World solar power capacity passed the 100 gigawatt mark for the first time to 101 GW, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) said on Monday.

“This global capacity to harness the power of the sun produces as much electricity energy in a year as 16 coal power plants or nuclear reactors of one GW each,” the association said in a statement

An unprecedented 30 GW was added to the world grid in 2012 alone, EPIA added.

“No one would have predicted even 10 years ago that we would see more than 100 GW of solar photovoltaic capacity in the world by 2012,” said EPIA President Winfried Hoffmann.

“The photovoltaic industry clearly faces challenges but the results of 2012 show there is a strong global market for our technology,” he added. - Sapa-AFP