San Francisco-based Global Energy Monitor (GEM) has unveiled a new online mapping tool that catalogues utility-scale solar PV systems with capacities of 20MW or more.
The Global Solar Power Tracker (GSPT) can map solar projects of any status, including operational arrays or announced plants, as well as solar facilities that are under development or under construction. Each solar project is linked to a wiki page on the GEM wiki platform.
The tracking tool provides search results by project name, start-up year, operator, owner, country, capacity, and project status.
Currently, it catalogues 5,190 operating utility scale solar projects with a combined capacity of 298.7GW across 148 countries. It also includes another 3,551 prospective projects that would generate 651.6GW.
The mapping tool includes 260 solar projects in Australia, including 65 which have already commenced operations and 23 that have reached the construction stage. Another 95 are in the development phase.
GEM said Australia is ranked eighth for operating capacity with its 65 operational utility scale solar plants generating a combined 6.1GW of clean energy. China is a clear leader with 130.3GW of operational capacity, well ahead of the U.S. (43.4GW) and India (29GW). Vietnam (11.3GW) and Mexico (10.5GW) round out the top five.
Utility-scale solar accounts for roughly 65% of total global solar capacity with the remaining 35% being residential and commercial installations.
GEM project manager Ingrid Behrsin said the tool combines government, corporate, and other public information to provide project-level data, helping to show the speed and extent to which countries are building out solar power.
“Capturing the full extent of utility solar and wind built-out around the world is critical for measuring progress towards the energy transition,” she said. “With open-access project-level data like these, we are now in a much stronger position to track how countries are stacking up against their own stated renewables goals.”
GEM has also released a wind power tracker covering wind farm phases of 10MW or more. The online tool includes 13,263 operating utility-scale wind farm phases generating 681.4 GW in 144 countries, and an additional 5,235 prospective projects that would generate 882.0GW.
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