IEA PVPS Press Release
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International Energy Agency
Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme
Publication: Trends 2020

The new 2020 edition of the IEA PVPS report Trends in Photovoltaic Applications is now available. This edition browses 25 years of PV installations in the IEA PVPS member countries and many others. Policies to support PV deployment, industry development and the integration of PV in the power sector are analyzed in-depth. Visit the Trends page and find the 24 editions of the report.

The publication is available here.

With 111,6 GW of global installations in 2019, the PV market is still leading the renewable energy transition in terms of added capacity. The cumulative capacity reached 623,2 GW at the end of 2019, representing a PV penetration of 3,3%. Despite the very impressive track record of PV installation rates in the last years, these figures are still largely insufficient with regards to the Paris Climate Agreement. The cost reduction evolution of PV technology enabled a larger and more sustainable market uptake. Nonetheless, national integrated energy and climate plans and international collaboration are required to accelerate the energy transition and to reach less accessible markets segments for instance.

Overall, the main PV development trend observed in 2019 was similar to 2018 and even more pronounced: a Chinese market slowdown (a 14,0 GW market decrease compared to 8,6 GW market decrease in 2018) which was again counterbalanced by the (re)emergence of several markets. This uninterrupted market growth of the global PV market year after year is encouraging investments in both upstream manufacturing and downstream installation segments.

The acceleration of the PV roll-out is even more crucial considering the electrification of the transport and the heating and cooling sector. The coupling of local renewable electricity production to both domestic and industrial energy demand is key to decarbonize the other sectors traditionally relying on fossil fuels consumption. Consequently, PV production should increase even faster to meet the increasing demand for electricity.

The market dynamics were very diverse in Europe: several European markets reconnected with growth after several years of market stagnation (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain), others stayed stable (Denmark, France, Switzerland) or steadily increased (the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden) while other markets started their development more recently (Poland, Russia, Ukraine). In the Asia-Pacific region, Vietnam is the main newcomer next to established markets (Australia, India, Japan, Korea and Malaysia). In the Americas, growth was driven by the same major markets as in previous years (Brazil, Mexico, United States). In Africa, most of the new capacity was installed in Egypt and to a lesser degree in South Africa, while in the Middle East the main markets in 2019 were the UAE, Israel and Jordan.

Recently, the most competitive tenders are below 14 USD per MWh and further important cost reductions are still expected until 2030. While these extremely competitive prices are not representative of the average PV installations, the overall PV competitiveness is still expanding, hence paving the way to new market segments without any form of financial incentive.

The cumulative PV capacity installed at the end of 2019 allows to avoid 700 Mt of CO 2 eq emissions yearly. This contributed to the flattening of the global CO 2 emissions after two successive yearsof increase. The global CO 2 emissions are expected to decrease in 2020, due to the impact of the sanitary measures for the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this reduction is not likely to last if the economic activities return to their normal pace. As mentioned above, a broader decarbonization of the energy sector and of the economy is needed to achieve rapid and sustainable CO 2 emission reductions.

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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:
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