2020, another historic year for the Spanish PV sector

FuturENERGY July-September 2021

2020, otro año histórico para el sector fotovoltaico español

PV continued its position of global leadership in 2020, both among renewables and non-renewables, according to the Annual Report that UNEF, the Spanish PV Industry Association publishes every year and which offers an insight into the sector situation. 2020 was also an historic year for the PV sector in Spain. Subtitled ‘Solar power, opportunity for sustainability’, this year’s edition highlights that in 2020, PV maintained its leadership of installed generation technologies at global level, adding a new additional capacity of 139 GW. This figure represents an increase of 21% compared to 2019, overtaking the 100 GW mark for the fourth year running to achieve a cumulative 760 GW.

The big market leader, China, broke a negative 2-year trend of deceleration, adding 48.2 GW (60% more than in 2019, when 30.1 GW was recorded). Behind China came the US, which doubled its 2019 contribution with a record increase in new capacity of 19.2 GW. In the EU, PV consolidated the growth it has been experiencing in recent years, by installing 18.2 GW, 11% more compared to the 16.7 GW figure of 2019. As a result, 2020 has been ranked as the second-best year in history, surpassed only by 2011.

2020 was also an historic year for the PV sector in Spain. The installed capacity for ground-mounted plants reached 2.8 GWp, less than 2019 but still a milestone given that this figure has been achieved without any form of public subsidy or regulatory framework. In self-consumption, capacity increased by 596 MWh, 30% up on the previous year, demonstrating the resilience of this sector to COVID-19.