Snapshot of Photovoltaics—March 2017

Arnulf Jäger-Waldau
2017 Sustainability  
Renewable energy use, especially from solar photovoltaic electricity generation, is growing at a much faster pace than the rest of the economy world-wide. The significant cost reduction of solar PV over the last decade and the zero-fuel cost volatility have increased solar PV's attractiveness. In 2016, the newly installed solar PV power of about 75 GW was more than all the world-wide installed capacity until the end of 2011. The fact that the Paris Agreement went into force on 4 November 2016
more » ... n 4 November 2016 will be another accelerating factor for the use of electricity from renewable energy sources. Apart from the electricity sector, renewable energy sources for the generation of heat and environmental friendly synthetic-fuels for the transport sector will become more and more important in the future. The production data used for this paper are collected on a regular basis from stock market reports of listed companies, commercial and private market reports, and colleagues. These different data sets are cross-checked for consistency to make sure that the same category of products are compared. Where necessary, the results were confirmed with personal communications. Regular fact-finding missions involving company visits-as well as meetings with officials from companies, funding organizations, and policymakers-complete the picture. The market data for PV electricity generation system installations are collected from national statistics, solar and renewable energy associations, as well as consultancies and individual experts. Like for the production data, these different data sets are cross-checked for consistency to make sure that standard DC peak power capacities are compared. Results PV Solar Cell Production Production data for the global cell production (Solar cell production capacities mean: -In the case of wafer silicon based solar cells, only the cells; -In the case of thin-films, the complete integrated module; -Only those companies which actually produce the active circuit (solar cell) are counted; -Companies which purchase these circuits and make cells are not counted.) in 2016 varies between 78 GW and 82 GW and estimates for 2017 are in the 80 to 85 GW range.
doi:10.3390/su9050783 fatcat:npvss3ww2jdsboxnwuaoqcaodu