The sharp increase in the solar PV capacity

The growing demand of electricity has motivated the usage of renewable electricity from renewable energy sources (wind power, solar energy, biomass, hydropower, geothermal, etc). However, until the year 2000, wind power had transformed itself into the most promising renewable resource for bulk electricity technology. After the year 2000, together with wind energy, solar energy emerged as one of the promising sources for bulk electricity generation owing to the innovative progresses in semiconductor and power electronics as the installation cost declined significantly.41 Figure 1 illustrates the global increase in solar PV installation capacity throughout 2005 to 2016 around the world.42 It can be observed clearly that from the year 2010 onwards, there is a sharp increase in the solar PV capacity worldwide. In 2016, there was a rapid increment in the capacity by around 75 GW as compared with 2015 whereby only 50 GW had been added. In the period of 2010 to 2014, the rise was gradual, by around 30 GW per year.42 Overall, the capacity of the PV system had remarkably increased year after year and is expected to continue to increase significantly. According to the latest reports by the International Energy Agency,43 by the end of 2016, the power generated via PV farms would have crossed 300 GW to around 302 GW, and this amount is at least 50 times higher than that in 2006. When compared with that in the year 2015, about 75 GW was added worldwide, which equals to the installation of greater than 31 000 PV modules each hour. As a result, by the beginning of 2017, each continent had at least 1 GW or more capacity, 24 countries have exceeded 1 GW as compared with the year 2013 whereby only 6 countries reached this record, and a minimum of 114 countries had crossed 10 MW. Furthermore, 6 countries had reached the overall capacity of more than 10 GW, 4 countries had more than 40 GW led by China, which reached 78 GW, followed by Japan (42.8 GW), which rose to second place, while Germany went down to third place (41.2 GW). As listed in Table 1, Germany is followed by the United States (40.3 GW) in fourth place.42, 43