Global PV Cumulative Capacity Rose To 1.6 TW In 2023: IEA

International Energy Agency’s International Power Photovoltaic System Program (IEA-PVPS) recent report found the global PV cumulative capacity grew to 1.6 TW in 2023.

IEA-PVPS a collaborative R&D Agreements established within the IEA in its recent study showed, “1 581 GW of minimum installed cumulative capacity was installed by the end of 2023. At least 407.3 GW but perhaps as much as 446 GW of PV systems was commissioned in the world last year. IEA PVPS in its report showed that, countries, represented 1 342.7 GW (or 85%) of cumulative capacity and 352.8 GW (87%) of annual installations. 2024 new installations have nearly doubled those of 2022, up from 236 GW, with a growth rate of over 80% – a rate not seen since 2011.”

 rooftop and utility scale segments

Rooftop and Utility Scale segments


The IEA- report showcased that, in 2023, at least 29 countries installed more than 1 GW, up from 25 countries in 2022. Moreover, it found that 19 countries (not including the European Union (EU) now have more than 10 GW of total cumulative capacity and five have more than 40 GW. Furthermore, it highlighted, that China alone represented a minimum of 662 GW followed by the European Union (as EU27) with 268.1 GW, the USA ranks third at 169.5 GW and India has overtaken Japan to take fourth place with 95.3 GW.

It indicated that PV was allowed to maintain competitiveness even as electricity prices decreased after historical peaks in 2022. Some major trend highlighted in the study included, China’s PV installations soared to a record 235 GWDC (or even up to 277 GW2) or over 60% of new global capacity reaching 662 GW of cumulative capacity. The annual capacity went over 15% of the total global cumulative capacity and is nearly the equivalent of the second largest cumulative capacity: Europe. This represented a more than doubled annual installed capacity, up from 105.5 GW in 2023 and 54.9 GW in 2021.

Evolution of cumulative market installation

Evolution of cumulative market installation


The IEA study said, “Europe demonstrated continued strong growth installing 61 GW (of which 55.8 GW in the EU), led by a resurgence in Germany (14.3 GW), and increased volumes in Poland (6.0 GW), Italy (5.3 GW) and the Netherlands (4.2 GW) whilst Spain dropped slightly (7.7 GW). In the Americas, both major markets grew – the USA, after a slow 2022 installed 33.2 GW, and Brazil sustained its dynamic 2022 market to install 11.9 GW, bringing its cumulative capacity into the Top Ten worldwide.”


The IEA report found, “India had a slightly slower year with 16.6 GW, once again predominantly in centralised systems. Other Asia-Pacific markets slowed down too, including Australia (3.8 GW), while Korea (3.3 GW) and Japan (6.3 GW) remained steady. Market growth outside of China reached 30%, while China’s own domestic growth was above 120% which explained the tremendous PV market development. The number of countries with theoretical penetration rates over 10% double since last year to 18, and whilst smaller populations such as Spain, the Netherlands, Chile and Greece were leaders, more populous countries, including Germany and Japan also passed 10%.”


The study highlighted some major issues that included, congestion, policy measures, technical solutions and storage are already providing workable solutions to enhance PV penetration. Individual markets remain sensitive to policy support and domestic electricity prices despite competitivity across most market segments in many countries. The ability of local manufacturing projects initiated in previous years to go ahead is uncertain as significant increases in manufacturing capacity in China have led to supply outstripping global demand and consequent record low module prices. Significant drops in PV module prices due to increased inventory, oversupply and competitive environment among manufacturers caused strain on local manufacturing.

Other factors indicated in the report are, high interest rates in numerous countries have weakened the competitiveness of PV installations while the blow to many manufacturing projects due to extremely unsustainable low module prices are taking a toll on the willingness to develop PV in several key markets, USA and India to mention just these two.