Global Solar Power Tracker Methodology

From Global Energy Monitor


Global Energy Monitor’s Global Solar Power Tracker (GSPT) uses a two-level system for organizing information, consisting of both a database and wiki pages with further information. The database tracks individual solar farm phases and includes information such as project sponsor, status, capacity rating, and location. A wiki page for each solar farm is created within the The database and wiki pages are updated annually.[1]

Status Categories

  • Announced: Proposed projects that have been described in corporate or government plans but have not yet taken concrete steps such as applying for permits.
  • Development: Projects are actively moving forward in seeking governmental approvals, land rights, or financing.
  • Construction: Site preparation or equipment installation are underway.
  • Operating: The project has been formally commissioned; the commercial operation date has been achieved.
  • Shelved: Suspension 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.
  • Retired: The project has been decommissioned.
  • Mothballed: The project is disused, but not dismantled.

Research Process

Preliminary lists of solar farms in each country were gathered from public and private data sources including Platts World Energy Power Plant database and the World Resource Institute’s Global Power Plant Database, as well as various company and government sources. The data was then vetted against additional sources of information, listed below.

Solar farm data is validated and updated through five main sources:

  • Government data on individual solar farms (such as India Central Electricity Authority’s “Plant Wise Details of All India Renewable Energy Projects” and the U.S. EIA 860 Electric Generator Inventory), country energy and resource plans, and government websites tracking solar farm permits and applications;
  • Reports by state-owned and private power companies;
  • News and media reports;
  • Local non-governmental organizations tracking solar farms or permits.

Wiki Pages

For each solar farm, a wiki page is created on Global Energy Monitor’s Wiki pages provide a home for additional information including project background, financing, environmental impacts, public opposition, aerial photographs, videos, links to permits, coordinates, and maps. Under standard wiki convention, all information is linked to a published reference, such as a news article, company or government report, or a regulatory permit. In order to ensure data integrity in the open-access wiki environment, Global Energy Monitor researchers review all edits of project wiki pages.


To allow easy public access to the results, Global Energy Monitor worked with GreenInfo Network to develop a map-based and table-based interface using the Leaflet Open-Source JavaScript library. In the case of exact coordinates for operating solar farms, locations have been visually determined using Google Maps, Google Earth, Wikimapia, or OpenStreetMap, or are from permit applications, or company or government documentation. For proposed projects, exact locations, if available, are from permit applications, or company or government documentation. If the location of a solar farm or proposal is not known, GEM identifies the most approximate location.

Resources and articles


  1. "Global Solar Power Tracker Methodology", Global Energy Monitor, accessed April 8, 2022