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and co-operation on ocean energy. Technology development continued in various test sites, with tidal and wave energy devices having advanced the most of all ocean energy technologies to date. Solar PV Solar PV is starting to play a substantial role in electricity generation in some countries as rapidly falling costs have made unsubsidised solar PV-generated electricity cost-competitive with fossil fuels in an increasing number of locations around the world. In 2014, solar PV marked another record year for growth, with an estimated 40 GW installed for a total global capacity of about 177 GW. China, Japan, and the United States accounted for the vast majority of new capacity. Even so, the distribution of new installations continued to broaden, with Latin America seeing rapid growth, significant new capacity added in several African countries, and new markets picking up in the Middle East. Although most EU markets declined for the third consecutive year, the region—particularly Germany— continued to lead the world in terms of total solar PV capacity and contribution to the electricity supply. The solar PV industry recovery that began in 2013 continued in 2014, thanks to a strong global market. Consolidation among manufacturers continued, although the flood of bankruptcies seen over the past few years slowed to a trickle. To meet the rising demand, new cell and module production facilities opened (or were announced) around the world. Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP) The CSP market remains less established than most other renewable energy markets. Nonetheless, the sector continued its near-decade of strong growth with total capacity increasing 27% to 4.4 GW. Although parabolic trough plants continued to represent the bulk of existing capacity, 2014 was notable for the diversification of technologies in operation, with the world’s largest linear Fresnel and tower plants coming on line. Only the United States and India added CSP facilities to their grids in 2014. However, CSP activity continued in most regions, with South Africa and Morocco the most active markets in terms of construction and planning. Spain remained the global leader in existing capacity. Stagnation of the Spanish market and an expected deceleration of the US market after a bumper year fuelled further industry consolidation. However, costs are declining, particularly in the global sunbelt, a large variety of technologies are under development, and thermal energy storage (TES) is becoming increasingly important and remains the focus of extensive research and development (R&D). Solar Thermal Heating and Cooling: Deployment of solar thermal technologies continued to slow, due largely to declining markets in Europe and China. Cumulative capacity of water collectors reached an estimated 406 GWth by the end of 2014 (with air collectors adding another 2 GWth), providing approximately 341 TWh of heat annually. China again accounted for about 80% of the world market for solar water collectors, followed by Turkey, Brazil, India, and Germany. The trend continued towards larger domestic water heating systems in hotels, schools, RENEWABLE ENERGY 34 energetica INDIA · NOV | DEC15


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