A reduction in solar PV modules by about 65% since 2010 has resulted in an unprecedented growth in the solar energy industry worldwide. The top 10 countries with the highest solar generation capacity as of 2014 are listed as follows:

Country Installed Capacity (GW)
Germany 38.2
China 28.2
Japan 23.3
Italy 18.46
USA 18.28
France 5.66
Spain 5.36
UK 5.1
Australia 4.1
Belgium 3.07

(IEA-PVPS Snapshot of Global PV Markets, 2014)

It should be noted that the above specified installed capacity covers solar PV as well as concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies. Solar PV accounts for more than 95% of the growth in the solar energy sector.

Although there has been a slowdown in European markets, it has the largest share of installed solar capacity worldwide at more than 45%. Germany still accounts for a large share of the current solar PV capacity, although is soon to be overtaken by China. UK has been driving the solar market in Europe currently with most new installations taking place there. In North America, there is a steady growth in solar installations. Asian countries have been driving the market forward due to the recognition of lowering PV prices by policymakers.

It is estimated that China will add 17.8GW of solar capacity in 2015. Chile, South Africa and India are among the newcomers in the solar industry and are likely to acquire market share in the coming years.

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