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Trends in PV Applications 2023

For the 28th consecutive year, the IEA-PVPS Trends report is now available. This document provides the most comprehensive global overview of the development of the Photovoltaics sector, covering policies, drivers, technologies, statistics and industry analysis.

Highlights include:

Market Volumes:
• The market passed 1 TW in cumulative capacity.
• Annual capacity of 235.8 GW, which is a new record, with China contributing 45% and Europe 17%.
• Strong growth in China, Europe, Americas, and globally 2022 annual capacity is up 35% compared to 2021.
• New capacity is evenly spread between distributed and centralised systems, despite big disparities in different countries and regions (centralised dominant in India, USA, Spain, more even distribution in China).
• Entry into Top Ten annual markets required more than 3.9 GW and is not limited to large counties and/or populations, as presence of the Netherlands demonstrates.
• Some countries had market slowdowns due to supply issues, grid congestion and labour shortages. Grid congestion and labour shortages will continue to be an issue in some countries.

• High cost of electricity in Europe, Australia, and others from Ukraine war meant that high module prices in first half of 2022 didn’t impact competitiveness.
• Some support mechanisms (contract for difference) collecting revenue for state governments because of high electricity market prices.
• Continued growth in prosumer policies and volumes.

• Significant investment in new silicon, cell and module manufacturing capacity (up to 716 GW) but with older, less profitable manufacturing lines sitting idle under 400 GW was manufactured.
• Continuing investments as governments roll out local manufacturing support schemes (USA, Europe, China, India) whilst trade conflicts and forced labour issues also influence manufacturing support.
• Speed of manufacturing upscaling is faster than market development so significant module price drops in 2023 with market oversupply.
• M10/G12 cell size doubled in market share, now over 80%, as major manufacturers agree to standardising module sizes.

Risk of access and capacity constraining market development:
• Grid capacity increasingly becoming a problem in some countries as PV volumes increase, some countries responding with significant investment and investment plans in transmission infrastructure, but also using curtailment and other levers on distribution levels.
• More forward planning required to find equitable ways all across the world of paying for required infrastructure upgrades as PV increasingly the preferred solution for energy generation.