Solar PV could increase six-fold by 2030 – IRENA

IRENA's latest report details how falling costs and technology innovation could lead to a substantial increase in global PV. Source: Flickr/Fotopedia

Global solar PV capacity could increase six-fold by 2030 and account for as much as 7% of worldwide power generation, according to the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA).

The combined effects of low-cost equipment, ease of installation and technology developments led IRENA to forecast that PV capacity could reach 1,760GW in 2030, which would require an average annual growth capacity of 15%.

“The global potential for renewable energy is vast and far exceeds current and projected world energy demand,” IRENA’s new report, REthinking Energy 2017: Accelerating the global energy transformation reads.

Cumulative global solar PV capacity experienced its first big increase by 2015, jumping from 39GW in 2010 to 219GW of installed capacity by 2015; accounting for around 20% of all newly installed power generation. By the end of 2015, 21 countries had 1GW or more of solar PV installed, up from five countries in 2009.

However, despite the rapid rise in solar PV deployment, its contribution to global electricity generation still remains very small at around 1.2% in 2015. According to IRENA analysis, one key reason for this is the fact that it has grown from a very small base compared to conventional power sources – and still maintains a low capacity factor. While achieving significant shares of electricity demand in several countries in 2015, with 7.8% in Italy, 6.5% in Greece and 6.4% in Germany, overall global generation capacity share remains low. Despite the rapidly falling costs, government support and solar being harnessed in many countries, its share in overall capacity remains low.

However, between 2010 and 2015 the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar fell by around 60%, making such projects cost-competitive with new fossil fuel-based generation, according to IRENA.

Even though it is this dramatic cost reduction that has been the “primary driver” behind global market expansion, it is the innovation in technology development and continuing economies of scale that will propel solar wider as a global power source.

In order to keep the LCOE for solar down, balance of system costs will need to continue to reduce alongside broader finance costs. “By 2025, all these factors combined could drive utility-scale LCOE down by more than half relative to 2015 levels,” the report reads.

11 October 2022
PV CellTech Extra will be held as a series of live webinars and on-demand sessions on 11-13 October 2022. We'll be taking a slightly further forward-looking view at the technologies and roadmaps for new cell architectures set to dominate mass production during 2023-2025 with special emphasis on the potential timelines for technologies beyond the single-junction cell design, including perovskite and hybrid concepts.

Read Next

October 5, 2022
The Arkansas Public Service Commission has approved Entergy Arkansas’ 250MW Driver Solar Project located near Osceola in Mississippi County.
September 28, 2022
The ENACT Installer App automates the complete journey of the customer, right from first contact to complete installation.
September 27, 2022
Nearly a third of all renewable technologies employment came from the solar PV industry in 2021, according to a new report from the IRENA.
September 15, 2022
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will deploy 241GW of solar PV by 2030, with the technology dominating new capacity additions.
September 14, 2022
US utility-scale service provider Borrego has launched a new solar and battery storage procurement marketplace and optimisation solution called Anza.
September 14, 2022
Despite “breakthrough” renewables growth across Southeast and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in recent years, more needs to be done to boost deployment and reduce the region’s reliance on Russian energy imports.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

On-Demand Webinars, Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event
Upcoming Webinars
October 18, 2022
10am (EDT) / 4pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
November 29, 2022
Malaga, Spain