A record 270 GW of solar is predicted worldwide for 2023

A record 270 (gigawatts) GW of newly installed solar capacity is expected to be achieved worldwide in 2023, according to global research firm Wood Mackenzie.

Solar worldwide in 2023

Wood Mackenzie predicts in its latest solar market outlook that solar will continue accelerating to an annual 330 GW by 2032. The company says it will be driven by ambitious clean energy targets, coal phaseouts, an urgent desire for energy security, increasing policy support, and falling solar levelized cost of energy levels.


Wood Mackenzie understandably predicts China to be the solar panel manufacturing leader for at least the next five years. In the near term, policy incentives in the US, Europe, and India aren’t expected to put a significant dent in China’s market share.

Developers are taking advantage of much cheaper polysilicon prices to expand utility-scale solar plants on a massive scale. WoodMac does, however, expect China to shift its export focus from panels to cells and wafers.

The US

The US solar industry experienced its largest first quarter on record in Q1 2023. The Inflation Reduction Act ramped up additions of more than 3 GW of planned US solar – a 25% year-over-year increase.

US utility-scale solar installations achieved a strong 66% year-over-year rebound in Q1, but projects still experience the headwinds of interconnection delays and supply chain glitches.

US residential solar also set a Q1 2023 record, but sales have slowed due to consumer skittishness over possible economic uncertainty.


The UK led the pack for quarterly residential solar installations in Q1 2023, where levels were double that of Q1 2022 volumes. If the UK’s pace continues, its residential solar installed capacity will grow by at least 60% in 2023.

Romania, with 210 sunny days a year, is emerging as a top distributed solar market in Europe. Wood Mackenzie expects it to hit 6.5 GW of cumulative distributed solar capacity by 2027. A €610 million subsidy program is expected to result in 150,000 home installations, driving 112% year-over-year growth.

Read more: In a ‘watershed moment,’ interconnecting the US grid just got a lot more efficient

Photo: China News Service

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