International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power System Programme (IEA PVPS) publishes its new 'Snapshot of Global PV in 1992-2012' report

April 12, 2013 | 00:00

International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power System Programme (IEA PVPS) publishes its new 'Snapshot of Global PV in 1992-2012' report

IEA PVPS published its new Snapshot report on Monday 8 April. Preliminary to its Trends Report that will be published in September 2013, this report provides estimated data about photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the 23 countries reporting to the IEA PVPS Programme. At least 96.5 GW of PV are now installed worldwide, while in 2012, we observed a stabilization of the market and significant market growth in Asia.

After several years of the PV market's rapid growth, 2012 has been a year of market consolidation. In total, about 28.4 GW of PV capacity were installed in the IEA PVPS countries and the major other markets during 2012 (2011: 28.9 GW; 2010: 16.7 GW). This raised the total installed capacity in IEA PVPS countries close to 89.5 GW with another estimated 7 GW of capacity installed in other major countries. These are the main outcomes of the latest IEA PVPS 'Snapshot of Global PV' report, published on 9 April.

After several years of rapid growth, the total PV market stabilized in 2012, around the 30 GW mark. While Europe still represents 59% of this global market, 2012 saw the rapid growth of the Asia Pacific region and the Americas. The Middle East and Africa remains a region in development for the PV market. While the three regions or countries where grid-connected PV developed first continue to dominate the installations history, China has progressed so quickly that it represented the second largest market in 2012, ahead of Italy or the USA. In terms of total installed capacity it has already reached third position.

In Europe, for the second year in a row, PV was the first source of electricity installed (power-wise), ahead of wind and gas, and ahead of all other sources of electricity, from coal to nuclear. This is accompanied by several countries where the annual PV contribution to electricity demand has passed the 1% mark, with Italy at the top with at least 5.75 % and the overall European PV contribution amounting to around 2.5% of Europe’s electricity demand. Australia has also passed the 1% mark but larger consumers of electricity such as Japan, China or the USA will require more PV capacity to reach this threshold.

Finally, PV has become a major source of electricity extremely rapidly in several countries all over the world. The speed of its development stems from its unique ability to cover most market segments, from the very small individual systems for rural electrification to utility-size power plants (today above 100 MW). From the built environment to large ground-mounted installations, PV finds its way, depending on various criteria that make it suitable for most environments.

Download the full report here.

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