20 September 2016, Vietnam had more than 30 large-scale (with capacities ranging 20-300 MW) projects at various stages of development by late 2016, but investors were awaiting finalisation of a national FIT before going forward with many of these projects, from Tom Kenning, “Vietnam has 30 large-scale solar projects under development but FiT needed”, PV-Tech, 2 November 2016, 396
  57. Masson, op. cit. note 1. More than 32 times based on end-2016 capacity and EU (28 countries) net maximum solar PV capacity of 3,280 MW at end-2006, from Eurostat, “Infrastructure – electricity – annual data” (Environment and Energy/Energy/Energy Statistics – infrastructure/), updated 16 February 2017.57
  58. Global increase from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 4, and from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1; EU decline based on additions (7.5 GW) in 2015 from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 2, and on additions in 2016 from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5.58
  59. EU decline due largely to reduction in the United Kingdom, from Agora Energiewende, Energy Transition in the Power Sector in Europe: State of Affairs in 2016 (Berlin: January 2017), p. 13,; Michael Schmela, “European solar market installs 1.56 GW in third quarter 2016, down 10% year-on-year”, SolarPower Europe, undated,, viewed 27 February 2017. The United Kingdom accounted for the entire EU market decline, from Masson, op. cit. note 1. Other markets with increases included Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal, from idem. 399
  60. Based on data from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5, and on country-specific data and sources provided in this section. The EU installed 5,683.3 MW in 2016, and the United Kingdom, Germany and France added a combined 3,951 MW, from idem.60
  61. The Netherlands, Italy and Belgium (with the Netherlands leading for capacity additions among these countries), from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5, and from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15. Other European countries that added capacity include Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Norway and Finland (with Switzerland installing the most among these countries, and Finland the least), from idem.61
  62. SolarPower Europe, “2015: A positive year for solar”, press release (Brussels: 3 March 2016), Self-consumption is becoming the primary driver for distributed PV, from Michael Schmela, SolarPower Europe, “SolarPower Webinar: Market report and solar developments in Europe”, 23 March 2016, However, self-consumption policies are complicated, particularly in France, Germany and Spain, and thus are not supporting solar PV deployment, from Masson, op. cit. note 1. The list of countries constraining self-consumption in some way is long (e.g., Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain), from SolarPower Europe, Solar Market Report & Membership Directory 2016 Edition (Brussels: April 2016), pp. 17-18.62
  63. Alexandre Roesch, SolarPower Europe, personal communication with REN21, 17 March 2016; Masson, op. cit. note 1.63
  64. Mix in Germany and elsewhere from IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 66.64
  65. Roesch, op. cit. note 63; Masson, op. cit. note 1; SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10.65
  66. The United Kingdom added 1.97 GW from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5, and added 1.97 GW for a total of 11.63 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; added 2,039 MW in 2016 for total of 11,727 MW, based on data for end-2015 and end-2016 from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, “Solar Photovoltaics Deployment in the UK February 2017”, updated 30 March 2017,; and added 2.4 GW for a total of 11,562 MW, from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, Energy Trends Section 6: Renewables, updated 30 March 2017, Table 6.1, pp. 63, 69,
  67. UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, “Solar Photovoltaics Deployment in the UK December 2016”,, viewed 19 February 2017; UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, Energy Trends Section 6, op. cit. note 66.67
  68. Simon Evans, “Analysis: UK solar beats coal over half a year”, CarbonBrief, 4 October 2016, Solar PV generated an estimated 6,964 GWh of electricity from April through September, while coal generated 6,342 GWh during this period, from idem. Figure of 3% for the year, based on 10,292 GWh of solar PV generation, from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, Energy Trends Section 6, op. cit. note 66, p. 69, and total UK generation of 338.58 TWh (and total supplied was 336.89 TWh) from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, Energy Trends Section 5: Electricity, p. 57,
  69. France added 559 MW for a total of 7.13 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; and added 559 MW for a total of 7.1 GW from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5; France added 576 MW in 2016 for a total of 6,772 MW, from LeRéseau de transport d’électricité (RTE), Synthèse press – Bilan électrique français 2016 (Paris: undated),
  70. Germany had a year-end total of 41,275 MW, up from 39,799 MW at end-2015, implying net additions of 1,476 MW, from Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi), Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland, unter Verwendung von Daten der Arbeitsgruppe Erneuerbare Energien-Statistik (AGEE-Stat) (Stand: Februar 2017), p. 7,; and added 1.52 GW for a total of 41.22 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15. Official target (EEG corridor) of 2.4-2.6 GW, from BMWi, Erneuerbare Energien in Deutschland, Daten zur Entwicklung im Jahr 2015 (Berlin: February 2015), p. 4, Germany’s installed capacity was below target due partly to delays in investment decisions (related to the expected removal of EU import duties on Chinese panels). In 2016, 300 MW was auctioned under the pilot auctions. From 2017 on, the auctioning volume for solar PV projects >750 kW is 500 MW per year; it is expected that the remaining capacity will be smaller (mainly residential and commercial) applications under the fixed feed-in premium, from Rina Bohle Zeller, Vestas, personal communication with REN21, April 2017.70
  71. BMWI and German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), “Federal Network Agency launches Germany’s first cross-border PV auction with Denmark”, press release (Berlin: 12 October 2016),
  72. Bundesnetzagentur, “Geöffnete Ausschreibung mit dem Königreich Dänemark”, updated 21 December 2016,
  73. Sebastian Hermann, German Environment Agency, Dessau, Germany, personal communication with REN21, 1 February 2017; EuPD Research in Martin Ammon, “Status quo and potentials for the residential segment”, presentation at European PV and Energy Storage Market Briefing, Frankfurt, 16 February 2017, slides 20, 21.73
  74. Data for 2014 and 2015 include only installations within the government-owned KfW development bank’s subsidy scheme and are sourced from Kai-Philipp Kairies et al./ Speicher Monitoring, Wissenschaftliches Mess- und Evaluierungsprogramm Solarstromspeicher, Jahresberricht 2016 (Aachen: Stromrichter-technik und Elektrische Antriebe, RWTH Aachen University, 2016), prepared for BMWi, pp. 8, 45,; share for 2016 from Hermann, op. cit. note 73; 80% from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5; EuPD Research in Ammon, op. cit. note 73. See also Jason Deign, “Developers see large opportunity in Germany’s commercial storage market, both with and without solar”, Greentech Media, 3 August 2016, Germany installed just over 19,000 battery systems in 2015, from Nigel Morris, “Battery storage: Is Australia on track to be the world’s biggest market?” One Step off the Grid, 8 February 2017,; and about 25,355 home storage systems were installed during 2016, from EuPD Research in Ammon, op. cit. note 73.74
  75. Data based on year-end 2015 total of 4,939.134 MW and on year-end 2016 totals of 5,783.963 MW reported installed and 5,794.371 MW estimated installed, for estimated additions of 855 MW, all from Australian PV Institute (APVI), “Australian PV market since April 2001”,, viewed 2 May 2017. Australia added 839 MW for a total of 5.9 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15.75
  76. Masson, op. cit. note 1; Jonathan Pearlman, “Australia taking solar power to the next level”, Straits Times, 31 January 2016,; SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 62, p. 21. About 1.5 million households had rooftop solar PV, with the highest share (nearly 30%) in Queensland, from Pearlman, op. cit. this note.76
  77. APVI, op. cit. note 75, viewed 9 March 2017.77
  78. APVI, “Percentage of dwellings with a PV system by state/territory”, funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, updated 24 November 2016,, viewed 10 March 2017. As of late 2016, 30.4% of dwellings in Queensland had solar PV installations, followed by South Australia (29.5%), West Australia (23.8%), Victoria (14.7%), New South Wales (14.6%), Australian Capital Territory (13.5), Tasmania (12.7%) and New Territories (10%), from idem.78
  79. Jo Chandler, “Despite hurdles, solar power in Australia is too robust to kill”, Yale e360, 11 June 2015,; see also Peter Maloney, “One good year deserves another: energy storage in 2016”, Renewable Energy World, January/February 2016, pp. 51-57,
  80. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 19.80
  81. Chandler, op. cit. note 79.81
  82. Morris, op. cit. note 74; SunWiz, 2017 Battery Market Report, cited in Sophie Vorrath, “Solar + storage installs set to treble on back of ‘exceptional’ battery market growth”, REnew Economy, 2 February 2017, In addition, community solar projects began incorporating battery storage in 2016, from Jason Deign, “Australian Government and energy retailers back community solar-plus-storage projects”, Greentech Media, 4 May 2016,
  83. IEA PVPS, Trends 2015 in Photovoltaic Applications: Survey Report of Selected IEA Countries between 1992 and 2014 (Paris: 2015), pp. 11, 30,; France, Italy and the United Kingdom from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5.83
  84. Ibid., pp. 11, 30; Anindya Upadhyay, “India opens market for solar battery makers such as Tesla”, Renewable Energy World, 15 March 2016,; Andrew Burger, “Solar Academy helps pico, home solar take root in Malawi”, Renewable Energy World, 22 December 2016,
  85. See, for example, Andrew Slavin, “Mining takes up 60% of Latin America’s solar PV market, demand only to rise”, Energy and Mines, 28 July 2016,; Mercatus, Mercatus Global Advanced Energy Insights Report, Volume IV (San Mateo, CA: 2016), p. 11,; Sushma Udipi Nagendran, “4 charts explaining Latin America’s impending solar boom”, Greentech Media, 10 March 2017, 425
  86. Tenth globally from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; thanks to mining industry from, for example, Slavin, op. cit. note 85; Tom Kenning, “Chile: 1GW of solar and the road to 70% renewables by 2050”, PV-Tech, 1 March 2016,; William Pentland, “Solar power thrives in Chile, no subsidies needed”, Forbes, 7 November 2015, See also Gram Slattery, “Exclusive: Chile copper firms try to rejig contracts to tap renewable energy”, Reuters, 7 December 2016, Figure 18 based on country-specific data and on sources provided throughout this section.86
  87. Chile added 746 MW for total of 1.61 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; and added 821 MW in 2016, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5. As of December 2016, Chile had 1,041 MW of PV capacity in operation and 1,238 MW under construction, from Comisión Nacional de Energía, Reporte Mensual ERNC, vol. 5 (Santiago, Chile: January 2017), pp. 3, 5,
  88. Mexico added 150 MW for a total of 320 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; and added about 300 MW, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5.88
  89. Driven largely by tenders from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5. Mexico's first energy auction was held in 2016, with results presented by the Mexican Energy Control Centre (CENACE) on 28 March 2017, and yielded 12 approved solar PV projects totalling 2.191 GW, to be built in the states of Yucatán, Baja California Sur, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato and Coahuila, and to be contracted by July 2017, from Emilio Soberón, Mexico Low Emission Development Program of the US Agency for International Development, personal communication with REN21, April 2017. An estimated 100 MW of distributed solar was installed in 2016, double the installations of 2015, bringing total to 220 MW, from Conermex, Mexico Secretary of Energy, cited in Blanca Díaz López, “Mexico to reach 460 MW of distributed solar by the end of 2017”, PV Magazine, 1 February 2017,; and almost one-third of the market, at close to 50 MW, from Nagendran, op. cit. note 85.89
  90. Talbert Navia, Amanda Sewell and José Avila, “Argentina launches innovative renewables program”, Renewable Energy World, 30 June 2016,; Tom Kenning, “Argentina renewables tender receives 2,834MW of solar submissions”, PV-Tech, 6 September 2016,
  91. Alexandre Spatuzza, “Wind and solar fury as Brazil tender axe ‘threatens investment’”, Recharge News, updated 19 December 2016, About 3 GW of projects had been awarded through tenders by end-2015 but, as of a year or so later, only 19 of 111 solar projects had begun construction, and several companies were negotiating with the government to cancel their licences and waive penalties for delays, from Luciano Costa, “Brazil solar energy drive stalled by high costs, strict rules”, Reuters, 31 January 2017, As of late November 2016, construction had started only on the ENEL and Canadian Solar projects and several projects were struggling to obtain financing, from Camila Ramos, Clean Energy Latin America (CELA), Brazil, personal communication with REN21, 30 November 2016.91
  92. See, for example, Kenning, op. cit. note 86; Robert Muhn, Yingli Chile, cited in Junko Movellan, “The 2016 global PV outlook: U.S. and Asian markets strengthened by policies to reduce CO2”, Renewable Energy World, January/February 2016, pp. 34-40,; IHS Markit, “Latin America on track to install 2.7 GW of solar-PV capacity in 2016, IHS Markit says”, press release (London: 19 July 2016),; Nagendran, op. cit. note 85.92
  93. Susan Kraemer, “What is driving the Middle East solar market?” Renewable Energy World, 6 July 2016,; Anthony Dipaola, “Saudi Arabia to revive its solar power program at smaller scale”, Renewable Energy World, 25 May 2016,; “Egypt’s renewable energy sector offers $6 bln investment opportunity”, Al Arabiya, 11 January 2016,; Salman Zafar, “Renewable energy prospects in Kuwait”, EcoMENA, 23 January 2017, Jordan also is turning to solar energy to help meet surge in electricity demand due to influx of Syrian refugees, and Jordan’s rooftop sector (driven by net metering) reached 100 MW by end-2015, from Ian Clover, “Jordan turns to solar to relieve stress of refugee crisis”, PV Magazine, 22 February 2016, 433
  94. Israel added 130 MW for a year-end total of 910 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 15.94
  95. Jordan from the following sources: Conor Ryan, “Scatec Solar’s 10MW project in Jordan reaches commercial operation”, PV-Tech, 21 June 2016,; “52.5 MW PV power plant provides 1% electricity to Jordan”, Energy Trend, 11 October 2016,; Christian Roselund, “Enerray, Desert Technologies put 23.1 MW-DC PV plant online in Jordan”, PV Magazine, 2 December 2016, In addition to the 52.5 MWac Shams Ma’an plant commissioned in September 2016, Jordan also had all 12 projects (200 MW) from the first round of tenders come online in 2016, from Samer Zawaydeh, Jordan Energy Chapter EDAMA, Association of Energy Engineers, personal communication with REN21, April 2017. Kuwait from JinkoSolar, “JinkoSolar supplies solar PV modules for the first integrated renewable project in Kuwait”, press release (Shanghai: 31 August 2016),, and from Zafar, op. cit. note 93. United Arab Emirates from “Mohammed inaugurates Phase 2 of Solar Park”, Gulf Today, 20 March 2017,
  96. Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE signed tenders, from MENA Solar Market Outlook for 2017 (Berlin: 2016),; Jordan also from “Jordan invites bids for 200 MW PV capacity and 100 MW wind power”, Taiyang News, 15 November 2016,; Iran from Sam Pothecary, “BPVA signs agreement with Iran to coordinate the development of 1GW of solar”, PV Magazine, 19 July 2016,; Sam Pothecary, “German company signs PPA for 100 MW solar plant in Iran”, PV Magazine, 14 June 2016,
  97. See, for example, Burger, op. cit. note 84; Maina Waruru, “Kenya taps solar to power digital learning”, Renewable Energy World, 18 July 2016,; Kizito Makoye, “Solar panels power business surge – not just lights – in Tanzania”, Reuters, 19 April 2016,; Chris Mfula, “Zambia to diversify generation mix as drought hits hydropower”, Lusaka Times, 10 May 2016, Zambia is expanding its non-hydropower renewable capacity to reduce reliance on hydropower, which has experienced a decline in output due to drought, from idem.97
  98. I. Nygaard, U.E. Hansen and T.H. Larsen, The Emerging Market for Pico-Scale Solar PV Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Donor-Supported Niches Toward Market-Based Rural Electrification (Copenhagen: UNEP DTU Partnership, 2016),
  99. South Africa added 536 MW for a total of 1,450 MW, and Algeria installed some 50 MW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 5; South Africa added 505 MW, Algeria added 171 MW, and Senegal added 43 MW, all based on data for end-2016 and end-2015, from IRENA, Renewable Capacity Statistics 2017 (Abu Dhabi: 2017), p. 24,
  100. For example, projects in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, from Nellie Peyton, “Africa battles to get big solar projects on grid”, Reuters, 4 August 2016,; also Egypt, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 5.100
  101. Ghana from Peyton, op. cit. note 100, from Tom Kenning, “Ghana to update feed-in tariffs to last 20 years”, PV-Tech, 20 April 2016,, and from “Newly constructed 20MW power plant in Ghana begins operation”, Construction Review Online, 25 April 2016,; Senegal from “Senegal in renewables drive as new solar park unveiled”, Daily Mail, 22 October 2016,; Uganda from Michael Oduor, “Uganda launches 10 MW solar power plant”, Africa News, 26 December 2016,, and from “Uganda Soroti solar power plant comes online”, ESI Africa, 13 December 2016,
  102. Algeria launched a tender for 4 GW, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 5; Egypt from Andy Colthorpe, “Egypt extends deadline for West of Nile 200MW PV tender”, PV-Tech, 17 June 2016,, and from Ilias Tsagas, “Egypt and Jordan: solar tenders shuffle onwards”, PV Magazine, 17 June 2016,; Kenya from “2016 Kenya REA solar PV diesel hybrid plants supply tender”, Biasharapoint East Africa, 9 August 2016,; Morocco from “Masen invites bids for 400MW solar power project”, Trade Arabia, 6 January 2016,; Nigeria signed its first solar power PPAs in July for 14 large-scale plants after four years of negotiations, from Peyton, op. cit. note 100; the plants will total nearly 1 GW of solar PV capacity, from “Movements in Nigeria’s PV market as PPAs get signed”, PV Magazine, 5 July 2016,; Gabriel Ewepu and Ediri Ejoh, “Solar power devt: investors commit $2.5bn into 14 projects”, Vanguard, 22 July 2016,; “Nigeria: Pan Africa Solar signs Nigeria’s first U.S.$146 million investment”, All Africa, 8 July 2016,; Zambia from Brian Eckhouse and Anna Hirtenstein, “Cheapest solar in Africa comes to Zambia through World Bank plan”, Bloomberg, 13 June 2016,, and from International Finance Corporation (IFC), “Scaling Solar’s first auction in Zambia sets new regional benchmark for low-cost solar power”, press release (Lusaka, Zambia: 13 June 2016),; winning bids were USD 0.0602 per kWh for a 45 MW plant and USD 0.0784 per kWh for a 28 MW plant, from Eckhouse and Hirtenstein, op. cit. this note. Many of these projects are being developed and financed through the World Bank’s Scaling Solar programme; see
  103. IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 12.103
  104. Runyon, op. cit. note 12; SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, p. 23. Residential markets are located primarily in Australia, several countries in the EU, Japan and the United States. In 2015, the global solar rooftop segment declined by 1 GW relative to 2014, from idem.104
  105. IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 10, p. 14. Figure 19 from IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 12 , and 2016 based on preliminary estimates from Becquerel Institute, provided by Philippe Macé, Becquerel Institute, personal communication with REN21, 15 May 2017.105
  106. IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, pp. 12, 67.106
  107. Mercatus, op. cit. note 85.107
  108. Data derived from Denis Lenardic, pvresources, personal communication with REN21, March-April 2017; Denis Lenardic, “Large-scale PV power plants – Top50”, updated 19 March 2017,; Denis Lenardic, “Large-scale PV power plants – Ranking 51-100”, updated 19 March 2017,; Denis Lenardic, “Large-scale PV power plants – Ranking 101-150”, updated 19 March 2017,
  109. Ibid., all references.109
  110. The project in Yanchi, Ningxia was completed in June 2016, from Huawei, “1 GW ground-mounted Smart PV plant in Yanchi, China”,, viewed 19 March 2017.110
  111. Wiki-Solar, “Another record year for utility-scale solar takes cumulative capacity close to 100 GW”, 2 March 2017, An estimated 55 GW of such plants are in Asia, 22.7 GW in North and Central America, 16.6 GW in Europe, 3 GW in South America, 1.9 GW in Africa, and 0.3 GW in Australasia and Oceania, from idem.111
  112. See, for example, Sarah Butler, “Marks & Spencer crowdfunds solar panels for its stores”, The Guardian (UK), 16 June 2016,; Aaron Pressman, “Solar power from Apple could light up your home”, Fortune, 4 August 2016,; Joseph Bebon, “More major companies commit to 100% renewables”, Solar Industry Magazine, 20 September 2016,; “Leon moves to 100% renewable energy”, Eat Out Magazine, 23 August 2016,; Katherine Tweed, “72% of corporations are actively procuring clean energy”, Greentech Media, 21 June 2016,; Cassie Werber, “These companies now run on 100% renewable power”, Quartz Media, 12 May 2016,; The White House, “Fact sheet: U.S. hosts world’s energy ministers to scale up clean energy and drive implementation of the Paris Agreement”, press release (Washington, DC: 2 June 2016),
  113. For example, only 10 new community energy organisations were registered in the United Kingdom during the first eight months of 2016, compared to 76 during 2015; the decline was attributed to changes in government policies, from Co-operatives UK, “New data reveals 80 per cent drop in community-owned energy following government U-turns”, press release (Manchester: updated 19 October 2016),; see also Fiona Harvey, “Just 10 new community energy schemes registered after Tories cut subsidies”, The Guardian (UK), 12 September 2016, 453
  114. See, for example: Jason Deign, “Australian Government and energy retailers back community solar-plus-storage projects”, Greentech Media, 4 May 2016,; ReneSola, “ReneSola connects 26MW of solar projects to UK grid”, press release (Shanghai: 5 July 2016),; Adilya Zaripova, “Finland to add more PV using community solar model”, PV Magazine, 29 April 2016,; in Finland, shared solar PV projects represent about 13% of the country’s solar power production, from idem. United States from Chris Martin, “It’s the dawn of the community solar farm”, Bloomberg, 16 August 2016, At least 16 states and Washington, DC, have legislation to support community projects, from Andrea Romano and Karin Corfee, “Community solar on the rise – tips for utilities developing programs”, Renewable Energy World, 22 November 2016,
  115. ISEP, “Community power growing in Japan and world-wide”, REN21 Newsletter, March 2017. ISEP uses the same definition of community power as the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA): “Community power” is defined as having at least two of the following criteria: local stakeholders (individuals or a group) own the majority or all of the project; control over voting rests with the community-based organisation, made up of local stakeholders; the majority of social and environmental benefits are distributed locally, from WWEA, “WWEA defines community power”, 23 May 2011,
  116. Australia from, for example, Deign, op. cit. note 114. United States from, for example, Romano and Corfee, op. cit. note 114; First Solar, “First Solar books 121MW in community solar sales”, press release (Tempe, AZ: 3 August 2016),; Jennifer Runyon, “14-MW community solar array now online in Massachusetts”, Renewable Energy World, 22 November 2016,
  117. Honduras generated 880.8 GWh of electricity with solar PV in 2016, and total net generation (including imports) was 8,977.6 GWh, making the solar PV share 9.8%, up from 4.8% in 2015, from Empresa Nacional de Energía Eléctrica (ENEE), Boletín Estadistíco Diciembre 2016 (Tegucigalpa: 2016), p. 5,, in January 2017, Honduras’ share of solar PV was 10.8%, from ENEE, Boletín Estadistíco Enero 2017 (Tegucigalpa: 2017), p. 7,; in Italy, solar PV generated 22,545 GWh of electricity in 2016 (down from 22,587 GWh in 2015) out of total consumption of 310,251 GWh in 2016 (down from 316,897 GW in 2015), from Terna, Rapporto mensile sul Sistema Elettrico (Rome: December 2016), p. 13,; Greece based on 3,686.6 GWh of solar PV generation (of which 511.6 GWh was from rooftop systems), which amounted to 7.2% of total electricity consumption, from Greek Operator for Electricity Market, Independent Power Transmission Operator, provided by Ioannis Tsipouridis, R.E.D. Pro Consultants S.A., Athens, personal communication with REN21, 21 April 2017; Germany generated 6.4% of its electricity with solar PV in 2016, down from 6.5% in 2015, from BMWi, Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung…, op. cit. note 70, pp. 41-42.
  118. Countries with 2% or more based on IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, pp. 12, 13. Countries with at least 4% are Honduras, Italy, Greece, Germany, Japan and Belgium, from idem; Japan also from Matsubara, op. cit. note 37. At least 12 countries had enough to meet more than 5% at end-2015, including Honduras, Kiribati, Italy, St. Helena, Germany, Greece, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Solomon Islands, Equitorial Guinea, Sierra Leone and Comoros, from IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 54.118
  119. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, p. 14. Estimate for electricity generation is theoretical calculation based on average yield and installed solar PV capacity as of 31 December 2016. Solar PV capacity in operation at the end of 2016 was enough to produce an estimated 1.8% of global electricity generation assuming close to optimum siting, orientation and average weather conditions, from IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 1, pp. 12, 13.119
  120. GTM Research and SEIA, op. cit. note 26, p. 15.120
  121. IEA PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 58; Masson, op. cit. note 11; Mints, op. cit. note 12; Paula Mints, “3@3 on Solar PV: Solar at $0.25 a watt explained”, video, Renewable Energy World, 16 February 2017,; “Innovations in solar plant assembly drive costs towards $1 per watt in 2017”, PV Insider, 12 October 2016,
  122. Figures of 29% and USD 0.41 per watt based on global quarterly blended c-Si module prices, from GTM Research, personal communication with REN21, April 2017; historic lows from Mints, op. cit. note 12.122
  123. Masson, op. cit. note 11. Low module prices below production costs for several tier 1 companies by late 2016, such that even the most competitive producers were having difficulty making a profit, from Masson, op. cit. note 15; Paula Mints, “3@3 on Solar PV: Falling prices, commodization, Middle East”, video, Renewable Energy World, 28 September 2016,; Mints, op. cit. note 21. See also David Ferris, “Fending off China, U.S. manufacturer SunPower slashes jobs”, E&E News, 8 December 2016,; Runyon, op. cit. note 12. 463
  124. Mints, op. cit. note 121; Mints, op. cit. note 123.124
  125. Factors driving down costs from Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and BNEF, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017 (Frankfurt: April 2017), p. 17,; faster than expected from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, p. 8; IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 58. See also Lazard, “Levelized cost of energy analysis 10.0”, 15 December 2016,, and US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE), “Energy Department announces more than 90% achievement of 2020 SunShot goal, sets sights on 2030 affordability targets”, 14 November 2016, The central estimate for LCOE of solar PV without tracking in the second half of 2016 was USD 101 per MWh, down 17% in one year, from Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. this note, pp. 16-17.125
  126. See, for example, BNEF, Climatescope 2016: The Clean Energy Country Competitiveness Index (London and Washington, DC: December 2016), p. 1,; Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 125, p. 19; SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, p. 10; World Economic Forum, Renewable Infrastructure Investment Handbook: A Guide for Institutional Investors (Geneva: December 2016), p. 6, Solar PV was more attractive than new natural gas in the United States as of 2016, from Mark Bolinger and Joachim Seel, Utility-scale Solar 2015: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States (Berkeley, CA: LBNL, August 2016), Executive Summary,; solar PV and wind power provide the cheapest new sources of generation capacity in South Africa, per GreenCape, Utility-scale Renewable Energy – 2017 Market Intelligence Report (Cape Town: 2017), p. 12,; costs of solar power are well below retail power prices in Australian capital cities, from Australian Climate Council, State of Solar 2016: Globally and in Australia (Potts Point, New South Wales: 2017), The average global LCOE for coal has been around USD 100 per MWh for more than a decade, while solar generating costs have fallen from about USD 600 per MWh a decade ago to USD 300 per MWh around 2011 to close to or below USD 100 per MWh by late 2016, from World Economic Forum, op. cit. this note, p. 6. Solar PV also is competing with wind power in some markets, beating out wind in the first and second power auctions in Mexico in 2016, from FTI Intelligence, “Vestas returns to no. 1 spot in global wind turbine supplier ranking in 2016”, Intelligence Spark – Energy Insights, 21 February 2017.126
  127. Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 125, p. 19.127
  128. See, for example, Mints, op. cit. note 12; Anna Hirtenstein, “New record set for world’s cheapest solar, now undercutting coal”, Bloomberg, 3 May 2016,; Vanessa Dezem, “Solar sold in Chile at lowest ever, half price of coal”, Bloomberg, 19 August 2016,; Anthony Dipaola, “Cheapest solar on record offered as Abu Dhabi expands renewables”, Bloomberg, 19 September 2016,
  129. Argentina from Steve Sawyer, Global Wind Energy Council, personal communication with REN21, 29 November 2016; Chile from Dezem, op. cit. note 128, and from Tom Kenning, “Solar takes at least 6% of Chile’s largest power auction with record low tariffs”, PV-Tech, 18 August 2016,; India from Tom Kenning, “Indian solar tariffs reach ‘surprise’ new low of INR4.34/kWh”, PV-Tech, 19 January 2016,; Tom Kenning, “Solar bids in India’s Rajasthan near record low as 16 developers go below five rupees”, PV-Tech, 13 July 2016,; “Record low tariff in Rewa improves growth prospects for solar in India”, Bridge to India, 13 February 2017,; Jordan and Saudi Arabia from “Saudi Arabia seeks $50bn of solar, wind investments; Jordan agrees $60/MWh PV prices”, New Energy Update, 17 January 2017,; “South Africa’s active solar regions to multiply as firms factor in grid risk”, PV Insider, 30 March 2016,; United Arab Emirates from Hirtenstein, op. cit. note 128, from Dipaola, op. cit. note 128, and from “DEWA signs power purchase agreement with Masdar for 800MW solar project”, Energy Business Review, 29 November 2016,
  130. “China said to mull bigger cut in solar prices in some regions”, Bloomberg, 28 September 2016,; Danish Energy Agency, “Historically low prices offered in Danish tender of aid for solar PV”, press release (Copenhagen: 12 December 2016),; Germany from Craig Morris, “German solar auctions: low prices, little built”,, and from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 4. Even in Germany’s seasoned market, average solar power prices in tenders fell around 25% in about 18 months, from idem. At the same time, however, only 27% of Germany’s winning bids as of April 2015 were up 16 months later, from Morris, op. cit. this note. In Zambia, for example, low tariffs have been achieved through the IFC’s Scaling Solar Program, from IFC, “Scaling Solar delivers low-cost clean energy for Zambia”, press release (Lusaka, Zambia and Washington, DC: June 2016),
  131. Bolinger and Seel, op. cit. note 126; David Ferris, “Solar power crosses threshold, gets cheaper than natural gas”, E&E News, 21 August 2015,; Richard A. Kessler, “Texas PV – the fastest draw in the west”, Recharge News, 29 October 2016,
  132. Expectations that technology costs would fall, from Jess Shankleman and Chris Martin, “Solar could beat coal to become the cheapest power on Earth”, Bloomberg, 3 January 2017,; cost of capital and low operating costs from Arnulf Jäger-Waldau, European Commission, Brussels, personal communication with REN21, April 2017.132
  133. SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, p. 11.133
  134. See, for example, Anindya Upadhyay, “Fortum financing solar spares India banks made wary by SunEdison”, Bloomberg, 1 May 2016,; Mints, op. cit. note 123; Cédric Philibert, IEA, cited in “Follow the sun: solar power is reshaping energy production in the developing world”, The Economist, 16 April 2016,; Masson, op. cit. note 11.134
  135. Threatens quality from Masson, op. cit. note 1; Mints, op. cit. note 121; Mints, op. cit. note 123.135
  136. See, for example, 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,; Lazard, op. cit. note 125; IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 60; Andy Colthorpe, “Japan’s government confirms plans for solar tender”, PV-Tech, 4 March 2016,
  137. Trajectories from DOE, Revolution…Now: The Future Arrives for Five Clean Energy Technologies – 2015 Update (Washington, DC: November 2015),; competitive and cheaper than from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 7, pp. 5, 7, 11. In Australia, for example, the cost of solar power was well below retail power prices in capital cities as of early 2017, from Australian Climate Council, State of Solar 2016: Globally and in Australia (Potts Point, New South Wales: 2017), p. II,
  138. Eighth year based on data in this section and developments in past years from 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,; Paula Mints, “2015 top ten PV cell manufacturers”, Renewable Energy World, 8 April 2016, 478
  139. Shares for 2016 from GTM Research, op. cit. note 122. Europe’s share fell to about 6% and the US share remained at 2% in 2015, from GTM Research, PV Pulse, April 2016. Europe’s share was around 8% in 2014, and 10% in 2013, from GTM Research, PV Pulse, March 2015.139
  140. The top 10 module manufacturers (companies that shipped assembled modules to the end-market) were JinkoSolar, Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, Hanwha Q-CELLS, JA Solar, GCL, First Solar, Yingli Green, Talesun and Risen, and they shipped just over half of all modules, from Solar Media Ltd., PV Manufacturing & Technology Quarterly, cited in Finlay Colville, “Top-10 solar module suppliers in 2016”, PV-Tech, 31 January 2017,
  141. Solar Media Ltd., PV Manufacturing & Technology Quarterly, cited in Colville, op. cit. note 140. See also Mark Osborne, “Top 5 module manufacturers in 2016”, PV-Tech, 23 November 2016, The top 10 cell producers in 2016 were Hanwha Q CELLS, JA Solar, Trina Solar, First Solar, JinkoSolar, Motech (China), Tongwei Solar (China), Yingli Green, Canadian Solar and Shunfeng (China), and they accounted for less than 40% of total production, from Solar Media Ltd., op. cit. this note.141
  142. In a race from Joe Ryan, “Solar industry braces with looming glut eroding panel prices”, Bloomberg, 23 August 2016, In February and March alone, expansions were announced in Asia, Europe (e.g., Netherlands, Italy), North Africa (e.g., Algeria), the Middle East (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and South America (e.g., Brazil), from Mark Osborne, “Global PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in March increase to 7.3GW”, PV-Tech, 11 April 2016,, and from Mark Osbourne, “PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in February reach 5.4GW”, PV-Tech, 7 March 2016,
  143. SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, p. 8. New factories in Asia from, for example, Edgar Meza, “European Commission seeks to bar five Chinese PV manufacturers from price undertaking”, PV Magazine, 13 October 2016,; Ian Clover, “India loses solar appeal at World Trade Organization”, PV Magazine, 19 September 2016,; Sam Pothecary, “JA Solar announces facility expansion in Malaysia”, PV Magazine, 6 October 2016,; Christian Roselund, “Trina Solar begins module production in Thailand”, PV Magazine, 29 March 2016,; Jessica Shankleman, “JA Solar withdraws from EU minimum sale pricing agreement”, Bloomberg, 28 September 2016,; Philip Blenkinsop, “EU countries oppose duty extension on Chinese solar panels: sources”, Reuters, 26 January 2017, Vietnam emerged as an alternative to Malaysia and Thailand from Mark Osborne, “Global PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in March increase to 7.3GW”, PV-Tech, 11 April 2016,; Mark Osborne, “GCL System adding 600MW cell capacity in Vietnam with Vina”, PV-Tech, 3 January 2017,
  144. Masson, op. cit. note 11.144
  145. Sam Pothacary, “First PV module manufacturing plant opened in Ghana”, PV Magazine, 5 April 2016,; “Ultramodern solar panel plant launched in Ghana”, News Ghana, 2 April 2016,; Canadian Solar, “Canadian Solar opens Brazil’s largest capacity solar module manufacturing facility”, press release (Ontario: 12 December 2016),; Ian Clover, “Commercial production begins at Solar Frontier’s 150 MW CIS plant”, PV Magazine, 1 June 2016,; Sam Pothecary, “New 50 MW module production facility operational in Kosovo”, PV Magazine, 16 June 2016,; Mark Osborne, “OC3 adding module capacity in Germany to meet Turkish market drive”, PV-Tech, 25 January 2017,
  146. For example, Canadian Solar scaled back plans from 6.4 GW of new manufacturing capacity to 5.8 GW, from Ryan, op. cit. note 142; other companies halted plans for factories in Brazil because of the economic slowdown there and plunging local currency, from Vanessa Dezen, “Canadian Solar investing $23 million in Brazil panel factory”, Renewable Energy World, 20 June 2016, Closed facilities included, for example, SunPower (United States) closed a module assembly factory in the Philippines and announced jobs cuts in order to reduce costs, from Mints, op. cit. note 21, and from Mints, op. cit. note 12. Panasonic (Japan) stopped production at a facility in February, although it had plans to reopen it for the US market, from “Panasonic to supply solar panels to Tesla”, Nikkei Asian Review, 16 December 2016,; changed strategy or restructured also from, for example, Chris Martin and Brian Eckhouse, “Solar manufacturers pivot away from big U.S. utility plants”, Bloomberg, updated 11 August 2016,; “First Solar to cut 1,600 jobs in a ‘challenging’ market”, E&E News, 18 November 2016,
  147. SolarPower Europe, “Solar cell & module production in Europe – 2016 survey”,, viewed 13 March 2017. Europe’s manufacturing capacity fell by 3%, from 6.9 GW in 2015 to 6.7 GW in 2016, and utilisation of module factories declined from 46% in 2015 to 40% in 2016, from idem.147
  148. “Panasonic to supply solar panels to Tesla”, op. cit. note 146; Shankleman and Martin, op. cit. note 132.148
  149. Julian Spector, “Dow Chemical sheds its solar shingle business”, Greentech Media, 1 July 2016,; Dow, “Powerhouse™ Shingles no longer available”,; Frank Andorka, “Dow’s Powerhouse solar shingle dream finally dies”, PV Magazine, 15 December 2016, US manufacturers from, for example, Mints, op. cit. note 21; Stephen Lacey, “SunPower slashes its workforce 25%, closes production and cuts capital spend 50% in restructuring”, Greentech Media, 7 December 2016,; Martin and Eckhouse, op. cit. note 146; “First Solar to cut 1,600 jobs in a ‘challenging’ market”, op. cit. note 146.149
  150. Paula Mints, “Trying to understand PV shipment numbers: do the math”, Renewable Energy World, 22 March 2016,; Masson, op. cit. note 1.150
  151. GTM Research, op. cit. note 122.151
  152. ibid.152
  153. Even the most competitive from Masson, op. cit. note 15; lay off workers and even fail from Mints, op. cit. note 123; Mints, op. cit. note 21; Ryan, op. cit. note 142; “First Solar to cut 1,600 jobs in a ‘challenging’ market”, op. cit. note 146; Ferris, op. cit. note 123.153
  154. Tokyo Shoko Research, cited in “Bankruptcy of Japanese solar companies break record in 2016 due to sluggish market”, Energy Trend, 25 January 2017,; also cited in Shinichi Kato, “Solar firm bankruptcy hits record high for first half of 2016”, Nikkei BP, 6 September 2016, Poor sales performance, failed business models and capital deficiency were three major reasons cited, from idem, both sources.154
  155. Eric Wesoff, “The end of SunEdison: Developer now looking into liquidating its assets”, Greentech Media, 18 May 2016,; Christian Roselund, “Breaking: NRG applies to acquire 2.1 GW of SunEdison solar and wind projects”, PV Magazine, 10 August 2016,; Anindya Upadhyay, “SunEdison said to exit India with sale of projects to Greenko”, Bloomberg, 9 January 2017,
  156. IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 45. In addition to those in the text, examples of mergers and acquisitions include: Renewable energy project developer and operator Voltalia (France) acquired Martifer Solar, from Yamurai Zendera, “Voltalia acquires photovoltaic firm Martifer Solar”, Construction Week, 18 October 2016,; Daniella Ola, “ENcome acquires abakus solar”, PV-Tech, 21 June 2016,; two large US residential installers, Vision Solar and Zing Solar merged to form ION Solar, from Chris Crowell, “Two growing regional solar installers merge to form ION Solar”, Solar Builder Magazine, 6 December 2016,; Chris Crowell, “O&M news: MaxGen Energy Services acquires commercial services of Next Phase Solar from Enphase”, Solar Builder Magazine, 11 November 2016,; Chris Crowell, “BayWa r.e. enters module business in Australia, acquiring Solarmatrix”, Solar Builder Magazine, 6 September 2016,; Chris Crowell, “Sungevity ready to go public after big merger with Easterly”, Solar Builder Magazine, 6 July 2016,
  157. Ralf Ossenbrink, “Ingeteam takes over Bonfiglioli’s PV business”, Sun & Wind Energy, 21 June 2016,; Bonfiglioli, “Ingeteam takes over Bonfiglioli’s PV business”, press release (Bilbao and Bologna: 19 June 2016),
  158. Mark Osborne, “Longi, Trina Solar and Tongwei team on 5GW mono ingot plant”, PV-Tech, 4 January 2017,; Liam Stoker, “WElink Energy, BSR sign £1.1 billion solar and efficient homes deal with CNBM”, Solar Power Portal, 15 January 2016,
  159. Projects changed hands from, for example, “Ardian Infrastructure makes south American debut with solar plant”, IPE Real Estate, 20 September 2016,; Christian Roselund, “Southern Company acquires another 120 MW solar project in Texas”, PV Magazine, 7 March 2016,; John West, “Southern Co. adds Texas solar facility to portfolio”, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 7 July 2016,; Conor Ryan, “Southern Power to acquire 102MW Henrietta Solar Project from SunPower”, PV-Tech, 7 July 2016,; Plamena Tisheva, “Cubico buys 50-MW UK solar farm from BSR”, Renewables Now, 19 September 2016,; “Successful sale of solar assets driving confidence in the sector”, Bridge to India, 20 June 2016,; Southern Company, “Southern Company subsidiary acquires East Pecos Solar Facility in Texas”, press release (Atlanta: 7 March 2016),; Iris Dorbian, “Ardian buys four Solarpack solar PV plants in South America”, PE Hub Network, 20 September 2016,; United Photovoltaics Group Limited, “United PV acquired 82.4MW solar power plants in UK”, press release (Hong Kong: 23 September 2016),; Greentech Energy Systems, “20/2016: Acquisition of the remaining 50% stake of La Castilleja solar plant completed”, press release (Copenhagen: 20 December 2016),; “Korea Power Company buys Colorado solar PV plant”, Power Engineering, 29 August 2016, See also Smiti Mittal, “China’s United PV secures $1.5 billion funding to acquire solar power projects”, CleanTechnica, 6 January 2016, Demand for projects won under tenders, from Masson, op. cit. note 11.159
  160. Michael Schmela, SolarPower Europe, “Global Market Outlook for Solar Power, 2016-2010”, webinar, 7 July 2016.160
  161. Takashi Mochizuki, “Taiwan’s Foxconn completes acquisition of Sharp”, Wall Street Journal, 13 August 2016,; Jonathan Soble, “With bet on Japan, Sharp stumbles”, New York Times, 2 March 2016,; “Panasonic to supply solar panels to Tesla”, Nikkei Asian Review, 16 December 2016,; Chisaki Watanabe and Dana Hull, “Tesla, Panasonic to begin solar panel production in New York”, Bloomberg, 29 December 2016,; Dana Hull and Chris Martin, “Tesla seals $2 billion SolarCity deal”, Bloomberg, updated 18 November 2016,; “Tesla completes acquisition of SolarCity”, E&E News, 22 November 2016, 501
  162. FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 126.162
  163. SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, p. 9. In addition, EDF signed a PPA with Southern California Edison for a 111.2 PV (AC) power plant, from Danielle Ola, “EDF buys US installer groSolar”, PV-Tech, 25 April 2016,
  164. Anindya Upadhyay, “India’s Tata Power to buy $1.4bn renewables portfolio”, Renewable Energy World, 14 June 2016,; Sam Pothecary, “RWE to acquire PV and storage specialist Belectric Solar & Battery”, PV Magazine, 29 August 2016,; Liam Stoker, “Innogy completes purchase of Belectric Solar & Battery”, PV-Tech, 4 January 2017,; EDF (France) continued its move into the US market with the acquisition of Global Resource Options (groSolar), a US-based company that sells and installs residential and commercial systems, from “EDF agrees acquisition of US solar company”, PV Magazine, 25 April 2016,, and from Danielle Ola, “EDF buys US installer groSolar”, PV-Tech, 25 April 2016,
  165. Andy Colthorpe, “Thailand’s biggest coal company mulling US$170m Japan PV investment – reports”, PV-Tech, 7 April 2016,; Mott MacDonald, “Mott MacDonald supports major solar PV acquisition, Japan”, press release (London: 26 April 2016),; Sam Pothecary, “Coal India to implement 200 MW solar project”, PV Magazine, 30 June 2016,; PTT (Thailand), from “Foreign players descending on Japan’s solar power market”, Nikkei Asian Review, 30 April 2016,; William Steel, “Wärtsilä diversifies into solar PV”, Renewable Energy World, 3 May 2016,; Emiliano Bellini, “Eni, Sonatrach start construction on 10 MW PV plant in Algeria”, PV Magazine, 20 March 2017,; MENA Solar Market Outlook for 2017, op. cit. note 96.165
  166. Stine Jacobsen, “Oil firm Statoil makes first investment in solar tech”, Reuters, 6 December 2016,
  167. See, for example, Barbara Grady, “Renewable energy’s new dance partners: banks, pension funds”, Green Biz, 19 July 2016,; Solar Farms, LLC, “Solar farms generate dazzling returns for pension funds”, press release (Asheville, NC: 11 January 2017),; “Banks, financial institutions provide over Rs 78K crore for clean energy projects”, Economic Times, 18 July 2016,; Maulik Vyas, “CDPQ sets up office in India: commits $150 million for renewable energy”, Economic Times, 9 March 2016,; “Successful sale of solar assets driving confidence in the sector”, Bridge to India, 20 June 2016,; Shailaja Sharma, “Piramal Enterprises, APG Asset Management commit $132 million to Essel Green Energy”, LiveMint, 31 March 2016,; ReNew Power, “Our Partners”,, viewed 25 February 2016; SolarCity, “SolarCity Creates New Fund to Finance $249 Million in Solar Projects”, press release (San Mateo, California: 25 February 2017),; “SolarCity launches solar loan program in 14 states”, Penn Energy, 3 June 2016,; “SolarCity creates funds to finance over USD 347 million in solar PV projects for homeowners and small businesses, Solar Server, 29 September 2016,; Nina Chestney, “JP Morgan Asset Management acquires solar developer Sonnedix”, Reuters, 1 September 2016,
  168. Sharma, op. cit. note 167; Anindya Upadhyay, “Goldman-backed ReNew wins 522 MW of solar projects in East India”, Bloomberg, 17 March 2016, The California Public Employees’ Retirement System agreed to buy up to 25% of Desert Sunlight Investment Holdings, which owns two solar power plants in southern California, from “Giant pension fund buys stake in California solar plants”, Times-Herald, 23 March 2016,
  169. Michael Allen, “Crowdfunding a renewable future”, Phys Org, 12 October 2016, Projects from, for example, “First successful SunVest (crowdfunding) solar PV system (April 2016)”, SolarPVExchange, 29 April 2016,; Andrea Soh, “Crowdfunding used for solar installation at Singapore residential property (amended)”, Business Times, 10 June 2016,; Sarah Butler, “Marks & Spencer crowdfunds solar panels for its stores”, The Guardian (UK), 16 June 2016, Technology innovation from, for example, GCR Staff, “Crowd funding sought for ‘invisible’ PV panels that mimic wood and stone”, Global Construction Review, 11 October 2016,; Sam Pothecary, “Watly launched crowdfunding campaign for its offgrid power generator and water purifier”, PV Magazine, 7 April 2016, New platforms from, for example, Andy Colthorpe, “New solar crowdfunding platform launched in US”, PV-Tech, 30 April 2016, For other related developments see, for example, “World premiere: crowdfunding platforms Lumo and TheSunExchange grant SolarCoins to their crowdfunders”, SolarCoin, 18 October 2016, 509
  170. See, for example, SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, pp. 8-9; Eric Wesoff, “SunPower breaks solar panel efficiency record, again”, Greentech Media, 22 February 2016,; First Solar, “First Solar achieves yet another cell conversion efficiency world record”, Business Wire (Tempe, AZ: 23 February 2016),; Trina Solar, “Trina Solar announces new efficiency record of 23.5% for large-area interdigitated back contact silicon solar cell”, press release (Changzhou: 26 April 2016),; Erica Solomon, “How a new tandem solar cell is at the forefront on innovation”, Masdar Institute, 29 May 2016,; Eric Wesoff, “First Solar beats revenue, tunes guidance and nears 17% module efficiency on its lead line”, Greentech Media, 4 August 2016,; Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, “TU Eindhoven breaks world record for nanowire solar cells”, press release (Eindhoven, Netherlands: 16 October 2016),; Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), “30.2 percent efficiency – new record for silicon-based multi-junction solar cell“, press release 23/16 (Freiburg: 9 November 2016), 1366 Technologies (US), which is developing a process that minimises silicon waste and could reduce production costs significantly, signed a purchase deal with Hanwha Q-Cells, from Peter Behr, “Closing in on a solar power breakthrough”, E&E News, 21 October 2016,; 1366 Technologies, “1366 Technologies and Hanwha Q CELLS achieve 19.6% efficiency using Direct Wafer® and Q.ANTUM cell technologies”, press release (Bedford, MA: 21 December 2016), MiaSolé (United States) announced high-volume production of a new light-weight, flexible roofing product and started to ship orders, from Monica Richards/MiaSolé, “MiaSolé announces new products that revolutionize solar industry – next generation, flexible ultra-light solar technology”, press release (Las Vegas, NV: 12 September 2016),
  171. Roadmaps from, for example, Runyon, op. cit. note 12; Roberto Labastida, “Advanced module technologies moving onto the main stage”, Renewable Energy World, 31 October 2016, See also, for example, Chris Martin, “First Solar making panels more cheaply than China’s top supplier”, Bloomberg, 14 April 2016,; “First Solar discontinues TetraSun product line, switches to Series 5 thin film”, Solar Novus, 5 July 2016, Functionality and grid requirements, from Roberto Labastida, “Advanced module technologies moving onto the main stage”, Renewable Energy World, 31 October 2016,
  172. SolarWorld and REC Solar from Mark Osborne, “Global PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in March increase to 7.3GW”, PV-Tech, 11 April 2016, For more on PERC-related developments, see, for example, Michael Schmela, “Why solar cell production is all about PERC: TaiyangNews publishes in-depth report on PERC cell technology”, TaiyangNews, 8 April 2016,; Mark Osborne, “GCL System adding 600MW cell capacity in Vietnam with Vina”, PV-Tech, 3 January 2017,; Finlay Colville, “Hanwha restores Q-Cells to number 1 solar cell ranking in 2016”, PV-Tech, 27 January 2017,; Mark Osborne, “Global PV manufacturing capacity expansion announcements in March increase to 7.3GW”, PV-Tech, 11 April 2016,
  173. Busbars from “Trends in solar module manufacturing”, The EU PVSEC Blog, 4 January 2017,
  174. For efficiency improvements see, for example, Monika Landgraf, “Record for perovskite/CIGS tandem solar module”, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, press release (Karlsruhe, Germany: 27 September 2016),; “Australia researchers set new record for perovskite solar cell efficiency”, Energy Business Review, 5 December 2016, For stabilisation see, for example: Subham Dastidar et al., “High chloride doping levels stabilize the perovskite phase of cesium lead iodide”, Nano Letters, vol. 15 (2016), 3563−70,; Ian Clover, “Oxford PV to open perovskite fab in Germany”, PV Magazine, 11 November 2016,; Nancy Ambrosiano, “Cooling, time in the dark preserve perovskite solar power”, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 17 May 2016,; D. Koushik et al., “High-efficiency humidity-stable planar perovskite solar cells based on atomic layer architecture”, Energy and Environmental Science (5 December 2016),!divAbstract.174
  175. Ran Fu et al., U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System Cost Benchmark: Q1 2016 (Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), September 2016), p. vi,
  176. See, for example, Jennifer Runyon, “Beamreach says its lightweight solar system slashes commercial solar install time by up to 80 percent”, Renewable Energy World, 21 June 2016,; “Innovations in solar plant assembly drive costs towards $1 per watt in 2017”, PV Insider, 12 October 2016,
  177. Stefan Gsänger and Jean-Daniel Pitteloud, World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), personal communication with REN21, 9 March 2017; Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 125, pp. 44-49; Ian Clover, “Wind company Suzlon enters India solar market with 210 MW project”, PV Magazine, 13 January 2016, See also, for example, Karl-Erik Stromsta, “Ones to watch: wind and solar joining forces”, Recharge News, 4 January 2016,; Frank Jossi, “Nation’s first integrated wind and solar project takes shape in Minnesota”, Midwest Energy News, 2 March 2017,; Joshua S. Hill, “Australia moves forward on three wind projects including wind/solar hybrid”, CleanTechnica, 27 July 2016,; Michael Place, “Engie Brasil ‘analyzing’ solar-wind hybrid projects”, BNAmericas, 28 October 2016,; Rahul Bhandari, “Solar wind hybrid power project to be set up at Rangrik”, News Himachal, 18 May 2016,; Anindya Upadhyay, “Hybrid solar and wind systems attract turbine makers in India”, Bloomberg, 5 September 2016,
  178. “US Solar market boom cuts O&M costs years ahead of forecast”, PV Insider, 21 November 2016,; SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5.178
  179. SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 5; Chijioke Mama, “Solar O&M in Nigeria: the challenges that lie ahead”, The Solar Future, 18 January 2017,
  180. Ferris, op. cit. note 123; “US Solar market boom cuts O&M costs years ahead of forecast”, op. cit. note 178; Jason Deign, “Rapid-cleaning robots set to cut solar energy losses, labor costs”, New Energy Update, 15 March 2017, Robotic cleaning systems can increase system output while reducing or eliminating the need for water, and provide savings on vehicle and labour costs, from idem.180
  181. IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 52; Jason Deign, “Inverter makers focus on cutting O&M costs to increase market share”, PV Insider, 23 November 2015,; Anna Flávia Rochas, “Global technology suppliers raise inverter output using new materials”, PV Insider, 14 September 2016,
  182. Rochas, op. cit. note 181.182
  183. China’s Huawei Solar was the largest manufacturer by shipments in 2015, from SolarPower Europe, op. cit. note 10, p. 8; IHS Technology PV Inverter Market Tracker Q2 2016, cited in John Parnell, “Huawei leads inverter market in 2015”, PV-Tech, 21 July 2016,; in 2016, Huawei Solar expanded production in Europe to meet demand in Europe and Central Asia, from Sam Pothecary, “Huawei expands operations in Europe”, PV Magazine, 29 September 2016,; Toshiba and Mitsubishi (both Japan), developed a joint venture to increase production capacity abroad and to target emerging markets, from Chisaki Watanabe, “Toshiba Mitsubishi looks beyond India, China for solar shipments”, Bloomberg, 3 August 2016,; fighting to maintain market share from, for example, Eric Wesoff, “Enphase’s new $25M loan bets it all on next-gen microinverters and energy storage”, Greentech Media, 18 July 2016,; Mark Osborne, “SMA Solar consolidates inverter production in Germany and China”, PV-Tech, 11 August 2016,; “Update 1 – SMA Solar shuts factories as pricing pressure intensifies”, Reuters, 11 August 2016,
  184. Scott Moskowitz, “The global PV inverter and MLPE landscape: H2 2016”, GTM Research, November 2016,
  185. GTM Research, cited in “GTM Research: Global solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter market continues to grow more concentrated as it matures”, SolarServer, 12 December 2016,; Ian Clover, “SMA holds firm as inverter revenue leader, with Huawei topping shipment charts, says IHS Markit”, PV Magazine, 8 May 2017, 525
  186. “Fraunhofer ISE sets CPV module efficiency record of 43.4%”, Semiconductor Today, 24 February 2016,; Eric Wesoff, “Is time running out for CPV startup Semprius?” Greentech Media, 3 January 2017,; IEA-PVPS, op. cit. note 3, p. 50; Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and NREL, Current Status of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Technology (Golden, CO: December 2015), p. 7,; 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,
  187. Companies in the industry include: Arzon Solar (United States), formerly Amonix, from Arzon Solar “Company”,, viewed 25 February 2017; Morgan Solar (Canada), from Morgan Solar, “About Sun Simba”,, viewed 25 February 2017, and from Morgan Solar, “Morgan Solar has reinvented solar technology”,, viewed 25 February 2017; REhnu (United States), from; Suncore (United States/ China) is developing solar cells coupled to a heat exchanger to produce electricity and thermal power, from Suncore, “Solar CHP: Combined heat & power”,, viewed 25 February 2017; Solaria (United States) appears to be focused on building-integrated PV (BIPV) and high-efficiency modules for rooftop installations, with three new products launched in 2016, from Solaria, “Solaria successfully launched three solutions in 2016”,, viewed 25 February 2017, and from Solaria, “Press releases”,, viewed 25 February 2017.187
  188. Lauren K. Ohnesorge, “Clock ticking on Durham’s Semprius as it continues debt funder streak”, Triangle Business Journal, 22 September 2016,; Eric Wesoff, “Is time running out for CPV startup Semprius?” Greentech Media, 3 January 2017, See also Semprius website,
  189. “Saint-Augustin Canada Electric (STACE) met la main sur la technologie solaire CPV de Soitec”, Plein Soleil, 20 October 2016,; STACE, “Saint-Augustin Canada Electric Inc.(STACE) acquires Soitec solar CPV technology”, press release (Saint-Augustin, Quebec: 19 January 2017),
  190. Eric Wesoff, “Korean utility Kepco buys 30MW Alamosa CPV plant for $34M”, Greentech Media, 30 August 2016,
  191. IRENA and IEA PVPS, End-of-Life Management: Solar Photovoltaic Panels (Abu Dhabi: June 2016),
  192. Ibid.192
  193. Andrew Spence, “Solar panel recycler leads Australia in emerging industry”, Renewable Energy World, 8 July 2016,; SEIA, “SEIA National PV Recycling Program”,, viewed 24 February 2017; Osamu Tomioka, “Japanese companies work on ways to recycle a mountain of solar panels”, Nikkei Asian Review, 17 November 2016, 533
  194. European Commission, “Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE)”,, viewed 24 February 2016; Sigrid Kusch, Science and Engineering for Sustainable Environmental Resources, Ulm, Germany, personal communication with REN21, April 2017.194
Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP)
  1. Data are compiled from the following primary sources: CSP Today, “Projects Tracker”,, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 27 March 2017; US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), “Concentrating solar power projects by project name”,, viewed on numerous dates leading up to 27 March 2017; Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), Renewables 2016 Global Status Report (Paris: 2016), pp. 67-69,; International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Capacity Statistics 2017 (Abu Dhabi: 2017), 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. Global CSP data are based on commercial facilities only; demonstration or pilot facilities are excluded. Differences between IRENA and REN21 data are due primarily to the inclusion of pilot and demonstration facilities in the IRENA report. Figure 20 based on idem, all sources.1
  2. Ibid.2
  3. Ibid.3
  4. South Africa from Ibid.; Morocco as reported in REN21, op. cit. note 1, pp. 67-69.4
  5. Ibid.; SolarPACES, “China announces the first group of CSP demonstration projects”, press release (Tabernas, Spain: 13 September 2016),; Catherine Wu, “China’s first molten salt trough CSP loop put into operation”, CSP Plaza, 13 October 2016,; Jennifer Zhang, “Shouhang Dunhang 10MW molten salt tower CSP plant will put into operation, open to visitors on December 29th”, CSP Plaza, 9 November 2016,; NREL, “SunCan Dunhuang 10 MW Phase 1”, 11 January 2017,
  6. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.6
  7. Ibid.7
  8. Ibid. Figure 21 based on data from idem.8
  9. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.9
  10. Ibid.10
  11. Ibid.; NREL, “Dadri ISCC Plant”,, viewed 23 November 2016.11
  12. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.12
  13. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.13
  14. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. United States from Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), “Solar industry data: solar industry growing at a record pace”,, viewed 20 April 2017; Spain from op. cit. note 1, all sources.14
  15. Op. cit. note 1, all sources. Carla Bernardo, “Khi Solar One kicks into commercial operation”, ESI Africa, 8 February 2016,; Carla Bernardo, “What you need to know about the Bokpoort solar plant”, IOL, 14 March 2016,
  16. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.16
  17. Ibid.17
  18. Paul Burkhardt and Mike Cohen, “Eskom has ‘gone completely rogue’ on green energy – IPP”, Fin24, 6 December 2016,
  19. “China to install 1.4 GW CSP capacity by 2018; South Africa backs Redstone PPA”, NewEnergyUpdate, 20 September 2016,; Frank Haugwitz, Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Co. Ltd, personal communication with REN21, April 2017; op. cit. note 1, all sources; SolarPACES, op. cit. note 5; Wu, op. cit. note 5; Zhang, op. cit. note 5; NREL, op. cit. note 5.19
  20. Ibid.20
  21. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.21
  22. Heba Hashem, “Global CSP capacity forecast to hit 22 GW by 2025”, CSP Today, 20 September 2015,; “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, 556
  23. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.23
  24. NREL, “Noor II”, 13 March 2017,; NREL, “Noor III”, 13 March 2017,
  25. NREL, “Noor I”, 10 May 2016,; op. cit. note 1, all sources.25
  26. NREL, “Ashalim Plot B”, 22 March 2016,
  27. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.27
  28. Ibid.28
  29. Ibid.29
  30. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), “DEWA releases RFP for 200 MW solar CSP power plant, the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park”, press release (Dubai: 20 January 2017),
  31. Electricidad, “Planta termosolar de proyecto Cerro Dominador entraria operaciones en 2019”, 14 March 2017,; Andrew Baker, “Abengoa restarts work on stalled Chile solar project”, 14 December 2016,
  32. Ibid.32
  33. Sener, “Agua Prieta II en Mexico“, 2017,
  34. Ivan Shumkov, “French JV raises EUR 60m for solar thermodynamic project”, 13 October 2016,
  35. Aalborg CSP, “Aalborg CSP supplies concentrated solar power system for combined heat and power generation in Denmark”, 29 February 2016,
  36. Ibid.36
  37. “Concentrated solar power (CSP) gets a major boost in China”, HeliosCSP, 11 July 2016,; Susan Kraemer, “SolarReserve’s Shenhua deal to build 1GW of dispatchable solar day or night”, CleanTechnica, 11 May 2016,; “China says 1.35 GW of CSP projects to be ready by 2018”, Renewables Now, 14 September 2016,; “CSP key equipment for China’s concentrated solar power demonstration projects”, HeliosCSP, 19 March 2017,
  38. Menasol, “MENA Solar Market Outlook for 2017”, presentation, Dubai, 25-26 April 2016,; “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,
  39. Tobias Buck, “Abengoa staves off insolvency with €1.17bn restructuring”, Financial Times, 11 August 2016,
  40. Ibid.40
  41. “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,
  42. Information is based on a high-level assessment and search for CSP-focused publications released during the course of 2016 addressing mergers and acquisitions within the global CSP industry.42
  43. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.43
  44. NREL, op. cit. note 11; NREL, “Noor II”, op. cit. note 24; NREL, op. cit. note 25.44
  45. Op. cit. note 1, all sources.45
  46. Ibid.; Jason Deign, “Concentrating solar power isn’t viable without storage, say experts”, Greentech Media, 1 November 2016,
  47. Abengoa, “Khi Solar One near Upington achieves a technological milestone”, Energyblog, 30 March 2016,
  48. Op. cit. note 1, all sources; Deign, op. cit. note 46.48
  49. NREL, On the Path to SunShot: Advancing Concentrating Solar Power Technology, Performance, and Dispatchability (Golden, CO: May 2016), p. 46,
  50. Ibid., p. 46.50
  51. Fred Morse, Morse Associates, Inc., United States, personal communication with REN21, April 2017; Maduna Ngobeni, “Market overview and current levels of renewable energy deployment”, Stakeholder Consultation Workshop: Preparation of the Second Edition of the State of Renewable Energy in South Africa Report, 25 November 2016,; Haugwitz, op. cit. note 19.51
  52. NREL, op. cit. note 49, p. 46; IRENA, The Power to Change: Solar and Wind Cost Reduction Potential to 2025 (Abu Dhabi: June 2016),
  53. Michael Irving, “Solar thermal record sees 97% conversion of sunlight into steam”, New Atlas, 23 August 2016,; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), “Supercritical solar - new frontier for power generation”, press release (Canberra: 3 June 2014),
  54. US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, “Tower of power”, ASCR Discovery, August 2016,; Peter Maloney, “Researchers identify new storage tech for concentrated solar power plants”, Utility Dive, 10 November 2015,; European Commission (EC), “Redox materials-based structured reactors/heat exchangers for thermo-chemical heat storage systems in concentrated solar power plants”, 7 November 2016,; EC, “Innovative configuration for a fully renewable hybrid CSP plant”, 31 July 2016,; Mark Mehos et al., Concentrating Solar Power Gen3 Demonstration Roadmap (Golden, CO: NREL, January 2017),
  55. Irving, op. cit. note 53; CSIRO, op. cit. note 53.55
  56. Ibid., both references.56
  57. Piero de Bonis, EC, Brussels, personal communication with REN21, April 2017; EC, op. cit. note 54, both references.57
  58. DOE, op. cit. note 54; Maloney, op. cit. note 56; EC, op. cit. note 54, both references; Mehos et al., op. cit. note 54.58
  59. Luis Crespo, European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA), Brussels, personal communication with REN21, 22 April 2017.59
  60. Tobias Hirsch, ed., SolarPACES Guideline for Bankable STE Yield Assessment (Tabernas, Spain: SolarPACES, January 2017),
Wind Power
  1. The wind industry added 54,642 MW for a total of 486,790 MW, from Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), Global Wind Report – Annual Market Update 2016 (Brussels: April 2017),; 54,846.2 MW was added for a total of 486,661 MW, from World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), WWEA Annual Report 2016 (Bonn: May 2017),; 55,492 MW was added for a total of 488,123 MW, from FTI Consulting, Global Wind Market Update – Demand & Supply 2016, Part Two – Demand Side Analysis (London: March 2017), p. 47,; and 54,166 MW was added (connected capacity) for a total of 486.7 GW, from EurObserv’ER, Wind Energy Barometer (Paris: February 2017), pp. 2, 4,
  2. GWEC, op. cit. note 1; FTI Intelligence, “Vestas returns to no. 1 spot in global wind turbine supplier ranking in 2016”, press release (London: 20 February 2017). Figure 26 based on historical data from GWEC, op. cit. note 1; data for 2016 from sources in this section. Note that additions reported in this section are generally gross additions; the net increase in total capacity can be lower, reflecting decommissioning. However, relatively few of the countries that installed wind power capacity during the year decommissioned previously existing capacity.2
  3. Figure of 90 countries from Shruti Shukla, GWEC, personal communication with Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), 13 April 2017; 29 countries from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 5. Countries with more than 1 GW included 17 countries in Europe, 5 in Asia-Pacific, 6 in the Americas and 1 in Africa (South Africa), from idem (both sources). Note that 113 countries/regions had some wind capacity in operation as of end-2016, per WWEA, op. cit. note 1.3
  4. FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2.4
  5. GWEC, op. cit. note 1; WWEA, op. cit. note 1.5
  6. GWEC, op. cit. note 1. Figure 27 based on country-specific data and sources provided throughout this section.6
  7. New markets from Steve Sawyer, cited in GWEC, “Wind power chalks up more strong numbers”, press release (Brussels: 10 February 2017),; Bolivia added the 24 MW Phase II of its Qollpana wind farm, for a year-end total of 27 MW, from Empresa Nacional de Electricidad, “Inauguran parquet eólico Qollpana Fase II consolidando la energía eólica en Bolivia”, press release (Cochabamba: 9 September 2016),; Georgia inaugurated its first wind farm (20.7 MW), from Plamena Tisheva, “Georgia inaugurates 1st wind farm”, Renewables Now, 7 October 2016, 705
  8. Denmark had an estimated 927 watts per person, followed by Sweden (669.6 W), Germany (617.7 W), Ireland (613.1 W) and Portugal (509.5 W). The Caribbean island of Bonaire had 620.4 W per person, all from WWEA, op. cit. note 1. The top EU countries per inhabitant were Denmark (918.5 kW per 1,000 inhabitants), Sweden (661.8), Germany (608.7), Ireland (585.2) and Portugal (509.5), from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 7.8
  9. GWEC, op. cit. note 1.9
  10. GWEC, op. cit. note 1; WWEA, “Worldwide wind market booming like never before: wind capacity over 392 gigawatt”, press release (Bonn: 9 September 2015),
  11. GWEC, op. cit. note 1; Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 14 January 2016; Tom Randall, “Wind and solar are crushing fossil fuels”, Bloomberg, 6 April 2017,; WindEurope, “Wind energy is competitive”, 21 March 2016,; Katie Fehrenbacher, “Wind now competes with fossil fuels. Solar almost does”, Fortune, 6 October 2015,
  12. China added 23,369 MW for a total of 168,730 MW, from Shi Pengfei, Chinese Wind Energy Association (CWEA), personal communication with REN21, 21 March 2017; China added 23,370 MW for a total of 168,732 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1; China added 23,328 MW for a total of 168,690 MW, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 3; and added 23,369 MW for a total of 168,730 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 51.12
  13. GWEC, op. cit. note 7; GWEC, op. cit. note 1.13
  14. EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 5.14
  15. Based on additions of 19,300 MW for total of 148,640 MW in operation, from China National Energy Board, cited in Dazhong Xiao, China National Energy Administration (CNEA), “2016 wind power and grid operation”, 26 January 2017, (using Google Translate); total installed capacity increased from 151 GW in 2015 to 165 GW, from China Electricity Council, cited in CNEA, provided by Shi, op. cit. note 12. Differences in statistics result, at least in part, from differences in what is counted and when. Note that most of the capacity added in 2016 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, 3 March 2017.15
  16. Additions of Yunnan (3.25 GW), Hebei (1.66 GW) and Jiangsu (1.49 GW) from China National Energy Board, cited in Xiao, op. cit. note 15.16
  17. The top three provinces (Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Gansu), all far from population centres, had approximately 40% of China’s total wind power capacity at end-2016, based on data from China National Energy Board, cited in Xiao, op. cit. note 15; first time from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 37-38. New regulations include provincial targets for renewable shares of electricity consumption and an early warning system to prevent investment in areas with high risk of curtailment, based on information provided by Shi Pengfei, CWEA, personal communication with REN21, 30 March 2017, and by Frank Haugwitz, Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory Company, Ltd, personal communication with REN21, 30 March 2017. Deployment in the Central and Eastern regions, over that in the three Northern regions, is prioritised in the 13th Five-Year Plan, and the northern regions have the next five years to solve their curtailment problems, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 37-38.17
  18. Nuclear power from Shi, op. cit. note 17. New regulations from, for example, Julie Zhu, “Solar power’s time to shine in China”, Finance Asia, 14 June 2016,,solar-powers-time-toshine-in-china.aspx; Max Dupuy and Xuan Wang, “China’s string of new policies addressing renewable energy curtailment: an update”, Regulatory Assistance Project, 8 April 2016,; “China ban on new coal power eases clean energy waste, WRI says”, Bloomberg, 29 April 2016,; FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 23. Major challenges and reasons from the following sources: Sawyer, op. cit. note 15; Feifei Shen, Iain Wilson and Ben Sharples, “China’s idled wind farms portend trouble with renewables”, Renewable Energy World, 29 June 2016,; Kathy Chen and David Stanway, “China pushes for mandatory integration of renewable power”, Reuters, 28 March 2016,; Coco Liu, “Facing grid constraints, China puts a chill on new wind energy projects”, Inside Climate News, 28 March 2016,
  19. National curtailment data from CNEA and China Electricity Council, provided by Shi, op. cit. note 12. The highest rates of curtailment were seen in Gansu (43%), Xinjiang (38%), Jilin (30%) and Inner Mongolia (21%), from China National Energy Board, cited in Xiao, op. cit. note 15.19
  20. Wind generation and share of output from China National Energy Board, cited in Xiao, op. cit. note 15. This was up from 186.3 TWh and 3.3% in 2015, from China National Energy Board, cited by CNEA, “2015 Wind Power Industry Development”, 2 February 2016, (using Google Translate). China’s wind power generation in 2012 was 100 TWh, accounting for 2% of annual electricity output, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 13.20
  21. India added approximately 3,612 MW of wind power capacity in 2016 for a year-end total of 28,700.44 MW, based on Government of India, Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority, All India Installed Capacity, Monthly Report January 2017 (New Delhi: 2017), Table: “All India Installed Capacity (in MW) of Power Stations (As on 31.01.2017) (Utilities)”,, and on 25,088.19 MW at the end of 2015, from Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Resources (MNRE), “Physical progress (achievements): programme/ scheme wise physical progress in 2015-16 (up to the month of December, 2015)”,, viewed 1 February 2016.21
  22. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 21. India’s Generation Based Incentive was set to expire and the higher Accelerated Depreciation for wind power was set to be halved (to 40%) in the first quarter of 2017, from idem.22
  23. Turkey added 1,387.75 MW for a total of 6,106.05 MW, from Turkish Wind Energy Association, Turkish Wind Energy Statistics Report (Ankara: January 2017), pp. 4, 5,; Turkey added 1,387 MW in 2016 for a total of 6,081 MW, from WindEurope, Wind in Power 2016 European Statistics (Brussels: 9 February 2017), p. 9,; added 1,387 MW for a total of 6,081 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1; added 1,382.8 MW for a total of 6,101.1 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 50.23
  24. Pakistan added 282 MW for a total of 591 MW, followed by the Republic of Korea (201 MW, for a total of 1,031 MW) and Japan (196 MW; 3,234 MW), from GWEC, op. cit. note 1; Pakistan added 373 MW for a total of 709 MW, followed by Republic of Korea (201 MW; 1,006 MW) and Japan (196 MW; 3,223 MW), from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, pp. 51, 54; Pakistan added 335 MW for a total of 591 MW, followed by the Republic of Korea (198 MW; 1,031 MW) and Japan (196 MW; 3,234 MW), from WWEA, op. cit. note 1.24
  25. Indonesia’s Sidrap wind plant will have 75 MW of capacity, from “Financial close for Indonesia’s first utility-scale wind project”, Windpower Monthly, 7 February 2017,; “VN green energy gets strong tail wind”, Vietnam Net, 3 December 2016,
  26. The United States added 8,203 MW for a total of 82,143 MW (accounting for decommissioning), from American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2016 (Washington, DC: April 2017). Rankings based on data in this section. The United States added a net of 8,738.1 MW in 2016 for a total of 81,311.5 MW, from US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Electric Power Monthly with Data for December 2016 (Washington, DC: February 2017), Table 6.1, p. 134,; wind power generated 226.485 TWh of electricity in 2016, from EIA, idem, Table 1.1.A, p. 16, Note that EIA data do not include facilities smaller than 1 MW and do not include off-grid capacity.26
  27. One-fourth of gross additions and ranking third are based on 8,203 MW of wind power added, from AWEA, op. cit. note 26; on 14,762 MW of solar PV added, from GTM Research, personal communication with REN21, 2 May 2017, and from GTM Research, cited in US Solar Energy Industries Association, “Solar Market Insight Report 2016 Year in Review – Key Figures”,; and on gross additions of capacity from hydropower (321.2 MW), municipal solid waste (39.6 MW), natural gas (9,137.2 MW), nuclear (643.9 MW) and other (23.4 MW), from EIA, op. cit. note 26. Note that EIA data omit plants with a total generator nameplate capacity below 1 MW. Ranking second after solar PV for net capacity additions based on above additions for wind power and solar PV, and on net capacity additions from hydropower (321.2 MW), bio-power (-15.5 MW), geothermal power (-30 MW), natural gas (7,532.2 MW), coal (-9,659 MW), petroleum and other gases (-435.6 MW), nuclear (643.9 MW) and other (23.4 MW), from EIA, op. cit. note 26.27
  28. Texas added 2.611 MW, followed by Oklahoma (1,462 MW), Iowa (707 MW), Kansas (687 MW) and North Dakota (603 MW), and the top states for total capacity were Texas (20, 321 MW), Iowa (6,917 MW) and Oklahoma (6,645 MW), from AWEA, “U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2016 Market Update” (Washington, DC: 26 January 2017),
  29. AWEA, op. cit. note 28.29
  30. Hannah Hunt, AWEA, personal communication with REN21, 31 March 2017. Going beyond state mandates (Renewable Portfolio Standards) includes utilities in, for example, Colorado and Alabama, from David Labrador, “U.S. wind power demand: corporations take the lead”, CleanTechnica, 23 February 2016,; Iowa from Lauren Tyler, “MidAmerican Energy files request for 2 GW wind farm in Iowa”, North American Windpower, 15 April 2016,
  31. Hunt, op. cit. note 30; AWEA, op. cit. note 28.31
  32. AWEA, op. cit. note 28.32
  33. Canada added 702 MW for a total of 11,898 MW, from Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), “Installed capacity”,, viewed 17 February 2017. For comparison, in 2015 Canada added 1,506 MW for a total of 11,205 MW, from CanWEA, “Wind energy continues rapid growth in Canada in 2015”, press release (Ottawa: 12 January 2016), Added 702 MW for a total of 11,870 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 52, and added 702 MW for a total of 11,900 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1.33
  34. CanWEA, “Powering Canada’s Future” (Ottawa: December 2016),; largest source of new generation from CanWEA, “Wind energy in Canada”,, viewed 25 March 2017.34
  35. Ontario added 413 MW (for a total of 4,781 MW), followed by Québec (added 249 MW for a total of 3,510); additions from “Canadian wind grows by 700MW”, Renews Biz, 1 February 2017,; year-end totals from CanWEA, “Installed capacity”, op. cit. note 33; Prince Edward Island, from Diane Bailey, “Canada island plans to increase wind by a third”, Windpower Monthly, 21 March 2017,
  36. The EU installed 12,490 MW (10,923 MW onshore and 1,567 MW offshore) for a cumulative year-end total of 153.7 GW (141.1 GW onshore and 12.6 GW offshore), from WindEurope, op. cit. note 23; similar data from GWEC, op. cit. note 1. The EU added 12,068.1 MW in 2016 for a year-end total of 153,640.5 MW, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 6. About 482 MW of wind power capacity was decommissioned in the EU during 2016, from Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 30 April 2017.36
  37. WindEurope, op. cit. note 23; shares of onshore and offshore based on data from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 16.37
  38. Based on data from WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, p. 12. The EU added an estimated 3,358 MW of new fossil capacity in 2016 (including 3,115 MW of natural gas and 243 MW of coal), but the region decommissioned about 12,449 MW of fossil capacity (including 7,267 MW of coal, 2,256 MW of natural gas and 2,197 MW of fuel oil). Between 2005 and 2016, wind power’s share of total EU power capacity increased from 6% to 16.7%, all from idem.38
  39. WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, p. 7.39
  40. GWEC, Global Wind Energy Outlook 2016 (Brussels: 2016),; Feng Zhao, FTI Consulting, personal communication with REN21, 12 April 2017; GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 42.40
  41. WindEurope, Making Transition Work (Brussels: September 2016), See also WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, p. 9.41
  42. WindEurope, “Europe adds 12.5 GW of new wind capacity in 2016 with record €27.5bn in new investments”, press release (Brussels: 9 February 2017),
  43. Based on data from WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, p. 9. The top two markets accounted for over 56%, and France added 1,561 MW for a total of 12,065 MW, the Netherlands added 887 MW for a total of 4,328 MW, the United Kingdom added 736 MW for a total of 14,542 MW, and Poland added 682 MW for a total of 5,782 MW, from idem, and similar numbers from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 15. The Netherlands added a net of 815 MW (215 MW onshore and 600 MW offshore) for a year-end total of 4,206 MW, from Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, “Hernieuwbare elektriciteit; productie en vermogen”, 28 February 2017,,G2&STB=G1&VW=T. The United Kingdom added 1,404 MW for a total of 15,696 MW, based on preliminary data from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, Energy Trends Section 6: Renewables, updated 30 March 2017, Table 6.1 “Renewable electricity capacity and generation”, p. 69, See text and other endnotes for Germany data.43
  44. The decline in the EU during 2016 was due mainly to lower installations in Poland and the United Kingdom, from Zhao, op. cit. note 40.44
  45. Germany ended 2016 with 49,534 MW of grid-connected capacity, up from 44,541 GW at the end of 2015, from Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi), Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland, unter Verwendung von Daten der Arbeitsgruppe Erneuerbare Energien-Statistik (AGEE-Stat) (Stand: Februar 2017), p. 7, Germany added 4,642 MW (including 695 MW offshore) for a year-end total of 50,001 MW; during the year, 386 turbines (385.6 MW) were decommissioned and replaced by 271 turbines (785 MW), all from C. Ender, “Wind energy use in Germany: status 31.12.2016”, DEWI Magazin, March 2017, pp. 56-65, Germany added 5,443 MW (accounting for 44% of the market) for a total of 50,019 MW, from WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, pp. 7, 9. Considering decommissioned capacity, Germany’s capacity increased by a net of 4,259.17 MW onshore and 818 MW offshore; an additional 122.7 MW was installed but not yet grid connected, from Deutsche WindGuard, Status of Land-Based Wind Energy Development in Germany 2016 (Varel, Germany: 2017),, and from Deutsche WindGuard, Status of Offshore Wind Energy Development in Germany 2016 (Varel, Germany: 2017), Germany added 5,443 MW for a total of 50,018 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, added 5,443 MW for a total of 50,019 MW, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 6, and added 5,443 MW for a total of 49,840 MW from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 50.45
  46. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 50; Aloys Nghiem, WindEurope, personal communication with REN21, 10 April 2017; GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 46. Onshore installations in particular were triggered by quarterly reductions in the FIT and the looming shift to Germany’s the auction system, starting in 2017, from Ender, op. cit. note 45, pp. 56-65. Gross electricity generation from wind power in Germany was 79.8 TWh in 2016 (up less than 1% over 2015), from BMWi, “Energiedaten – Gesamtausgabe”, as of 30 January 2017, published 27 February 2017,
  47. Gross installations were France (installed 1,561 MW for a total of 12,065 MW), the Netherlands (887 MW; 4,328 MW), Finland (570 MW; 1,539 MW), Ireland (384 MW; 2,830 MW) and Lithuania (178 MW; 493 MW), from WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, pp. 7, 9, and same numbers for France, the Netherlands and Ireland, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 15; same numbers for the Netherlands, Finland and Ireland, but France added 1,772 MW for total of 12,065 MW, and Lithuania added 69 MW for a total of 493 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 1. France added 1,346 MW for a total of 11,670 MW; the Netherlands added 788.5 MW for a total of 4,179.5 MW; Finland added 570 MW for a total of 1,533 MW; Ireland added 324.7 MW for a total of 2,764.7 MW; Lithuania added 71 MW for a total of 509 MW, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 6. France added 1,561 MW for a total of 11,930 MW, followed by the Netherlands (887 MW; 4,255 MW), Finland (570 MW; 1,527 MW), Ireland (384 MW; 2,867 MW) and Lithuania (178 MW; 604 MW), from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 50. The Netherlands added a net of 815 MW (215 MW onshore and 600 MW offshore) for a year-end total of 4,206 MW, from Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, op. cit. note 43. France had 11,670 MW in operation as end 2016, per RTE Réseau de transport d’électricité, Bilan Électrique Français 2016: Synthèse presse (Paris: 2016), p. 5,
  48. WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, pp. 7, 9.47
  49. Estimated output was 300 TWh, from WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, p. 7; and estimated output was 302.7 TWh, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 8.48
  50. Russia ended 2016 with 15 MW of capacity, from WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, p. 9; first auction from WWEA, Perspectives of the Wind Energy Market in Russia (Bonn: forthcoming, 2017).49
  51. GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 15, 18. Note that numbers of countries and regional data include Mexico but do not include numbers and capacity data for several island countries and territories in the Caribbean region that also had wind energy capacity in operation at end-2016. See WWEA, op. cit. note 1.50
  52. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 47. Brazil’s additions in 2016 were down 27.1% relative to 2015, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 4.51
  53. EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 3; Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 6 September 2016. Note that more than 500 MW of contracted wind projects were cancelled during 2016, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 28. Projects also have been cancelled in Brazil due to the low price level of the auctions, from Jean Daniel Pitteloud, WWEA, Bonn, personal communication with REN21, 27 April 2017.52
  54. Brazil added 2,014 MW for a total of 10,740 MW, from Associação Brasileira de Energia Eólica (ABEEólica), “Dados Mensais”, January 2017, pp. 4, 6,; from GWEC, op. cit. note 1; and from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 3. Brazil added 2,014 MW for a total of 10,696 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 53, and added 2,085 MW for a total of 10,800 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 1. Brazil had 10,123.9 MW at end-2016 from Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica (ANEEL), “Informações gerenciais”, December 2016, Commissioned but not all grid connected, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 16. Lack of transmission lines and slow pace of construction from Lucas Morais, “Lack of transmission capacity to curb Brazil’s wind expansion – report”, Renewables Now, 7 October 2016,; Sawyer, op. cit. note 53.53
  55. National Electrical System Operator of Brazil (ONS), “Geração de energia”,, viewed 19 March 2017.54
  56. GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 30; Steve Sawyer, GWEC Newsletter, January 2017. Six turbine manufacturers, with annual production capacity of more than 3 GW, were already seeing idled capacity in early 2017, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 28. Facilities were established to satisfy local content laws, but there is limited if any opportunity for export because the turbines produced in Brazil are not priced competitively, and as of early 2017 there was concern about potential for future demand due to the cancelled auction, from Sawyer op. cit. note 53. Industry suffering due to lack of auctions also from Camila Ramos, Clean Energy Latin America (CELA), Brazil, personal communication with REN21, 30 November 2016.55
  57. Chile added 513 MW for a total of 1,424 MW, followed by Mexico (454 MW; 3,527 MW), Uruguay (365 MW; 1,210 MW), Peru (93 MW; 241 MW), the Dominican Republic (50 MW; 135 MW) and Costa Rica (20 MW; 298 MW), from GWEC, op. cit. note 1. Chile added 513 MW for a total of 1,523 MW, followed by Mexico (454 MW; 3,549 MW) and Uruguay (365 MW; 1,146 MW), from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 53. Chile added 491 MW for a total of 1,424 MW, followed by Mexico (426 MW; 3,709 MW, Uruguay (354 MW; 1,210 MW) and Peru (97 MW; 245 MW), from WWEA, op. cit. note 1. Uruguay added 354.7 MW for a total of 1,211.5 MW, from Uruguay Secretary of Energy, Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, personal communication with REN21, 20 March 2017.56
  58. GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 15.57
  59. GWEC, op. cit. note 7.58
  60. Approximately 0.4 GW (only in South Africa) was added in Africa during 2016, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1. By contrast, nearly 1 GW was added across Africa in 2014, from GWEC, Global Wind Report 2014: Annual Market Update (Brussels: April 2015), p. 8,; and approximately 836 MW was added on the continent in 2015, from GWEC, Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update 2015 (Brussels: April 2016), p. 17, South Africa added 418 MW in 2016 for a total of 1,471 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, and from WWEA, op. cit. note 1. Note that Egypt added 174 MW for a year-end total of 842 MW, and Morocco added 100 MW for a total of 896 MW, with additions provided by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), from Zhao, op. cit. note 40, and from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 55.59
  61. GWEC, op. cit. note 7; GWEC, op. cit. note 1; Kenya also from Daniel Cusick, “How a huge wind farm in Kenya could transform Africa’s energy landscape”, E&E News, 11 October 2016,
  62. Largest investment and expected completion from Lake Turkana Wind Power, “Overview”,, viewed 21 March 2017; largest in Africa from African Development Bank Group, “Lake Turkana Wind Power Project: the largest wind farm project in Africa”,, viewed 21 March 2017; approximately 15% from Lake Turkana Wind Power, “Project Overview”,, viewed 18 May 2017. The project was completed and soon to be commissioned as of late April 2017, per GWEC, op. cit. note 1. The project is expected to generate electricity for more than 1 million homes, from Antony Kiganda, “Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power project nears completion”, Asoko Insight, 29 November 2016,
  63. Australia added 140 MW for a total of 4,327 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1; added 140 MW for total of 4,325 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 54; and added 140 MW for a total of 4,326 MW, from WWEA, op. cit. note 1. The Pacific Islands added 1 MW of capacity for a year-end total of 23 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 54.62
  64. The Kuwait project was reported by the OEM of turbines installed, from Zhao, op. cit. note 40, and from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 55. For other news of this project, see, for example, Nada Bedir, “Fostering renewable energy deployment in Kuwait – special report”, Kuwait Times, 4 April 2016,;“Kuwait Al-Shagaya solar and wind project to be completed soon”, Voice of Renewables, 18 May 2016,; and Elecnor, “Wind power Shagaya”,, viewed 17 April 2017. Saudi Arabia from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 18; from Jan Dodd, “Saudi Arabia announces 400MW tender”, Windpower Monthly, 3 February 2017,; and from Reem Shamseddine, “Saudi Aramco, GE to launch Saudi Arabia’s first wind turbine next month”, Reuters, 18 December 2016,
  65. Figure of 2,219 MW connected to grids for total of 14,384 MW from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 59. A little more than 2 GW of capacity was grid-connected for a total of 14,160 MW, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 4; 1,985 MW was added (including 1,326 MW in Europe, 629 MW in Asia-Pacific and 30 MW in North America), for a total of 14,061 MW, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 48. Globally 24 turbines (totalling 9 MW) were decommissioned, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 48; decommissioned turbines included 5 MW in Germany, 2 MW in Portugal (a 2 MW floating turbine) and 2 MW in the Netherlands (four 500 kW turbines), from WindEurope, The European Offshore Wind Industry – Key Trends and Statistics 2016 (Brussels: January 2017), 762
  66. Based on 1,558 MW added in Europe and a total of 12,631 MW at year’s end, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 59. Gross additions in Europe were 1,567 MW and net additions were 1,558 MW, for a regional total of 12,631, from WindEurope, op. cit. note 65. Europe accounted for 87.6% of offshore wind capacity at year’s end, followed by Asia-Pacific with 12.1% and North America, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 48. Figure 28 based on data from GWEC, Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update 2015, op. cit. note 60, pp. 50-51; GWEC, op. cit. note 1; Shi Pengfei, CWEA, personal communication with REN21, April 2010 and March 2017; FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 60; WindEurope, op. cit. note 65, p. 17; AWEA, “First US offshore wind farm unlocks vast new ocean energy resource”, press release (Block Island, RI: 12 December 2016), 763
  67. Germany brought 813 MW (net) online, followed by the Netherlands (691 MW) and the United Kingdom (56 MW), and at year’s end, work was ongoing on 4.8 GW of projects in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, all from WindEurope, op. cit. note 65. Germany added a net of 853 MW, from BMWi, op. cit. note 45, p. 7; Germany added 818 MW, bringing total offshore capacity to 4,108.3 MW, and dismantled its first offshore turbine (5 MW prototype); 122.7 MW was erected during the year but not grid connected, from B. Neddermann, “Offshore wind energy capacity in Germany reaches 4,108 megawatts”, DEWI Magazin, March 2017, pp. 66-69, The Netherlands added a net of 600 MW offshore, from Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, op. cit. note 43. Countries with projects under construction included Belgium, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, from idem. Driver from Christian Schwägerl, “For European wind industry, offshore projects are booming”, Yale e360, 20 October 2016, Finland started construction of its first offshore wind farm, the 40 MW Tahkoluoto project, expected to be the first designed for icy conditions, from William Steel, “Developers optimistic about Finland’s offshore wind market”, Renewable Energy World, 16 June 2016, No capacity was brought online off the coasts of the United Kingdom in 2016, with only the Netherlands (744 MW) and Germany (582 MW) adding capacity, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 48.66
  68. China added 592.2 MW near shore (all previously existing projects were in intertidal areas) for a total of 1,627 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 39, 61, and from GWEC, op. cit. note 7; China added 592 MW for a total of 1,613 MW from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 48.67
  69. “China can expect a surge in offshore wind farms, Goldwind says”, Bloomberg, 11 January 2017, Note that the 13th Five-Year Plan for Wind Power Development includes a target of 5 GW in operation by 2020, from Shi, op. cit. note 17.68
  70. Republic of Korea from Shaun Campbell, “Strong growth pushes wind close to 500GW”, Windpower Monthly, 1 March 2017,; United States from AWEA, op. cit. note 66; Alex Kuffner, “Wind farm off Block Island operating at full capacity after repair”, Providence Journal, 6 February 2017,; Japan anchored a 7 MW floating turbine in 2015 that began official operation in 2016, from Yoshinori Ueda, Japan Wind Power Association, personal communication with GWEC, 30 April 2017; a 7 MW turbine was installed in May 2016 and anchored in July, with official operation estimated to be in 2017, from idem; see also Fukushima Floating Offshore Wind Farm Demonstration Project, “The installation of ‘Fukushima Hamakaze’ in the testing area”, 1 August 2016, All three, including floating turbine in Japan, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 48, and from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 62-63. In addition, a near-shore/intertidal wind project in Vietnam (the 99.2 MW Bac Lieu wind farm) came online in stages from 2013-2015, GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 65; it is not included in the offshore data because it is a few metres offshore and dry much of the time, per Sawyer, op. cit. note 36.69
  71. Barriers to offshore wind power in the United States include vast open land with good onshore wind resources, from US Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind Technologies Market Report 2015 (Washington, DC: August 2016), p. 10,, and from Chris Martin, “Largest US offshore wind farm planned in New York waters”, Renewable Energy World, 20 July 2016, Also, note that offshore wind in the United States is competing in a market with relatively lower electricity prices than in Europe, from Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 20 September 2016. As of August 2016, 23 offshore projects totalling more than 16 GW were in various stages of development, including the Block Island project, which came online in late 2016, from DOE, EERE, op. cit. this note, p. vi. According to AWEA, by late 2016, 13 offshore projects totalling 6 GW were in various stages of development in 10 states, off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the Great Lakes, from Nancy Sopko, “American offshore wind power is here”, AWEA, 22 August 2016,, and from Greg Alvarez, “Top six wind power trends of 2016”, AWEA, 22 December 2016, Drivers for offshore wind in the country include proximity of good offshore resources to population centres, from DOE, EERE, op. cit. this note, p. 10; as well as favourable policies in some eastern states, from Brian Dumaine, “Wind power takes to the seas”, Fortune, 14 March 2017,
  72. At year’s end, the UK had 5,156 MW, followed by Germany (4,108 MW), Denmark (1,271 MW), the Netherlands (1,118 MW) and Belgium (712 MW), from WindEurope, op. cit. note 65. Germany’s offshore capacity was 4,150 MW, from BMWi, op. cit. note 45, p. 7. China added 592 MW for a total of 1,627 MW, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, and from “China can expect a surge in offshore wind farms, Goldwind says”, Bloomberg, 11 January 2017,
  73. FTI Consulting, Global Wind Market Update – Demand & Supply 2015 – Wind Farm Owner-Operators (London: 2016), p. 2; GWEC, op. cit. note 1.72
  74. GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 8-11. For example, Whirlpool installed its own wind turbines at two additional factories in Ohio, from David Weston, “Whirlpool installs turbine plants”, Windpower Monthly, 25 May 2016,; Nestlé signed a wind deal to meet half of its UK and Ireland power needs from a Scottish wind farm, from “Nestlé signs Sanquhar wind farm deal”, BBC News, 22 June 2016,; IKEA purchased its second wind farm in Alberta, Canada, from Amanda Stephenson, “IKEA buys second Alberta wind farm”, Calgary Sun, 26 January 2017,; see also Greg Alvarez, “Corporate America wants wind power”, AWEA Blog, 17 November 2016,
  75. US figure from Hunt, op. cit. note 30; Europe from FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2; see also GWEC, op. cit. note 1, pp. 8-11.74
  76. In Sweden and Norway, demand from insurance companies, furniture stores and others has exceeded expectations and targets, from Jesper Starn, “Sweden sees red over Google and IKEA’s green goals”, Bloomberg, 8 February 2017,
  77. See, for example, Samantha Turnbull, “Australia’s first community-owned renewable energy retailer Enova to open its doors in Byron Bay”, ABC News Australia, 4 January 2016,; Energy4All Limited, “Delivering community-owned green power”,, viewed 29 April 2017; Community Windpower website,, viewed 29 April 2017; Windustry, “Community wind”,, viewed 29 April 2017.774
  78. Spain and Ontario from Stefan Gsänger and Jean-Daniel Pitteloud, WWEA, Bonn, personal communication with REN21, 9 March 2017; Spain also from Eòlica Popular (EOLPOP) website,, viewed 12 April 2017; Ontario project achieved commercial operation in late 2016, from Oxford Community Energy Co-operative, “Oxford Community Energy Co-op”,, viewed 18 May 2017; Australia from Michael Slezak, “Renewables roadshow: How Daylesford’s windfarm took back the power”, The Guardian (UK), 14 March 2017, 775
  79. Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP), “Community power growing in Japan and world-wide”, REN21 Newsletter, March 2017. ISEP uses the same definition of community power as the WWEA: “Community power” is defined as having at least two of the following criteria: local stakeholders (individuals or a group) own the majority or all of the project; control over voting rests with the community-based organisation, made up of local stakeholders; the majority of social and environmental benefits are distributed locally, per WWEA, “WWEA defines community power”, 23 May 2011,
  80. Gsänger and Pitteloud, op. cit. note 78. This is occurring in the EU, for example, from Giorgio Corbetta, European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), personal communication with REN21, 30 March 2016. See, for example, Sara Knight, “Analysis: Citizen ownership at risk from new system”, Windpower Monthly, 25 August 2015,; 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),
  81. 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), Off-grid applications continued to play an important role in remote areas of developing countries, per WWEA, op. cit. this note. In China there are increasing numbers of wind/solar PV hybrid systems in rural areas, from Chinese Wind Energy Equipment Association (CWEEA), “The development of Chinese small wind generators”, WWEA Wind Bulletin, no. 2 (September 2016), pp. 6-7,
  82. Preliminary data from WWEA, Small Wind World Report 2017 (Bonn: forthcoming June 2017), Summary,
  83. Preliminary data from WWEA, op. cit. note 82. Global small wind capacity at end-2015 is estimated at roughly 1.3 GW, based on surveys of international government and industry publications, from Alice C. Orrell et al., 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report (Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, August 2016), prepared for DOE, p. ii, This was up from an estimated 810 MW at the end of 2014, 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: DOE, EERE), August 2015), pp. 15-16, 780
  84. Data for China and the United States are preliminary, from WWEA, op. cit. note 82. UK data were not available at time of publication.83
  85. Preliminary data from WWEA, op. cit. note 82. Italy had an estimated 83 MW by January 2017, from Jean Daniel Pitteloud, WWEA, Bonn, personal communication with REN21, 27 April 2017.84
  86. Navigant Research, “Global annual installed capacity of small and medium wind turbines is expected to exceed 446 MW in 2026”, press release (Boulder, CO: March 2017),; Pitteloud, op. cit. note 85.85
  87. China from Orrell et al., 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report, op. cit. note 83, p. 11. The UK market fell from 28.5 MW in 2014 to close to 12 MW in 2015; Italy’s 2015 market fell to 10.8 MW, down 32% compared to 2014, from idem, p. 11. In 2015, the United States deployed 4.3 MW of small-scale wind turbines, or 1,695 units, and saw over USD 21 million in investment; this was up slightly over 2014, when 3.7 MW was added (1,600 units) at USD 20 million, but down from 2013, when 5.6 MW was installed (2,700 units) and USD 36 million invested, from idem, p. i.86
  88. Gsänger and Pitteloud, op. cit. note 78; Navigant Research, op. cit. note 86.87
  89. Market size (based on billion Euro market) from GWEC, cited in Jennifer Runyon, “Making the most energy from the wind”, Renewable Energy World, 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 International Energy Agency (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 2015.88
  90. Runyon, op. cit. note 89; Zuzana Dobrotkava, World Bank, Washington, DC, personal communication with REN21, 28 January 2016.89
  91. An estimated 606 turbines totalling 485 MW, and significant increase over 2015, from FTI Consulting, Global Wind Market Update – Demand & Supply 2016, Part One – Supply Side Analysis (London: 2016), p. 24,; plus 115 turbines totalling 48 MW in the United States, from AWEA, op. cit. note 26.90
  92. Germany data from Bundesnetzagentur, provided by Peter Bickel, Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), personal communication with REN21, April 2017. All except Germany and United States from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91, p. 24. Denmark dismantled 58 MW/179 units; Finland 42 MW/18 units; Canada 12 MW/57 units; the United Kingdom 3 MW/5 units; the Netherlands 2 MW/4 units; Sweden 2 MW/6 units; Japan 1 MW/1 unit, all from idem. The United States decommissioned 48 MW/115 units, from AWEA, op. cit. note 26. Germany dismantled 336 units (366 MW) from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91.91
  93. MAKE, cited in Betsy Lillian, “To repower or to retrofit: how does the PTC affect wind owners’ decisions?” North American Windpower, 8 December 2016, Note also plans to dismantle 83 MW of turbines in Altamont Pass to reduce impacts on birds, from Ros Davidson, “Dismantling under way at Altamont Pass”, Windpower Monthly, 11 March 2016,
  94. Share of demand in text and Figure 29 based on data from the following: Denmark (37.6%) share of total electricity consumption, from, cited in David Weston, “Danish wind share falls in 2016”, Windpower Monthly, 13 January 2017, Ireland (27%), Cyprus (19.7%), Spain (19%), Romania (12.5%), Sweden (11.4%), Lithuania (10.6%), Austria (10.4%) and EU (10.4%) all wind penetration rates, from WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, p. 21. WindEurope estimates represent the average of penetration rates captured hourly from ENTSO-E and corrected with data from national TSOs and BEIS, although data were not available for all European countries. In Spain, wind power accounted for 18.4% of annual generation, from Red Eléctrica de España, “Estructura de generación anual nacional 2016”, 8 March 2017, Portugal (24%) from João Gomes, Associação Portuguesa de Energias Renováveis, personal communication with REN21, April 2017. Uruguay (22.8%) from Uruguay Secretary of Energy, Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, Balance Energético Preliminar 2016 (Montevideo: 2017), Wind power accounted for 21.6% of electricity production and 22.8% of electricity consumption in Uruguay, based on data from idem. Germany (13%) share of gross electricity consumption, from BMWi, op. cit. note 45, pp. 41-42. Wind power’s share of Germany’s gross electricity consumption was 10.9% onshore and 2.1% offshore (for total of 13%) in 2016, down from 11.9% onshore and 1.4% offshore (for total of 13.3%), from idem. Wind power accounted for 14.3% of electricity generation (net generation of power plants for public power supply) in Germany during 2016, from Fraunhofer ISE, “Electricity generation in Germany in 2016”, updated 12 March 2017, United Kingdom (11.1%) share of electricity supplied based on 37,505 GWh (onshore 21,094 GWh and offshore 16,411 GWh) of wind power generation from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, op. cit. note 43, p. 69, and on total UK generation of 338.580 TWh and total supplied was 336.89 TWh, from UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, National Statistics, Energy Trends Section 5: Electricity, p. 57, Costa Rica (10.5%) of electricity demand based on wind generated 1,147,291.27 MWh of electricity during 2016; total electricity production was 10,781,699.03 MWh, and total national electricity demand was 10,932,084.16 MWh. So wind represented 10.5% of total national demand and over 10.6% of national generation, from Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, Generación y Demanda Informe Annual Centro Nacional de Control de Energía, 2016 (San José: March 2017), p. 4, Wind power capacity in the EU generated almost 300 TWh during 2016, from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 16.93
  95. In addition to countries noted above and in Figure 29, countries meeting 5% or more of their annual demand with wind power included Australia, Italy, the United States, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Poland, Estonia, Turkey, Greece and the Netherlands. Based on data from WindEurope, op. cit. note 23, p. 21; GWEC, op. cit. note 1; CanWEA, “Installed capacity”, op. cit. note 33. National Electrical System Operator of Brazil (ONS), “Geração de energia”,, viewed 19 March 2017; EIA, op. cit. note 26, Tables 1.3.B and 1.14.B.94
  96. Over 5.5% based on generation at utility-scale facilities in all economic sectors by wind power and total US power capacity, from EIA, op. cit. note 26, Tables 1.3.B and 1.14.B. Wind power accounted for more than 5% of generation in 20 states, more than 10% in 14 states (up by 2 over 2015), more than 15% in 9 states (up from 8 in 2015) and more than 20% in 5 states (up from 3 in 2015), namely Iowa (36.6%), Kansas (29.6%), South Dakota (30.3%), Oklahoma (25.1%) and North Dakota (21.5%), all from idem.95
  97. The potential share of wind energy in the net energy consumption of Germany’s federal states was 87.8% in Schleswig-Holstein, followed by Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (86.4%), Brandenburg (64.1%), Sachsen-Anhalt (62.7%), Niedersachsen (32.5%) and Thüringen (20.1%), all from Ender, op. cit. note 45, pp. 62, 64. Note that data are not based on actual production (not yet available) but on potential annual yield assuming a normal (100%) wind year, based on average load factors calculated for wind turbines of different power classes for each federal state and on assumption that all wind turbines reported by year’s end contribute to a full annual energy yield. In addition, downtimes due to maintenance, repair, curtailment, etc. are not taken into account, from idem, p. 64.96
  98. Share of 4% based on global wind power capacity installed at end-2016; on average capacity factors of 22.83% onshore and 36.15% offshore, based on capacity and generation data for 2015, from IEA, Renewable Energy Medium-Term Market Report 2016 (Paris: 2016), pp. 131 and 163; and on estimated total global electricity generation of 24,756 TWh in 2016. Electricity generation in 2016 based on the following: 24,098 TWh in 2015 from BP, Statistical Review of World Energy 2016 (London: 2016), and an estimated 2.73% growth in global electricity generation for 2016. For further details, See endnote for Figure 4 in Global Overview chapter. Wind’s share was 5%, per WWEA, WWEA Annual Report 2016 (Bonn: May 2017), 795
  99. Gsänger and Pitteloud, op. cit. note 78; GWEC, op. cit. note 1.98
  100. See, for example, GE, “GE announces record onshore wind orders for 2016”, press release (Paris: 7 February 2017),, and Vestas, “Vestas Wind Systems A/S: Vestas Annual Report 2016”, news wire (Aarhus, Denmark: 8 February 2017), Order intakes increased 17% from 2015 (8,943 MW) to 2016 (10,494 MW), and revenue increased by EUR 1.8 billion to EUR 10.7 billion, from Vestas, op. cit. this note.99
  101. Turbines are becoming cheaper and their yield is improving, with capacity factors increasing from about 20% in around 2000 to above 30%, and as high as 50% in some locations, from Jessica Shankleman, “Green energy boom picks up speed even as investment stagnates”, Bloomberg, 11 October 2016, Competition with natural gas and solar PV, from Eric Lantz, US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), cited in Jennifer Runyon, “Wind outlook 2017: a solid year despite pockets of global unrest”, Renewable Energy World, January/February 2017, pp. 20-23.100
  102. Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 29 October 2015; Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), “Wind and solar boost cost-competitiveness versus fossil fuels”, press release (London and New York: 6 October 2015),
  103. DOE, EERE, op. cit. note 71, p. ix; Schwägerl, op. cit. note 67; Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and BNEF, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017 (Frankfurt: April 2017), p. 17, BNEF estimates that the central LCOE of onshore wind power declined 18% in one year, to USD 68 per MWh in the second half of 2016, and offshore wind was down 28% to USD 126 per MWh in the same time frame.102
  104. Chile from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 29; India from “India’s first wind power auction to upend traditional business model”, Bridge to India, February 2017,; Mexico and Morocco from Zhao, op. cit. note 40; offshore in Europe from GWEC, op. cit. note 7.103
  105. Jess Shankleman and Brian Parkin, “Wind power blows through nuclear, coal as costs drop at sea”, Bloomberg, 8 March 2017,; GWEC, op. cit. note 1. Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, and parts of Australia, China and the United States from Sawyer, op. cit. note 102, and from Sawyer, op. cit. note 11; Morocco from Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, 14 April 2017; Canada from CanWEA, “Wind energy continues rapid growth…”, op. cit. note 33; 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,; Chile from “Review of 2016 – part two”, Windpower Monthly, 31 December 2016,, and from Tom Azzopardi, “Wind wins again in Chile”, Windpower Monthly, 18 August 2016,; Europe (Spain) based on Michael McGovern, “Wind was Spain's cheapest power”, Windpower Monthly, 4 January 2016,; onshore wind costs competitive with coal and gas-fired generation in many countries from BNEF, cited in Plamena Tisheva, “Offshore wind costs falling fast – BNEF”, Renewables Now, 1 November 2016,, and from Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 103, p. 19.104
  106. Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 103, p. 19.105
  107. GWEC, op. cit. note 1. 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, Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update 2015, op. cit. note 60, pp. 31, 59. For China, see relevant market text and sources. Lack of public acceptance from Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA, Foreword in GWEC, Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update 2015, op. cit. note 60, p. 7, and in Mexico, among indigenous populations and within natural reserves in particular, from Emilio Soberón, Mexico Low Emission Development Program, US Agency for International Development, personal communication with REN21, April 2017.106
  108. The amount of electricity curtailed during the year was almost equivalent to that produced from all new installations in 2016, and curtailment consumed the profits that wind farm operators have gained from falling turbine prices, per GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 38.107
  109. China, the EU and the United States from IEA, World Energy Outlook 2015 (Paris: 2015), p. 346; India had annual turbine production capacity of about 10 GW in early 2017, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 21. In addition, Brazil has 3-3.5 GW of manufacturing capacity, from Zhao, op. cit. note 40.108
  110. 110 FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2; FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91, pp. 6, 10.109
  111. Ibid., both references.110
  112. Ibid., both references. Siemens fell out of the top five for the first time since 2012, and Nordex returned to the top 10 thanks to its acquisition of Acciona, from idem. BNEF published a similar ranking of top companies, with Vestas in the lead followed by GE, Goldwind, Gamesa, Enercon, Nordex, Guodian, Siemens, Ming Yang and Envision, from BNEF, cited in David Weston, “Siemens-Gamesa merger to create a ‘big-four’ of OEMs”, Windpower Monthly, 22 February 2017,; MAKE Consulting also put Vestas in the lead, followed by GE, Goldwind, Gamesa, Siemens, Enercon, Nordex, United Power, Mingyang and Envision, from Joshua S. Hill, “Vestas strengthens grip on top wind turbine manufacturer spot in 2016”, CleanTechnica, 3 April 2017, Figure 30 based on data from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91, pp. 6, 10.111
  113. FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2; FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91, pp. 6, 10.112
  114. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91, p. 12.113
  115. Based on data from Ibid., p. 10. Note that the top 15 accounted for over 88% 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 49 such wind turbine manufacturers producing turbines in 2016. All from idem, pp. 6, 10.114
  116. Zhao, op. cit. note 40; FTI Consulting, Global Wind Supply Chain Update 2015 (London: January 2015), Executive Summary,
  117. “AWEA: Wind power now America’s largest renewable energy resource”, 25x’25, Weekly REsource, 10 February 2017; Celeste Wanner, “What’s the state of American wind power manufacturing?” AWEA Blog, 30 November 2016, In addition, GRI Renewable Industries opened a new tower facility, from idem.116
  118. David Weston, “Siemens opens UK blade site”, Windpower Monthly, 1 December 2016,; Ivan Shumkov, “Siemens starts building Cuxhaven offshore wind nacelle factory”, Renewables Now, 13 June 2016,
  119. Siemens, “Siemens to build rotor blade factory for wind turbines in Morocco”, press release (Hamburg: 10 March 2016),[]=WP.118
  120. Senvion acquired Kenersys’ (Germany) Indian factory and product portfolio, from David Weston and Sara Knight, “Senvion announces job cuts to secure ‘competitiveness’”, Windpower Monthly, 13 March 2017,; David Weston, “Innogy opens Ireland office”, Windpower Monthly, 27 January 2017,; “Dong opens Taiwan base”, Renews Biz, 16 November 2016,
  121. FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2.120
  122. Aloys Nghiem, WindEurope, personal communication with REN21, 28 February 2017; Nordex and Acciona Windpower, “Nordex and Acciona Windpower join forces to create a major player in the wind industry”, press release (Hamburg: 4 October 2015),
  123. Jose Elías Rodríguez, “Siemens, Gamesa to form world’s largest wind farm business”, Reuters, 17 June 2016,; “Review of 2016 – part one”, Windpower Monthly, 23 December 2016, The new company had 70 GW of wind capacity in operation, from idem.122
  124. “Review of 2016 – part two”, op. cit. note 105; “Spain’s Gamesa buys half of Adwen from Areva for 60 million euros”, Reuters, 15 September 2016,
  125. GE from Rick Clough, “GE agrees to buy blade maker LM WindPower for $1.65 billion”, Renewable Energy World, 11 October 2016,, and from “Review of 2016 – part two”, op. cit. note 105; Senvion from FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2; Nordex, “Nordex Group acquires SSP Technology A/S”, press release (Hamburg: 1 February 2017),; Vestas from “Review of 2016 – part one”, op. cit. note 123, and from Michelle Froese, “Vestas completes acquisition of Availon”, Windpower Engineering & Development, 2 March 2016, Another example is blade maintenance specialist GEV (UK), which expanded into the United States to chase the growing O&M market there, from “GEV goes west with US office”, Renews Biz, 16 May 2016,
  126. State-owned Chinese companies from FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2. For example, Goldwind acquired another project in the United States (in Texas) as part of a five-year strategy to capitalise on the extension of the US production tax credit, from Goldwind, “Goldwind Americas signs 160 MW Texas deal with RES”, press release (Chicago: 17 May 2016), EDF from Francois De Beaupuy, “EDF buys 80% stake of UPC AWM to enter Chinese wind market”, Bloomberg, 12 July 2016,
  127. FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2.126
  128. Gsänger and Pitteloud, op. cit. note 78; Ian Clover, “Wind company Suzlon enters India solar market with 210 MW project”, PV Magazine, 13 January 2016,; generation profile from Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 103, p. 45. Also see, for example, Karl-Erik Stromsta, “Ones to watch: wind and solar joining forces”, Recharge News, 4 January 2016,; Frank Jossi, “Nation’s first integrated wind and solar project takes shape in Minnesota”, Midwest Energy News, 2 March 2017,; Kennedy Energy Park, “50MW wind, solar and storage hybrid facility approved”, 27 July 2016,; Joshua S. Hill, “Australia moves forward on three wind projects including wind/solar hybrid”, CleanTechnica, 27 July 2016,; Michael Place, “Engie Brasil ‘analyzing’ solar-wind hybrid projects”, BNAmericas, 28 October 2016,; Rahul Bhandari, “Solar wind hybrid power project to be set up at Rangrik”, News Himachal, 18 May 2016, Suzlon and Gamesa, and boost reliability and resource sharing, from Anindya Upadhyay, “Hybrid solar and wind systems attract turbine makers in India”, Bloomberg, 5 September 2016, For more on hybrid systems, see Frankfurt School-UNEP Centre and BNEF, op. cit. note 103, pp. 44-49.127
  129. See, for example, “Vattenfall wind farms to use BMW energy storage”, Electric Light & Power, 16 March 2017,; Betsy Lillian, “Flywheel energy storage system addresses wind power volatility”, North American Windpower, 26 September 2016,; Naturspeicher, “Der Naturstromspeicher – unsere unweltfreundlich gross-Batterie”,, viewed 28 April 2017. See also GE Renewable Energy, “Shifting the winds in your favor with energy storage”,, viewed 28 April 2017.128
  130. “Gamesa makes offgrid foray”, Renews Biz, 10 May 2016,
  131. Susan Kraemer, “Scandinavian offshore wind nixed due to Russian threat”, Renewable Energy World, 26 January 2017,; Terry Macalister, “Shell creates green energy division to invest in wind power”, The Guardian (UK), 15 May 2016,; Mikael Holter, “Statoil buys half of $1.4 billion EON German wind project”, Renewable Energy World, 25 April 2016,; Keystone Engineering from Anne-Marie Walters, “Energy from offshore: engineering firm transitions expertise from offshore oil to offshore wind”, Renewable Energy World, 22 July 2016,; Jess Shankleman and Brian Parkin, “Wind power blows through nuclear, coal as costs drop at sea”, Bloomberg, 8 March 2017,; Jess Shankleman, “Big oil replaces rigs with wind turbines”, Bloomberg, updated 23 March 2017, Shell has continued to own wind farms in the United States and one offshore plant in the Netherlands since an earlier foray into the wind power industry; now the company is returning because of the low price of oil, from Steve Sawyer, GWEC, personal communication with REN21, April 2017.130
  132. Barry O’Halloran, “Gaelectric sells wind farms to China General Nuclear Power”, Irish Times, 7 December 2016, Rosatom from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 18.131
  133. Ray Pelosi, “The next generation in wind power technology”, Renewable Energy World, March/April 2016, pp. 26-30; Jan Behrendt Ibsoe, “Editorial”, DEWI Magazin, March 2017, pp. 3-4, Also, optimise and grid codes from Tildy Bayar, “Wind turbine manufacturers consider new drivetrain in technology”, Renewable Energy World, 16 September 2015,
  134. Sawyer, op. cit. note 15; Vestas, “The windiest place on earth”, YouTube video, 9 March 2017,; Vestas, “The true pioneer of wind industry – emerging markets”,!, viewed 21 March 2017.133
  135. “Noise tails off for Siemens”, Renews Biz, 27 September 2016,; Eize de Vries, “Exclusive: Vestas tests four-rotor concept turbine”, Windpower Monthly, 20 April 2016,; David Weston, “First power from Vestas four-rotor concept”, Windpower Monthly, 4 July 2016,
  136. FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2.135
  137. GE, “GE Renewable Energy introduces new suite of digital wind farm apps”, press release (New Orleans: 24 May 2016),; Vestas and Envision, from FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2; Goldwind, “Goldwind announces new GW3S Smart Wind Turbine”, press release (Beijing: 15 November 2016),
  138. Runyon, op. cit. note 101, pp. 20-23; DOE, EERE op. cit. note 71, p. vii; FTI Consulting, Global Wind Market Update – Demand & Supply 2015 – Technology Overview (London: 2016).137
  139. Significantly higher capacity factors from DOE EERE, op. cit. note 71, p. viii; new opportunities from IEA, op. cit. note 109, p. 346. In the United States, rotor diameters, turbine nameplate capacity and hub height have increased significantly over the years; the average capacity factor in 2015 of projects built in 2014 reached 41.2%, compared to an average 31.2% among projects built during the period 2004-2011, from DOE, EERE, op. cit. note 71, p. viii. Hub heights and rotor diameters have been increasing in Germany as well, from Deutsche WindGuard, Status of Land-Based Wind Energy Development in Germany 2016, op. cit. note 45.138
  140. Data from Associação Brasileira de Energia Eólica (ABEEólica), “Dados mensais”, February 2017,, and provided by Camila Ramos, CELA, Brazil, personal communication with REN21, 27 April 2017. In the United States, wind turbines built during 2014 and 2015 achieved capacity factors greater than 40% in 2016, from John Hensley, “Top 11 wind energy trends of 2016”, AWEA Blog, 19 April 2017,
  141. Enercon launched its 4.2 MW E141 model with diameter of 141 metres, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 13; GE, “GE expands onshore wind portfolio with North American version of new 3.4 MW wind turbines”, press release (New Orleans: 23 May 2016),; Nordex released two versions (low-wind and moderate-wind) of a new 3.6 MW turbine, from David Weston, “Nordex unveils 3.6MW turbine”, Windpower Monthly, 3 August 2016,, and from Nordex, “Nordex: N117/3600 and N131/3600 produce up to 12% higher yield at sites with moderate and light winds”, press release (Hamburg: 3 August 2016),; Senvion, “Senvion announces its highest yield turbine for North America”, press release (Denver/New Orleans: 23 May 2016),; Senvion, “Senvion unveils turbine with 3.6 megawatt power upgrade for sites with medium wind speeds”, press release (Hamburg: 27 September 2016),; MHI Vestas was developing its 8 MW V164 model with diameter of 164 metres, and Siemens was selling its 7 MW SWT 7.0 with diameter of 154 metres for offshore use, from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 13; Siemens also unveiled an 8 MW turbine for offshore use, from Joshua S. Hill, “Siemens unveils new 8 MW offshore wind turbine”, CleanTechnica, 6 July 2016,
  142. FTI Intelligence, op. cit. note 2. See, for example, Vestas, “Products”,, viewed 20 March 2017; GE, op. cit. note 141.141
  143. Average turbine size delivered to market (considering vendors who sold turbines with rated capacities of at least 200 kW per unit), from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91, p. 26. 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.142
  144. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91, p. 27. Averages were 2,800 MW in “other”, which included the Middle East and CIS countries; 2,666 MW in Europe; 2,284 MW in Latin America; 2,106 MW in North America; 1,966 MW in Asia-Pacific, and 1,979 MW in Africa, from idem. The average capacity of turbines installed in Germany in 2016 increased to 2.848 MW onshore and 5.244 MW offshore, from Deutsche WindGuard, Status of Land-Based Wind Energy Development in Germany 2016, op. cit. note 45, and from Deutsche WindGuard, Status of Offshore Wind Energy Development in Germany 2016, op. cit. note 45. The average capacity of turbines (onshore and offshore) installed in Germany was 3.0306 MW, from Ender, op. cit. note 45, p. 58. Sweden, Finland and Austria exceeded the 3 MW threshold in 2016, from Nghiem, op. cit. note 46.143
  145. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91, p. 28. Their share was 62.6%, from idem.144
  146. Brent Cheshire, “Offshore wind playing a lead role in UK green energy transformation”, Renewable Energy World, 13 October 2015, European offshore wind farm size increased another 12% in 2016, relative to 2015, to 380 MW; in 2006, the average project size was 46.3 MW, all from WindEurope, op. cit. note 65.145
  147. WindEurope, op. cit. note 65, pp. 15, 27. The average size of turbines installed offshore in Germany during 2016 was 5,244 kW, up 27% over 2015 (4,318 kW), from Deutsche WindGuard, Status of Offshore Wind Energy Development in Germany 2016, op. cit. note 45. Second half of 2016 from Nghiem, op. cit. note 122.146
  148. On the market or nearly commercial from Runyon, op. cit. note 101, pp. 20-23; grid connected from WindEurope, op. cit. note 65, from William Steel, “First commercial power achieved from MHI Vestas’ Mammoth 8-MW Turbines”, Renewable Energy World, 20 December 2016,, and from MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, “First V16408.0 turbine installed at Burbo Bank Extension”, press release (Aarhus, Denmark: 8 September 2016),
  149. MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, “World’s most powerful wind turbine once again smashes 24 hour power generation record as 9 MW wind turbine is launched”, press release (Aarhus, Denmark: 26 January 2017),
  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. FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 91, pp. 7, 22.150
  152. WindEurope, op. cit. note 65, p. 22.151
  153. Daniel Cusik, “Offshore wind is almost a go, but challenges remain”, E&E News, 31 May 2016,
  154. WindEurope, op. cit. note 65. The distance from shore and water depth of projects under construction in Europe during 2016 averaged 44 kilometres (up from 43.4 kilometres in 2015) and 29 metres (up from 27.2 metres), respectively, and the average size of projects under construction increased by 12% over 2015, to 380 MW, from idem, p. 15.153
  155. Data are based on number of individual foundations installed in 2016, from WindEurope, op. cit. note 65, p. 13.154
  156. Jennifer Delony, “Foundation first: Designing offshore wind turbine substructures for maximum cost reduction”, Renewable Energy World, 21 December 2016,
  157. Several companies are working on floating turbines and projects. For example, GE and naval shipbuilding company DCNS (France) are collaborating to develop floating wind farms, from Mark Egan, “Ship shape: this floating offshore wind farm could be the future of renewable energy”, GE Reports, 30 August 2016,; Joshua S. Hill, “GE labels floating offshore wind turbines the renewable energy of the future”, CleanTechnica, 1 September 2016,; Swedish floating wind technology firm SeaTwirl AB plans to develop a full-scale 1 MW vertical axis wind turbine, from Tsvetomira Tsanova, “Swedish IPO to support vertical axis floating wind tech”, Renewables Now, 28 November 2016,; DCNS (France) and New England Aqua Ventus (United States) announced plans for a 12 MW pilot floating project off the US state of Maine, from Mariyana Yaneva, “French DCNS joins floating offshore wind project in USA”, Renewables Now, 6 June 2016,
  158. Ueda, op. cit. note 70; Fukushima Floating Offshore Wind Farm Demonstration Project, “The installation of ‘Fukushima Hamakaze’ in the testing area”, 1 August 2016,; “Fukushima floating offshore wind power project”, GWEC Newsletter, March 2016; Geert de Clercq, “Quadran, Eolfi-CGN wind French floating offshore tenders”, Reuters, 25 July 2016,; William Steel, “France gears up for floating wind”, Renewable Energy World, 23 November 2016,; Jennifer Johnson, “France awards two floating wind farm tenders”, Energy Digital, 25 July 2016,
  159. Chisaki Watanabe, “Japan expanding floating wind farm amid intensifying global race”, Bloomberg, 24 August 2016,; Statoil, “Our offshore wind projects”,, viewed 20 March 2017; Diane Cardwell, “Offshore wind farms see promise in platforms that float”, New York Times, 29 September 2016,; Jess Shankleman, “Race to build offshore wind farms that float on sea gathers pace”, Bloomberg, 17 March 2017,
  160. DONG Energy, “World’s first radar for offshore wind power now delivers data”, press release (Fredericia, Denmark: 21 September 2016),; Sawyer, op. cit. note 15.159
  161. William Steel, “Siemens celebrates topping out ceremony at new wind turbine factory in Cuxhaven, Germany”, Renewable Energy World, 19 December 2016, In early 2017, Siemens started construction of a transport ship for towers and blades, from idem.160
  162. Faster than expected, from Tisheva, op. cit. note 105; Susan Kraemer, “How DONG Energy bid offshore wind at just 8 cents”, Renewable Energy World, 14 September 2016,; Ibsoe, op. cit. note 133, pp. 3-4. The LCOE for offshore wind energy declined to approximately USD 0.06 per kWh for Horns Rev, Borssele 3&4 and Kriegers Flak tenders in Europe during 2016. This new LCOE level not only reduced the price of offshore wind energy by 50%, it also put the technology on the point of the price curve that was not forecasted to be reached before 2020-21, from Ibsoe, op. cit. note 133, pp. 3-4. Drivers from EurObserv’ER, op. cit. note 1, p. 13; GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 59; Kraemer, op. cit. note 162; increased competition from Catapult, Cost Reduction Monitoring Framework 2016, Executive Summary (Glasgow: January 2017), prepared for UK Offshore Wind Programme Board,; technical improvements from “Siemens aims for € 0.08/kWh”, Renews Biz, 22 June 2016, Some developers are achieving lower costs of capital by using project finance with high (up to 80%) debt ratios, from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Innovation Outlook: Offshore Wind (Abu Dhabi: October 2016), p. 54, 859
  163. “Offshore wind can match coal, gas for value by 2025-RWE, E.ON, GE, others”, Reuters, 6 June 2016, The countries included France, Germany and Sweden, and the companies included RWE, E.On, Siemens (all Germany), Statoil (Norway), Vattenfall (Sweden) and GE (United States), from idem.162
  164. Nghiem, op. cit. note 122; GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 59; Schwägerl, op. cit. note 67; “Review of 2016 – part two”, op. cit. note 105. Note that these bids excluded grid connection costs (estimated at around EUR 14 per MWh) and the projects are relatively close to shore, from FTI Consulting, op. cit. note 1, p. 32. The Dutch tender for Borssele 1 & 2 in June 2016 came in at EUR 72 per MWh, followed by a Danish nearshore tender in September, at EUR 64 per MW; in November, another Danish tender, at Krieger’s Flak, saw a winning bid of EUR 49.9 per MWh, followed by another Dutch tender in December for Borssele 3 & 4, which came in at EUR 54.5 per MWh, all from GWEC, op. cit. note 1, p. 59.163
  165. Catapult, op. cit. note 162.164
  166. Orrell et al., 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report, op. cit. note 83, pp. i, 22-23, 25. Capacity-weighted average installed costs of 1.6 MW of new small-scale turbines sold in the United States in 2015 was USD 5,760 per kW, down from USD 6,230 per kW in 2014 (based on 2.8 MW of sales) and USD 6,940 per kWh in 2013 (based on 5 MW of sales). The estimated capacity-weighted average capacity factor in 2015 was 32% (based on a sample size of 3.6 MW from 66 projects in 12 US states), up from 25% in 2013-2014 (based on 19.MW in 120 projects across 15 US states), all from idem.165
  167. Orrell et al., 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report, op. cit. note 83, p. 18. See, for example, Michelle Froese, “Leasing options for small wind energy”, Windpower Engineering & Development, 3 March 2016,; Polaris, “Leasing”,, viewed 31 March 2016; Navigant Research, “Market Data: small and medium wind turbines: demand drivers, market trends and challenges, and global market forecasts”, 2017,, viewed 17 March 2017.166
  168. United Wind, “United Wind closes $8M in Series B funding”, press release (Brooklyn, NY: 7 March 2016),; Northern Power Systems from Orrell et al., 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report, op. cit. note 83, p. 18. 167
  169. Orrell et al., 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report, op. cit. note 83, p. 18.168
  170. Based on data for 2014 and 2015 (more recent data not available), from WWEA, op. cit. note 81, Summary. In the United Kingdom there were about 15 small and medium (up to 225 kW) wind turbine manufacturers as of late 2014 or early 2015, from RenewableUK, op. cit. note 81, p. 19.169
  171. CWEEA, op. cit. note 81, pp. 6-7,; Orrell et al., 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report, op. cit. note 83, p. ii; Navigant Research, op. cit. note 167. In the United States, 31 companies reported sales in 2012, 16 companies in 2013, 11 in 2014, and 10 (eight domestic manufacturers and two importers) in 2015; in addition, foreign manufacturers have lost interest in the United States due to the expiration of important federal incentives, all from Orrell et al., 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report, op. cit. note 83, p. ii.170
  172. “Endurance Wind UK goes bust”, Renews Biz, 1 December 2016,; UK sales accounted for up to 90% of the company’s revenue, from idem.171
  173. Orrell et al., 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report, op. cit. note 83, pp. I, 8, 9.172
  174. CWEEA, op. cit. note 81, pp. 6-7.173
  175. Sidebar 2 and Table 2 from the following sources: all data come from IRENA’s Renewable Cost Database of 15,000 utility-scale renewable power generation projects and 1 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 LCOE, see IRENA, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2016 (Abu Dhabi: 2017), For solar PV’s rapid decline, see IRENA, The Power to Change: Solar and Wind Cost Reduction Potential to 2025 (Abu Dhabi: 2017),