IEA’s PVPS Report 2024- Five Key Highlights

Highlights :

  • The report for 2024 highlights the tremendous growth solar has enjoyed in 2023, and the outsized role of China in it
IEA’s PVPS Report 2024- Five Key Highlights

The International Energy Agency’s PVPS program or Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme is promoting and facilitating the exchange and dissemination of information on the technical, economic, environmental and social aspects of PV power systems. it currently has 31 members, with India, and even the India backed International Solar Alliance (ISA), notable absentees.

However, their 2024 report has some great insights when it comes to the global solar sector growth and direction.

1. Solar Capacity Trends: Expectedly, China dominates with installations soaring to a record 235 GWDC (or even up to 277 GW2) or over 60% of new global capacity reaching 662 GW of cumulative capacity. This annual capacity represents over 15% of the total global cumulative capacity and is nearly the equivalent of the second largest cumulative capacity: Europe. This once again represented a more than doubled annual installed capacity, up from 105.5 GW in 2023 and 54.9 GW in 2021. Market growth outside of China reached a respectable 30%, while China’s own domestic growth was above 120% which explained the tremendous PV market development.snapshot-of-global-pv-markets-1

Solar Facts (Source IEA)

The number of countries with theoretical penetration rates over 10% doubled 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%. While grid congestion has become an issue, policy measures, technical solutions and storage are already providing workable solutions to enhance PV penetration. In 2023, at least 29 countries installed more than 1 GW, up from 25 countries in 2022. Nineteen countries (not including the EU) now have more than 10 GW of total cumulative capacity and five have more than 40 GW.

2. PV Manufacturing: remains in flux as oversupply of PV modules in 2023 spotlighted the difficulties of aligning production and demand in a very versatile environment: while production capacities increased significantly in China to almost 950 GW, the global demand was framed by constraints in markets such as the USA, India, Korea, and Australia, not exclusively. Growth outside China happened in a limited number of countries. Uneven political support in some markets could also be attributed to the difficulties to develop local PV manufacturing facilities in an already inundated market.

3. Market Segmentation: Both rooftop and utility scale segments grew in 2023. With approximately 45% of new capacity on rooftops –the share of the rooftop segment had been growing continuously since 2018 as markets open in new countries, decreasing costs and higher electricity consumption costs make it more accessible for residential and commercial investors, with both dominant market shares and notable volumes (> 4 GW) in Germany, Brazil, Poland and Italy, and to a lesser extent (> 2.5 GW) in the Netherlands, Australia and France. In other countries such as the USA, India and Spain, utility scale systems cover more than 65% of the local market. China has fluctuated yearly, and this year’s majority of utility scale systems may not be repeated next year. On both segments new applications are in growth; from BIPV in the rooftop segment to utility scale floating PV.

PV penetration by country

Love for PV (Source: IEA)

4. South Africa Emerges, Middle East Stumbles in 2023: In the Middle East and Africa, South Africa installed nearly 3 GW and was responsible for the bulk of new capacity, with less than an estimated 700 MW elsewhere. This is despite a significant volume of projects announced from the past years – the ability of the region to see projects into construction is still to be proven. For example, Egypt had just over 300 MW of new capacity in 2023, with 700 MW in construction but an announced pipeline of over 11 GW.

5. PV Reporting Becomes Tougher: As the PV market grows constantly, reporting of PV installations is becoming more complex.

IEA PVPS has decided to count all PV installations, both grid-connected and off-grid, when numbers are reported, and to estimate the remaining part on unreported installations. For countries with historically significant capacity and good reporting, a slow yet growing gap between shipped / imported capacity and installed capacity can be attributed to several factors including conversion factors from AC to DC, repowering and decommissioning. Converting AC to DC power, particularly on data sets covering a wide geographical area, is subject to a rather large uncertainty, as is demonstrated with China data – Official reporting of Utility scale is in AC power, China experts use a 1.15 conversion ratio whilst others use up to 1.5. With a lack of hard data on existing systems, these ratios are built on limited surveys and standard dimensioning practices.

Add to that the emergence of smaller systems that are unreported, besides many off grid installations,and there is a risk that overall numbers might be understated, set off perhaps by the equally unreported case of decommissioned systems.

To view the full report in detail, click here.

"Want to be featured here or have news to share? Write to info[at]

Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International