Harvesting Sun's Energy

Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

PV has been among the fastest growing technologies in renewable energy sector. It continued its remarkable growth trend in 2011, even in the midst of a financial and economical crisis and even as the PV industry was enduring a period of consolidation. The outlook for the next several years shows that under the right policy conditions PV can continue its progress towards competitiveness in key electricity markets and become a mainstream energy source.

Key Facts

  • 29.7 GW of PV systems were connected to the grid in 2011, up from 16.8 GW in 2010. PV is now, after hydro and wind power, the third most important renewable energy source in terms of globally installed capacity.
  • 21.9 GW were connected in Europe in 2011, compared to 13.4 GW in 2010; Europe still accounts for the predominant share of the global PV market, with 75% of all new capacity in 2011.
  • China was the top non-European PV market in 2011, with 2.2 GW installed followed by USA with 1.9 GW.
  • The number of markets achieving more than 1 GW of additional PV capacity during 2011 rose from three to six - Italy, Germany, France, China, Japan and USA.

Global cumulative installed capacity share 2011 (MW;%)

Global PV forecasts until 2016