Global solar PV capacity installations 2018

This statistic represents the leading solar countries in 2018, based on capacity additions of new photovoltaic installations. The United States increased its solar photovoltaic capacity by 10.6 gigawatts in 2018.

Construction of a solar photovoltaic module

Most solar modules use wafer-based crystalline-silicon cells or thin-film cells. Thin-film cells can be semi-flexible, but most solar modules are rigid. Cells are connected electrically to one another and the entire system to produce a desired voltage or current. The load carrying part of a module can be used as the top or the bottom layer. A bypass diode can be incorporated into the system or used externally to maximize output in case the system is partially shaded from the sun. In 2011, First Solar was one of the largest manufacturers of thin-film cells, garnering a 1,981 megawatts capacity.

In 2010, Germany and the rest of Europe were leaders in construction of photovoltaic systems, reaching 7,437 megawatts and 3,708 megawatts, respectively. Despite continuous improvements to solar technologies, photovoltaic modules are still unable to produce electricity from the entire range of solar light frequencies, such as from ultraviolet and infrared light.

In 2014, the United Kingdom installed 2,402 megawatts of new solar PV 271377. However, China, Japan, and the United States have accounted for the majority of the global share of newly installed solar photovoltaics during this year. China and Japan accounted for about half of the world’s newly installed PV in 2014, totaling 26.5 percent and 24.25 percent, respectively.

Leading countries based on new solar photovoltaic capacity additions in 2018

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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Solar photovoltaic industry in the United States"

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