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Published on October 17th, 2014 | by James Ayre


Top Solar Charts From Huge IEA Solar PV Report

October 17th, 2014 by  

The newest edition of the Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme report was recently released by the IEA — detailing a huge quantity of different aspects of the global solar PV market as well as country- and region-specific solar PV markets.

This 19th edition of the report provides a number of highly interesting/useful graphs, some of which are posted below. Providing visual representations for everything from the 20 largest single-country solar PV power capacity additions from the last five years, to the contribution of electricity from solar PV systems relative to overall country electricity demand, to which solar PV market incentives and enablers have most driven solar PV growth, etc.


Largest PV capacity additions

Germany’s steadily high installations for years keep it at the top in terms of cumulative solar PV capacity, but that may change in 2014 thanks to another year with a huge red bubble floating far above the rest.

PV Top 10 markets

Here’s a table if you’re into tables or lists.

PV Top markets

And here’s a broader look at the 2013 breakdown. China and Japan together account for ~half of all solar PV power installation.

PV Top Markets 2013

But Germany is still far ahead in terms of total cumulative solar PV capacity… We’ll see if it stays there after 2014. The US, sadly, sits at #5 despite being the 3rd-most-populated country in the world and the richest.

PV by region

Notice Europe’s shrinking market share. However, that’s not just due to shrinking solar PV markets in Europe — it’s also due to strong growth in North America and Asia… especially Asia.

PV electricity demand

It’s fascinating here to look at how the electricity from solar PV is differently “consumed.” Also, congrats to Italy for leading the way on this chart — nice solar resources help, but that’s certainly not the only factor at play! The US and China actually perform pretty horribly from this angle. Europe dominates the top rankings.

PV electricity demand global

We still have a long way to go.

PV Growth

That’s some strong growth.

PV Growth Top Countries

Somewhat crazy how much three countries contribute to the 2013 total. The story will be similar in 2014.

PV solar power incentives

PV incentives historical

Feed-in tariffs are still the premier market enabler for solar PV power. Note, also, that self-consumption and “pure competitive EV” is already making up 5% of the pie.

PV renewable energy capacity global

As far as renewables go, more mature wind still dominates.

PV solar cell production by region

China dominates solar cell production. Who knew?

PV solar cell production historical

While there is often talk of Chinese solar cell and solar module producers killing US and German companies, we can see here that US and German solar cell production never came close to Chinese production even as far back as 2010, or even Taiwanese production for that matter. But there’s no denying that the German market collapsed in 2010.

PV solar module production by country

Chinese domination is even stronger in the module business.

Source: IEA, via Sustainnovate 


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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