The global solar market grew 29.3 percent last year, with nations installing 98.9 gigawatts of new capacity, according to data from the industry group SolarPower Europe. While more capacity was installed in 2017, the global growth rate slowed last year, down from 49 percent in 2016, according to energy news site CleanTechnica.
The new capacity brings the total operating solar power in the world to 405 GW, 89 percent of which was installed in the last seven years, according to IFLScience.
China remains the world’s leader in solar power, installing 52.8 GW in 2017, which accounted for 53 percent of new global solar capacity added last year. The United States was second with 10.6 GW of new solar power, and India was third with 9.6 GW.
In Europe, Turkey experienced the fastest growth in solar installations, its capacity growing by 1.79 gigawatts — an increase of 213 percent. Germany was second with 1.75 GW and the United Kingdom was third.
“After an astonishing 50 percent growth in 2016, many solar experts did not expect any growth in 2017,” Michael Schmela, executive advisor and head of market intelligence at SolarPower Europe, said in a statement. “The fact that we saw solar continue to grow at such a high rate… proves that solar has been constantly underestimated.”