IEA PVPS Press Release
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International Energy Agency
Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme
Publication: Snapshot 2021

IEA PVPS published its new Snapshot report on Tuesday, 27 April 2021. This serves as a preliminary assessment prior to the 26th edition of the PVPS flagship report “Trends in PV Applications” that will be published at the end of the year. This report provides estimated data about photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the countries reporting to the IEA PVPS Programme and additional key markets. 

The publication is available here.

Paris, France, 27 April 2021 – Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, preliminary reported market data shows that the global PV market again grew significantly in 2020. At least 139,4 GWdc of PV systems have been installed and commissioned in the world last year. The total cumulative installed capacity for PV at the end of 2020 reached at least 760,4 GWdc.While these data will have to be confirmed in the coming months, some important trends can already be extracted:

The Chinese PV market went back to a market level it experienced in 2017, after two years in a row of market slowdown. In 2020, 48,2 GW of PV were installed, compared to 43,4 GW in 2018 and 30,1 GW in 2019. China remains the leader in terms of cumulative capacity with 253,4 GW installed, almost one third of the global PV installed capacity.

Outside of China, the global PV market grew from 79,2 GW in 2019, to at least 90 GW in 2020, a 14% increase year on year.
  • The European Union installed close to 19,6 GW and the rest of Europe added around 2,6 GW. The largest European market in 2020 was Germany (4,9 GW), followed by the Netherlands (3,0 GW), Spain (2,8 GW), Poland (2,6 GW), Belgium (1,0 GW) and France (0,9 GW).
  • The US market saw its market increasing to 19,2 GW; a new record, with utility-scale installations accounting for about 73% of the new additions.
  • Vietnam takes the fourth place with an impressive annual installation of 11 GW.
  • Japan ranks fifth, with an estimated 8,2 GW annual installed capacity.
  • Some other key markets contributed significantly to new additions in 2020, such as India (close to 5 GW, but in significant decline compared to last years), Australia (4,1 GW), Korea (4,1 GW), Brazil (3,1 GW), Taiwan (1,7 GW), Mexico (1,5 GW), followed by the Philippines (1,1 GW) and South-Africa (1,0 GW). Preliminary numbers show to Mexico and South Africa could have installed close to 1 GW as well.
  • Among the top 10 countries, there are now six Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and Vietnam), two European countries (Germany and the Netherlands) and two countries in the Americas (Brazil and the USA).
  • The level to enter the top 10 global markets in 2020 was around 3,0 GW; a stable level compared to 2019 and twice the level needed in 2018.
The top 10 countries represented around 78% of the global annual PV market, a slight increase compared to 2019. However, compared to previous years, the market is still showing a decreasing market concentration trend.

Honduras, Australia, Germany, Greece, Chile, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Israel, Belgium, India, China, and Turkey now have enough PV capacity to theoretically produce more than 5% of their annual electricity demand with PV. PV represents around 3,7% of the global electricity demand.

The contribution of PV to decarbonizing the energy mix is progressing, with PV saving as much as 875 million tons of CO2eq. However, much remains to be done to fully decarbonize and PV deployment should increase by at least one order of magnitude to cope with the targets defined during the COP21 in Paris, France.

Download the snapshot
The International Energy Agency (IEA), founded in 1974, is an autonomous body within the framework of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Technology Collaboration Program (TCP) was created with a belief that the future of energy security and sustainability starts with global collaboration. The program is made up of thousands of experts across government, academia, and industry dedicated to advancing common research and the application of specific energy technologies.
The IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA PVPS) is one of the TCP’s within the IEA and was established in 1993. The mission of the programme is to “enhance the international collaborative efforts which facilitate the role of photovoltaic solar energy as a cornerstone in the transition to sustainable energy systems.” In order to achieve this, the Programme’s participants have undertaken a variety of joint research projects in PV power systems applications. The overall programme is headed by an Executive Committee, comprised of one delegate from each country or organisation member, which designates distinct. ‘Tasks,’ that may be research projects or activity areas. This report has been prepared under Task 1, which deals with market and industry analysis, strategic research and facilitates the exchange and dissemination of information arising from the overall IEA PVPS Programme. 

The IEA PVPS participating countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States of America. The European Commission, Solar Power Europe, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Copper Alliance are also members. 
Contact for further information :
Gaëtan Masson, Task 1 Operating Agent
Izumi Kaizuka, Task 1 Deputy Operating Agent:
Copyright © 2019 IEA PVPS, All rights reserved.

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