What do the colored dots mean?
The colors indicate the status category:
- Announced: Proposed projects that have been described in corporate or government plans or media releases but have not yet taken concrete steps such as applying for permits.
- Pre-construction: Projects that are actively moving forward in seeking governmental approvals, land rights, or financing.
- Construction: Site preparation and equipment installation are underway.
- Shelved: Suspension of operation has been announced, or no progress has been observed for at least two years.
- Cancelled: A cancellation announcement has been made, or no progress has been observed for at least four years.
- Operating: The project has been formally commissioned; commercial operation has begun.
- Mothballed: The project is disused, but not dismantled.
- Retired: The project has been decommissioned.
How accurate are locations?
Each solar phase location is marked “exact” or “approximate.” In the case of exact coordinates, locations are either specifically identified on a mapping service such as Google Maps, Open Street Maps, etc., or gathered from company or government documentation. If the location of a solar farm or proposal is not known, Global Energy Monitor identifies the most accurate location possible based on available information.
What do the numbers in the circles mean?
The numbers tell the number of phases at each location. To find information on each phase, click on the number, then select one of the colored dots.
I’ve zoomed in, but don’t see a power plant. Why?
If a project is still in the pre-operational phases (announced, pre-construction, or construction), there may be no sign of activity. In other cases, only approximate location information could be found. Finally, satellite photos in some geographies are updated infrequently, so recent activity is not shown.
How do I find out if a location is exact or approximate?
Location accuracy improves as plants move from early stages of development toward operation. To find out the coordinates of a location and whether a location is exact or approximate, click on the location dot, select the wiki page, and look under “Project Details.”
What solar projects does the tracker include?
The objective of the Global Solar Power Tracker is to provide information on utility-scale, electricity-generating solar farm phases with capacities of 20 megawatts (MW) or more (10 MW or more in Arabic-speaking countries) and medium utility-scale projects down to 1 MW globally. Both photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal, also known as concentrating solar power (CSP) installations are included. The tracker includes every solar farm phase at this capacity threshold of any status, including operating, announced, pre-construction, under construction, shelved, cancelled, mothballed, or retired. We have also begun including smaller projects for some countries, these data are only viewable in the downloadable dataset.
Why do your summed capacity values not match capacities listed elsewhere, such as official government figures?
Capacities listed in our online summary tables do not include any project phases below the large utility-scale threshold of 20 MW (10 MW in Arabic-speaking countries). Additional capacities for medium utility-scale project phases with capacities between 1-20 MW are available in the downloadable dataset. However, solar installations above 1 MW constitute only approximately 56% of all operating solar capacity globally. Therefore, in some instances, the summed solar capacities in summary tables and in the downloadable dataset may still be significantly lower than values listed elsewhere. Global Energy Monitor is currently evaluating strategies for incorporating smaller-scale solar data in future releases.
How do you define capacity?
Capacity is measured in megawatts (MW) and refers to the collective nameplate capacity of the solar farm phase. When possible, the tracker also specifies the capacity rating.
Can you explain the difference between “phases” and “projects”?
A solar farm phase is generally defined as a group of solar arrays that are installed under one permit, one power purchase agreement, and typically come online at the same time. A solar farm project can be composed of several phases, or just a single phase.
Improving the Tracker
What if I find an error or a missing project?
Please fill out an error report form here.
Who built this tool?
The tracker was designed and produced by Global Energy Monitor, a network of researchers seeking to develop collaborative informational resources on fossil fuel impacts and alternatives.
How do I cite this data?
Please refer to the Download Data page for citation guidance.