IEA PVPS has published its new Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Market 2016 report, that serves as a preliminary assessment prior to the PVPS Trends Report that will be published in Q3 2017. Preliminary market numbers show that the PV market grew significantly in 2016. In total, about 75 GW of PV capacity were installed in the IEA PVPS countries and in other major markets during 2016. The total installed capacity in the IEA PVPS countries and key markets has risen to at least 303 GW.
Solar PV technology continued to expand in 2016 thanks to the rapid development in China, America and India. The 50% growth reported in 2016 came from these countries, with disparities in other markets. Japan and Europe contributed less than in 2015 and the contribution of emerging countries remained equal. In other words, the global PV market outside of China grew by 5 GW to 40 GW while China drove the global numbers up to at least 75 GW.
Once driven by financial incentives in developed countries, PV has started to progress in developing countries, answering to a crucial need for electricity. Whereas in several developed countries, PV comes in direct competition with existing plants from incumbent utilities, in emerging countries PV already helps to satisfy a growing need for energy in general and electricity in particular, pushed by declining prices.
In a decade, PV has become a major source of electricity at an extremely rapid pace in multiple countries all over the world. The speed of its development stems from its unique ability to cover most market segments; from the very small individual systems for rural electrification to utility-size power plants (today over 1 GWp). From the built environment to large ground-mounted installations, PV finds its way, depending on various criteria that makes it suitable for most environments.