TASK — 1

Snapshot 2024

Executive Summary

The global PV cumulative capacity grew to 1.6 TW in 2023, up from 1.2 TW in 2022, with from 407.3 GW to 446 GW[1] of new PV systems commissioned – and in the order of an estimated 150 GW of modules in inventories across the world. After several years of tension on material and transport costs, module prices plummeted in a massively over-supplied market, maintaining the competitivity of PV even as electricity prices decreased after historical peaks in 2022.

Major trends include:

  • With active development policies, China’s PV installations soared to a record 235 GWDC (or even up to 277 GW[2]) or over 60% of new global capacity reaching 662 GW of cumulative capacity. Remarkably, 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 2022 and 54.9 GW in 2021.
  • 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.
  • India had a slightly slower year with 16 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 an honourable 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%. While grid congestion has become an issue, 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.

PV played an important role in the reduction of the CO2 emissions from electricity in 2023, with more than 75% of new renewable capacity installed in 2023, generating nearly 60% of generation from new renewable capacity.

Oversupply of PV modules in 2023 has shed a light on the difficulties to align production and demand in a very versatile environment: while production capacities increased significantly in China, 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.

[1] All capacity data in this report is DC, unless specified otherwise. For some countries, this means publishing different values to official data – for example, China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) publishes in AC and PVPS applies a conversion ratio from AC to DC. A range of values is often provided to account for uncertainty in AC/DC conversion ratios, in particular with regards to new utility scale capacity in China, where the minimal annual volume considers official China reporting and the maximal annual volume considers a further 42 GW that could have been installed considering the uncertainty surrounding official conversion ratios from AC to DC of Utility scale systems. For many figures, these two values have been represented with full (minimum) and additional shaded (maximum) bars. If no range is specified, compiled data refers to the lower totals with Official China reporting values. See section 3 for more information.

[2] See (1) above