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A Snapshot of Global PV Markets -The latest survey results on markets and policies from the IEA PVPS programme 2016

  • Becquerel Institute, Brussels, Belgium
  • RTS Corporation
  • Becquerel Sweden

Abstract and Figures

This snapshot report gives information on the development of PV power applications in the PVPS member and non-member countries and is largely based on the information provided by the 24 IEA PVPS countries plus the European Union through its European Commission. The report includes information on national market developments and comments about the most important changes and trends in PV support policies at the end of the former year, in this case 2015. The International Energy Agency – Photovoltaic Power System Programme (IEA PVPS)'s Task 1 is responsible for strategy and outreach within the IEA PVPS program. This includes market and industry analysis. A key deliverable of Task 1 is the annual Snapshot of Global PV Markets publication, together with the TRENDS IN PV APPLICATIONS.
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Ir. Gaëtan Masson, IEA PVPS, Belgium
Pius Hüsser, Nova Energie, Switzerland
Izumi Kaizuka, RTS Corporation , 4F 3-19-2 Hatchobori, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0032, Japan,
Johan Lindahl, Spokesperson, Svensk Solenergi, Holländargatan 17 111 60, Sweden,
Arnulf Jaeger-Waldau, EC-JEC, Italy,
Angelo Baggini, Copper Alliance, Italy,
Francesca Tilli, Italy, Gestore Servizi Energetici,
Guastella Salvatore, Italy, RSE,
Peter Ahm, PA Energy, Denmark,
Grégory Neubourg, APERE, Belgium,
José Donoso, UNEF, Spain,
Chinho Park, Yeungnam University, Korea,
Vicente Salas, UC3M, Spain,
Jero Ahola, LUT, Finland,
(on behalf of Task 1 of the IEA PVPS Programme)
ABSTRACT: This snapshot report gives information on the development of PV power applications in the PVPS member and
non-member countries and is largely based on the information provided by the 24 IEA PVPS countries plus the European
Union through its European Commission. The report includes information on national market developments and comments
about the most important changes and trends in PV support policies at the end of the former year, in this case 2015. The
International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power System Programme (IEA PVPS)’s Task 1 is responsible for strategy and
outreach within the IEA PVPS program. This includes market and industry analysis. A key deliverable of Task 1 is the annual
Snapshot of Global PV Markets publication, together with the TRENDS IN PV APPLICATIONS.
This paper presents the latest survey results for the
calendar year 2015 concerning PV markets and policies,
as well as other key issues. An increasing number of
national markets experienced notable growth in 2015
with impacts on policy development. While the final
figures for 2015 will continue to be refined in the
coming months, preliminary figures show that close to
51 GW of PV systems have been installed in the world
last year. Some important trends observed are as
- The global PV market grew to at least 50.7
GW in 2015, compared to around 39.7 GW in
2014 (revised figure).
- Asia scored the very first place again in 2015
with more than 57 % of the global PV market.
- The market in Europe grew to 8 GW for the
first time in years. It has decreased significantly
from 22.5 GW in 2011 to 17.5 GW in 2012, 11
GW in 2013 and 7 GW in 2014. But in 2015 it
grew for the first time in years at 8 GW.
- The Asia Pacific region installing close to 31
GW in 2015 has experienced the fastest market
development in 2013 as well as 2014. China
took the first place (with 15.2 GW installed),
ahead of Japan (10.8 GW) and the USA (7.3
GW). The first European country ranked fourth,
with the 3.8 GW installed in United Kingdom.
- In the top 10 countries, there are 3 European
countries (UK, Germany and France), 5
Asia-Pacific countries (China, Japan, Korea,
Australia, India), no country in Africa (South
Africa installed relatively small amounts of PV
in 2015) and two countries in the Americas
region (USA and Canada).
- Germany, Italy and Greece have now enough
PV capacity to produce respectively 7.1 %,
8.0 % and 7.4 % of their annual electricity
demand with PV. 15 countries have enough PV
to produce at least 1.3 % of their electricity
demand by PV.
- PV represents 3.8 % of the electricity demand in
Europe and 7% of the peak electricity demand.
- 22 countries had at least 1 GW of cumulative
PV systems capacity at the end of 2015 and 7
countries installed at least 1 GW in 2015.
1.1. Purpose of The Work
The objective of the series of annual Snapshot and
Trends reports which have been published since 1992
(Trends) and 2013 (Snapshot) is to present and interpret
developments in both the PV systems and components
being used in the PV power systems market and the
changing applications for these products within that market.
These trends are analyzed in the context of the business,
policy and non-technical environment in the reporting
These reports are prepared to assist those responsible
for developing the strategies of businesses and public
authorities, and to aid the development of medium term
plans for electricity utilities and other providers of energy
services. It also provides guidance to government officials
responsible for setting energy policy and preparing national
energy plans. Finally, it represents the most comprehensive
and complete PV market analysis on a global level.
1.2. Approach
Key data for this publication were drawn mostly from
national survey reports (up to 2014) and information
summaries, which were supplied by representatives from
Preprint 32nd EUPVSEC 2016
each of the reporting member countries of IEA PVPS (for
2015 data). These national survey reports and the annual
Snapshots can be found on the website
Information from the countries outside IEA PVPS are
drawn from a variety of sources and, with every attempt
made to ensure their accuracy.
The 24 countries currently participating in the IEA
PVPS programme are Australia (AUS), Austria (AUT),
Belgium (BEL), Canada (CAN), China (CHN), Denmark
(DNK), Finland (FI), France (FRA), Germany (DEU),
Israel (ISR), Italy (ITA), Japan (JPN), Korea (KOR),
Malaysia (MYS), Mexico (MEX), the Netherlands
(NLD), Norway (NOR), Portugal (PRT), Spain (ESP),
Sweden (SWE), Switzerland (CHE), Thailand (THA)
Turkey (TUR) and the United States of America (USA).
The European Commission (EC), the Solar Power Europe
association (SPE), the US Solar Electric Power
Association (SEPA) and the US Solar Energy Industries
Association (SEIA) and Copper Alliance are also
1.3. Results And Conclusion
Trends in photovoltaic applications is currently being
compiled and the following results are based on the
snapshot of global PV data collected in 2015, together
with data published in National Survey Reports.
2.1. Cumulative Global Installed Capacity
The 24 IEA PVPS countries represented around 197
GW of cumulative PV installations altogether, mostly
grid-connected, at the end of 2015. The other 39
countries that have been considered and are not part of
the IEA PVPS programme represented 30 additional GW,
mostly in Europe: UK with close to 9.1 GW, Greece with
2.6 GW, Czech Republic with 2.1 GW installed,
Romania with 1.3 GW and Bulgaria with 1.0 GW and
below the GW mark Slovakia. Outside of Europe, the
major non-IEA PVPS countries that accounted for the
highest cumulative installations in 2015 were India with
more than 5.1 GW, South Africa with 1 GW, Taiwan
with 1 GW and in Chile with 0.8 GW. Other countries
installed significant amounts of PV but their tracking is
not easy since they are not reporting official numbers.
Pakistan for instance has installed around 800 MW
cumulative, based on PV modules import numbers but
this remains to be verified. Ukraine has also installed
more than 800 MW so far, despites the losses of Crimean
installations to Russia.
Meanwhile a difference of 1 or 2 GW out of 227 GW
represents an error margin less than 2% that can be
considered as scientifically acceptable. It must be noted
that several countries are reporting officially AC
numbers. These AC numbers refer to the theoretical
output of PV systems connected to the grid, with a
methodology that can differ according to the country and
the segment. The correction factor to transform these AC
numbers into DC numbers (that are compiled here)
differs according to the country and the market segment.
While for residential installations, the ratio between DC
power and AC power is relatively small (and sometimes
close to 1 or even below 1 in case of an inverter slightly
larger than the PV installation itself, for ground-mounted
installations, the ratio DC/AC can go up to 1.4 for
utility-scale applications. While such a number seems
high, ratios around 1.3 are mentioned by First Solar in
2016 (Annual report 2015). In that respect, AC reporting
countries are mentioned below with their AC market size.
Japan that reports in AC, reports also the equivalent DC
number according to the Japanese grid connection
regulations: 9797.4 MW AC correspond in Japan to
10811.4 MW DC.
The reporting in AC amounts to at least 40 GW (34
GW in Japan, 5 GW in Spain, plus Canada and Austria
for instance). Assuming an average correction factor of
10% instead of 15%, these 40 GW could generate a
difference of 2 additional GW. These uncertainties
correspond today to less than 1% of the total installed
capacity. Meanwhile, it is important to consider AC and
DC numbers since most tenders (for instance in Chile or
UAE) consider AC number. The 200 MWAC tender in
Dubai that got the 58.5 USD/MWh PPA corresponds in
fact to a 250 MWDC PV plant.
Finally the question of the non-reporting countries is at
the core of the debate on the final numbers. In this paper,
we build on data produced by a consortium of researchers
(Ch. Werner & All) that estimated the installations in
non-reporting countries from this paper to 228 GW.
The figure 1 below illustrates the evolution of
cumulative installed PV power in the world.
Figure 1: Cumulative installed PV power in the World
2.2. Annual Installed Capacity in 2015
The IEA PVPS countries have installed 40 GW of
PV. While they are difficult to track with a high level of
certainty, installations in non-IEA PVPS countries were
pushing the installed capacity above 50 GW in 2015.
Figure 2: Annual installed PV power in the World
Preprint 32nd EUPVSEC 2016
With around 50.7 GW, the market grew in 2015 by
around 25%, again the highest installation ever for PV.
China installed 15.2 GW in 2015, according to the
National Energy Administration, a record level
significantly higher than the 10.6 GW and 10.95 GW
from the last two years (2014, 2013) that placed the
country in first place with regard to all time PV
installations in 2013. This is perfectly in line with their
political will to develop renewable sources and in
particular PV in the short to medium term. Meanwhile
more was initially planned for and the lower level
reached can be explained by local difficulties to ramp up
the distributed PV market and probably the beginning of
rather high curtailment rates in some provinces far from
consumption centers.
The second place goes to Japan for the second year in
a row, with 10.8 GW installed in the country in 2015, up
from 2014 numbers. The USA installed 7.3 GW, up from
6.2 GW of PV systems in 2014, with a growing share of
large utility-scale PV compared to rooftop installations.
The UK grew significantly again in 2015, becoming
the first country for PV installations in Europe with 3.8
GW. The market has been powered by the rather unique
set of support schemes in Europe still favoring
ground-mounted installations. More than half of all 2015
installations occurred anyway in the first quarter of the
year, which predicts a market decline in 2016.
India installed 2.1 GW in 2015, while a growing
number of installations are reported, amidst huge
expectations powered by the policy decision to install up
to 100 GW before 2022.
Together, these 5 countries represent 77% of all
installations recorded in 2015, roughly the same
percentage as in 2014 while the top 5 of cumulative
capacities reached 70% in terms of installed capacity
(China, Germany, Japan, USA, Italy).
Germany installed 1.46 GW, a major decline after the
three years with PV installations around 7.5 GW,
followed by 2013 at 3.3 GW and 2014 at 1.9 GW. The
total installed PV capacity in Germany is now more than
39.6 GW but the country was for the first time passed by
China that became number one with more than 43 GW
of cumulative PV capacity at the end of 2015.
The following four places go to the France (0.9 GW),
Korea (1.0 GW), Australia (0.9 GW) and Canada (0.6
GW). Together these top 10 countries cover 88% of the
2015 world market, a percentage that is decreasing
Amongst countries that in the past installed
significant levels of PV, Italy installed only 300 MW,
down from the 9.3 GW in 2011, 3.6 GW in 2012 and 1.7
GW in 2013. It has reached a capacity of 18.9 GW.
Several other countries where the PV market used to
develop in the last years have performed in various ways:
Belgium installed only 95 MW and has now reached
more than 3.2 GW. Some countries that grew
dramatically over recent years have now stalled or
experienced limited additions: Spain (56 MW) now totals
5.4 GWDC of PV systems followed by Czech Republic
(2 MW) at 2.1 GW.
In Europe, net-metering systems allowed the market
to grow quickly in Denmark but the transition to
self-consumption pushed the installations down despites
a significant market improvement in 2015 (180 MW)
thanks to utility-scale plants. In the Netherlands (500
MW estimated), 2015 saw significant additions while the
market stabilized in Switzerland (300 MW) and in
Austria (150 MW).
Malaysia installed 63 MW for the fourth year of its
Feed-in Tariff (FiT) system. Taiwan installed around 400
MW in a growing market. In Latin America, official data
for Chile shows the installation of 800 MW in two years,
a first step towards PV deployment in the region. Several
additional GW of PV plants have been validated in Chile,
while projects are popping up in Brazil and Honduras
(400 MW). The real PV development of grid-connected
PV plants has finally started in the region but much more
is expected in 2016, especially with the competitive
tenders that have been won in Mexico, Peru or Brazil.
In the Middle East, Israel continued in a similar way
(200 MW), while the PV installations in Turkey have
finally started but slower than expected with around 208
MW installed in 2015. Many new projects have been
announced, especially in the UAE and in Egypt and other
countries are rapidly building PV plants, such as Jordan
or Algeria (268 MW in 2015).
PV installations have been reported in dozens of
countries in the world, with 2.3 GW installed in
non-reporting countries (source: Ch. Werner and all, op.
cit.). Since this number comes mainly from imports of
modules in these countries, it should be considered as the
maximum maximorum. To the 40.7 GW in IEA-PVPS
countries, 7.7 GW can be added in other countries where
PV installations are followed properly (those mentioned
in this document with installation numbers) and 2.3 GW
additional installations, pushing the 2015 installations
numbers up to 50.7 GW.
2.3. Shift to Asia
While Europe represented a major part of all
installations globally in 2011, the share of Asia and
America started to grow rapidly from 2012, with Asia
taking the lead. This evolution is quite visible from 2011
to 2014, with the share of the Asia Pacific region
growing from 18% to close to 60% in 2014 and 2015,
whereas the European share of the PV market went down
from 74% to 15% in five years. This trend shows that the
development of PV globally is no longer in the hands of
European countries but rather has become global,
powered by the demand for electricity and the population
per region rather than only policy decisions.
Finally, the share of the PV market in the Middle
East and in Africa remains relatively small compared to
other regions of the world, despite the growth of the
South African market and the numerous projects in UAE
or Egypt.
2.4. Utility-scale PV in progress
The evolution of grid-connected PV towards a
balanced segmentation between centralized and
Preprint 32nd EUPVSEC 2016
decentralized PV has reversed course in 2013 and
continued its trend in 2014 and 2015: centralized PV has
evolved faster and most of the major PV developments in
emerging PV markets are coming from utility-scale PV.
Globally, centralized PV represented more than 60% of
the market in 2015, mainly driven by China, the USA,
and emerging PV markets.
In 2014, utility-scale represented more than 55% of
the market and 64% in 2015 (32.6 GW out of 50.7 GW).
Prospects for the coming years are going in the same
direction with many countries targeting large-scale
ground-mounted PV (Brazil, Chile, South-Africa,
Indonesia…). Europe was in 2015 the only region where
the share of distributed PV was higher than centralized in
2015 and higher than 50%. Moreover distributed
installations have stagnated in 2015 compared to 2014 in
absolute terms (18 GW compared to 19 GW) and
declined significantly in relative terms.
PV development over the last ten years has been
powered by the deployment of support policies, aimed at
reducing the gap between PV’s cost of electricity and the
price of conventional electricity sources. These support
schemes took various forms depending on the local
situations and evolved to cope with unexpected market
evolution or policy changes. The figure 3 below shows
that only 0.2% of the world PV market has been driven
by pure self-consumption or the sole competitiveness of
PV installations in 2015. Tenders granting PPAs have
represented less than 6% of the new PV capacities in
2015. Self-consumption represented, together with
similar schemes such as net-billing or net-metering close
to 15% of the new installations. It also means 78.3% of
the global PV market depends on financial support
schemes. In 2014 and 2015 a large part of the market
remained dominated by FiT schemes (more than 59%)
outside of tendering processes. Subsidies aiming at
reducing the upfront investment (or tax breaks) represent
around 16% of the incentives. Incentivized
self-consumption including net-billing and net-metering
was the main incentive in 2015 for 16% of the world
market. Various forms of incentivized self-consumption
schemes exist, such as in Italy with the Scambio Sul
Posto, Israel, or Germany.
The emergence of calls for tenders has been
confirmed again in 2015, with new countries using this
legal tool to attribute remunerations to PV projects under
certain conditions. Germany, France, Peru, Brazil,
Mexico, Dubai (UAE), Jordan and many others have
joined the list of countries using calls for tenders to grant
PPAs for PV plants. The result of these calls for tenders
is a guaranteed payment for PV electricity, or in other
words, a FiT. Such tenders represented around 5.6% of
the world market in 2015 and is increasing.
Figure 3: Market Incentives and Enablers in 2015
Historically the dominance of feed-in tariffs and
direct subsidies is similar but even more visible in Figure
6 that compiles installations until the end of 2014.
Incentives can be granted by a wide variety of authorities
or sometimes by utilities themselves. They can be unique
or add to each other. Their lifetime is in general quite
short, with frequent policy changes, at least to adapt the
financial parameters. Next to central governments,
regional states or provinces can propose either the main
incentive or some additional ones. Municipalities are
more and more involved in renewable energy
development and can offer additional advantages. In
some cases, utilities are proposing specific deployment
schemes to their own customers, in general in the absence
of national or local incentives.
Figure 4: History of PV market drivers and Enablers
until 2014 (IEA-PVPS Trends report 2015)
Figure 5 shows how PV theoretically contributes to
the electricity demand in the IEA PVPS countries, based
on the PV base at end 2015. Italy remains the number one
country with 8% of its electricity that will come from PV
in 2016 based on 2015 total level of installations. This
number can be translated into 15 to 16% of the peak
electricity demand.
In Germany, with more than 6.7%, the 39.7 GW
installed in the country produce up to 50% of the
instantaneous power demand on some days, and around
13% of the electricity during the peak periods. Several
countries outside the IEA PVPS network have the ability
to produce significantly more than 3% of their electricity
demand: Honduras (not featured in the figure below) with
12% of its electricity demand, Greece (around 7.6%
based on the 2014 installed capacity), Bulgaria and the
Czech Republic. Spain remains below the 4% mark as
Preprint 32nd EUPVSEC 2016
well as Belgium, which is producing 3.6% of its
electricity thanks to PV. Romania, Japan, Australia,
Switzerland, Slovenia and Israel are above the 2% mark.
Denmark and the UK are approaching the 2% mark,
while Austria, France, Portugal and Chile are still below
the 1.5 % mark. Thailand and the Netherlands passed the
1% of the electricity demand mark in 2015. Many other
countries have lower production numbers.
Figure 5: Theoretical PV production share by country
based on 2015 cumulative installed capacity.
The year 2015 experienced a renewed growth of the
PV market and confirmed the Asian leadership on the PV
market and industry. PV is entering rapidly into a new
era where the PV market will be concentrated in
countries with energy needs. Two of the top three
markets in 2015 were located in Asia (China and Japan),
followed by Europe as a whole and the US PV market.
This trend should be confirmed again in 2016, with Asia
consolidating the core of the PV market, followed by the
Americas and Europe, while India is going to modify
these results in the coming years.
The challenges are still numerous before PV can
become a major source of electricity in the world. The
way how distribution grids could cope with high shares
of PV electricity, generation adequacy and balancing
challenges in systems with high shares of variable
renewables, the evolution of energy storages technologies
and the cost of transforming existing grids will be at the
cornerstone of PV deployment in the coming years.
Moreover, the ability to successfully transform electricity
markets to integrate PV electricity in a fair and
sustainable way will have to be scrutinized.
The road to PV competitiveness is open but remains
complex and linked to political decisions. Nevertheless,
the assets of PV are numerous and as seen in this edition
of the IEA PVPS Snapshot report, the appetite for PV
electricity grows all over the world. The road will be long
before PV will represent a major source of electricity in
most countries, but as some European countries have
shown in recent years, PV has the ability to continue
progressing fast.
1. 2014 National Survey reports of IEA-PVPS
countries, on
2. 2015 IEA-PVPS Trends in PV Applications
3. IEA-PVPS Snapshot of Global PV Markets 2015
4. GLOBAL PHOTOVOLTAICS in 2015, analysis of
current solar energy markets ANd Hidden growth
regions, Ch. Werner, A. Gerlach, Ch. Breyer, G.
Masson, 2016, 32nd EU-PVSEC
Preprint 32nd EUPVSEC 2016
... Annual photovoltaic installations from 2010 to 2019 (data source: [12][13][14], and own analysis). ...
... Total African (documented) operational PV power capacity was close to 4.5 GW by the end of 2018. For 2020, the targeted capacity is currently in excess of 10 GW. [12][13][14], and own analysis). ...
... The European Union was second with about 23% (or 117 GW), followed by the United States of America with 12% (or 63 GW) (Figure 3). [12][13][14], and own analysis). ...
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... C-Si-based technology PV panels takes the major market share with thin film technology by using either CdTe or CIGS technology as the second largest market sector (Smith, Bogust, 2018). The recycling processes for c-Si PV panels are different from those applied to thin film PV panels because of their different module structures (Masson et al., 2018). One important distinction is that the aim of disposing of the encapsulant from the layered structure of compound PV modules is to recover the quilted glass and the substrate glass that contain the semiconductor layer (Smith, Bogust, 2018). ...
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Geckos have never failed to amaze the scientific realms with their fascinating innate characteristics. The species are adapted with a captivating pair of toepads that can reversibly attach to almost every surface, thus enabling them not only to climb vertically up but also to run across the ceilings. Moreover, the hierarchical fibrillar structure present in gecko’s feet provides an additional self-cleaning trait, especially under dry environments, which have gained immense importance in the field of soft robotics and smart adhesives. This perspective aims to provide a short reflection of the author on how the ‘self-cleaning’ traits work along with their exhibited mechanistic properties citing references of the recent advancements in the scope of self-cleaning gecko-inspired adhesives.
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Potential for solar energy is immense in India as it has maximum sunny days throughout the year. The fuel used in a thermal power plant is exhausting at a fast rate and is important to identify alternate source as solar power. India lying in the equator region is at 5 th position in solar power generation across the globe. The power extracted from solar radiation has been on rise from the year 2017 and the government remains focused on it by making solar power as major contributor in renewable energy. This manuscript offers a summary of the present situation, status, and the forthcoming challenges of solar energy generation in India. It further emphasizes on completely diverse aspects related with solar energy, steps, and policy decision carry out by the government to satisfy the long run power demand.
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analysis of current solar energy markets ANd Hidden growth regions
  • Global Photovoltaics In
GLOBAL PHOTOVOLTAICS in 2015, analysis of current solar energy markets ANd Hidden growth regions, Ch. Werner, A. Gerlach, Ch. Breyer, G. Masson, 2016, 32 nd EU-PVSEC