Record Growth in Photovoltaic Capacity

An estimated 7,300 megawatts (MW) of new solar photovoltaic (PV) power capacity was installed in 2009—20 percent more than was added in 2008. With this record addition, global installed PV capacity surpassed 21,000 megawatts, producing enough power to satisfy the annual electricity use of about 5.5 million households. In addition, 127 MW of solar thermal electric power plants came online in 2009, bringing the total operating capacity of such plants to 613 MW. Solar energy harnessed by PV and thermal electric plants now meets about 1 percent of electricity demand in Germany and more than 2 percent of demand in Spain.

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