Global cumulative solar PV capacity by select country 2018

This statistic represents major countries at the end of year 2018, by cumulative solar PV capacity. China's cumulative solar PV (photovoltaic) capacity reached 176.1 gigawatts at the end of 2018.

Solar photovoltaic - additional information

With the assistance of politically-driven subsidies, the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector continues to attract investors, with investment volumes that eclipse the deals made in other markets, including the wind power and biomass energy sectors. Although the electricity derived from solar sources is much less reliable than power from nuclear fission or coal combustion, solar power has become a force in the energy market. Global cumulative installed solar PV capacity amounted to around 509.3 gigawatts in 2018, up from less than 2.6 gigawatts in 2003. China, Japan, Germany and the United States are the most important markets for solar photovoltaic installations.

The process to convert solar radiation into direct current electricity requires the use of inverters and solar photovoltaic modules. Such modules consist of a number of solar cells which are usually made from semiconductor materials such as silicon. The most widely used materials to produce solar cells include multicrystalline (also called polycrystalline) silicon or monocrystalline (also called single-crystal) silicon. As a result of policy instruments such as punitive tariffs, subsidies and tax cuts, the prices of solar modules began to fall in 2002 and its decline is expected to continue into the future as PV technology advances. While production of solar cells is increasingly shifting towards Asian markets, lower costs will likely drive innovation in the field of solar cell technology and make solar PV power more affordable.

Cumulative solar photovoltaic capacity globally as of 2018, by select country

Loading statistic...
You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

June 2019



Survey time period


Open this statistic in...
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$59 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Global solar photovoltaic industry"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.