Asia now accounts for five of the top 10 solar-powered economies after a decade of growth and expansion. Ten years ago, European nations dominated the solar rankings.
The most recent study, undertaken by Ember, a think tank for electricity, examined how total solar energy capacity changed globally over the last ten years. Ember is a non-profit organisation that conducts cutting-edge research with a big impact with the goal of hastening the world’s switch from coal to renewable energy.
China in the Lead
According to the data, nations like China, India, Vietnam, and South Korea have carved out a spot for themselves in the top ten ranks. It is significant that Vietnam was ranked 196th in 2010 while India was ranked 22nd internationally.
The largest installed solar power capacity in the world, 307 gigawatts, is claimed by China. According to state media, the nation is expected to treble its historically high rate of new solar development in 2022. Once the nation meets its objective of installing 108 gigawatts of solar energy this year, this goal will be accomplished.
China’s solar power capacity added this year alone would be equivalent to more than the whole amount of solar power installed in the US, twice that in Germany, and more than five times that in Australia.
Growth in Other Asian Countries
With a 234 percent rise in solar capacity in just one year, Vietnam had a remarkable solar expansion between 2019 and 2020.
“Asia’s solar growth has been under the radar. The region actually has been doing quite well, with 5 countries now joining the world’s top 10,” said Achmed Edianto, Ember’s Asia electricity analyst.
Global solar capacity reached 849 GW in 2021, up 19% from the year before, according to IRENA. In 2021, solar energy accounted for 3.7% of all power generated globally, with Asia having the lowest average at just under 3%. This growth is largely attributable to recent increases in the area, but it also shows how far solar energy still needs to advance before it can completely replace fossil fuels.
China and India have had phenomenal growth in their solar sectors within the area, which has resulted in large swings in the amount of electricity generated by solar power each year. India’s solar share climbed from 0.01 percent to over 4 percent in 2021, whereas China’s solar share increased from 0.02 percent in 2010 to 3.89 percent in 2021.
Japan’s solar capacity climbed from 3.62 GW in 2010 to 74.19 GW in 2021, although it stayed in fourth place internationally. As a result, solar power produced about 10% of Japan’s electricity in 2021. Solar energy made up just 0.3% of the country’s energy mix in 2010.
Tackling Climate Change
According to the IPCC and the IEA, Asian nations should strive to power at least 40% of their electrical systems from wind and solar by 2030 in order to limit climate change below 1.5 degrees of warming. This will call for broad-based economic and technological collaboration in addition to specifically tailored national policy innovation and investment.
“If Asia’s rapidly developing economies are able to scale up their solar industries and collectively confront the challenges of the energy transition, they will be at the forefront of securing the jobs, industries and opportunities of a renewable future”, added Ember analyst, Achmed Edianto.