- According to Fraunhofer ISE’s report, Europe accounted for 22% of total PV capacity installations globally at the end of 2020
- China leads global c-Si module production with 67% share, while Europe stands at 3%
- Annual module production capacity of Europe till December 31, 2020 was 6.75 GW, while its polysilicon capacity was 22.1 GW
- Material usage for silicon cells has come down to 3 gram per W from 16 gram per W over a period of 16 years due to technological advancements and increased efficiencies
German research institute Fraunhofer ISE has released the newest edition of its Photovoltaics Report (PV Report) summarizing important developments related to solar PV in Germany, the European Union (EU) and across the globe.
According to the report, PV capacity globally grew at the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34% between 2010 and 2020, including off-grid, with Europe contributing 22% (24% in 2019) to the total cumulative installations in 2020, while China alone accounted for 33% share.
As for Fraunhofer ISE’s home country Germany, its total share in the total global cumulative PV capacity installed till the end of 2020 was 7.6% with 53.6 GW out of 707.5 GW.
Among other interesting facts compiled by Fraunhofer ISE, the report counts Asian manufacturers representing 95% of total c-Si module production in 2020, led by China with a total market share of 67%. Europe held a 3% stake, followed by the USA and Canada with 2% stake. Total share of monocrystalline PV technology grew to about 84% in 2020, going up from 66% in 2019 of total c-Si production. Silicon wafers continue to hold a lion’s share of about 95% of all production in 2020.
At the end of 2020, Europe had an annual c-Si PV module manufacturing capacity of 6.75 GW, 0.65 GW of solar cell, 1.25 GW of ingot and wafer, 22.1 GW polysilicon and 30.2 GW of mg-Si. Production facilities for solar cells are presently being expanded at a current rate of about 1 GW annually, it added.
Reflecting on efficiencies, the report counts record cell efficiency within the lab as having reached 26.7% for monocrystalline and for multi-crystalline it went up to 24.4%. As for thin film technology, the highest lab efficiency reached for CIGS is 23.4%, while for CdTe cells, it has gone up to 21%. Record lab cell efficiency for perovskite has reached 25.5%.
“In the laboratory, best performing modules are based on mono-crystalline silicon with 24.4% efficiency. Record efficiencies demonstrate the potential for further efficiency increases at the production level,” reads the report.
Increased efficiencies, thinner wafers, diamond wire sawing and larger ingots have contributed to a significant drop in material usage for silicon cells over the last 16 years, as according to the analysts it has come down to about 3 gram per W from 16 gram per W.
Energy payback time (EBT) for PV systems depends on geographical location. Fraunhofer ISE said the PV Report for the 1st time shows the historical development of EPBT and comparable values for different geographical regions.
There are several other points covered by the report. The report is accessible on Fraunhofer ISE’s website.