- The IEA says global renewable energy additions in 2023 will be over 440 GW with solar PV accounting for 2/3rd of it
- In 2024, solar PV will continue to lead installations and grow to almost 310 GW with a 7% annual growth
- China’s focus on mega projects away from demand centers and distributed PV is contributing to these estimates
- Global manufacturing capacity for all solar PV will increase to 1,000 GW by 2024, led by China
Solar PV is to lead renewable energy installations in 2023 and 2024, forecasts the International Energy Agency (IEA) with the ‘largest absolute increase ever.’ Renewables will add 107 GW more, growing to over 440 GW to be installed within this year, and increasing to as much as 550 GW next year thanks to greater uptake of distributed solar PV systems.
While it doesn’t give any specific number for solar PV installations this year, the IEA says these will account for 65% of growth with distributed applications including residential and commercial systems ‘accounting for almost half of global PV expansion’.
Annual solar PV market growth is pegged by IEA analysts to grow to almost 310 GW in 2024, increasing 7% annually.
“Lower module prices, greater distributed PV system uptake and a policy push for large-scale deployment trigger higher annual additions in all major markets including China, the European Union, the United States and India,” reads the IEA’s latest report Renewable Energy Market Update.
However, the Founder and President of one of the world’s largest PV companies LONGi, Zhenguo Li may find the IEA’s forecast very unambitious as he recently shared with TaiyangNews that he expects solar PV installations alone to grow to over 400 GW this year (see SNEC Exclusive: LONGi President Interview). Leading solar analyst’s current forecasts hover around 350 GW of new solar additions in 2023, significantly more than what the IEA forecasts for 2024.
Nonetheless, the IEA sees global total renewable energy capacity to increase to 4.5 TW, at the end of 2024.
Like always, China is to lead installations over the next 2 years as it chases its net zero emissions target of 2060. What’s fueling installations in the world’s largest PV market is the government’s focus on 2 following principal areas as subsidies phase out:
- develop large-scale mega projects far from demand centers that can provide power at prices equal to or lower than provincial benchmark coal electricity prices, and
- incentivizing distributed solar PV projects through capacity targets for public institutions and large state-owned enterprises for self-consumption and for smaller residential systems through subsidies to promote rural economic development.
For the European Union (EU), the IEA has revised its renewable capacity addition forecast upwards 2023 and 2024 by 40% from before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Drivers are high electricity prices, increased policy support especially in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and small-scale rooftop PV systems becoming attractive.
According to the report, the EU added nearly 90 GW of PV and wind capacity in 2021 and 2022. It expects another 60 GW of these technologies to come online this year.
The EU is set to save around €100 billion during 2021-2023 thanks to newly installed solar PV and wind capacity, it adds.
The US will see its renewables market rebound this year with solar PV expected to set a ‘new record’. The IEA analysts explain, “The current forecast is underpinned by existing tax incentives, while the Inflation Reduction Act will show its full effect after 2024, providing unprecedented certainty for renewable energy projects until 2032.”
On the other hand, India is expected to see a slowdown in its utility scale PV projects due to supply chain challenges, lower auction volumes and trade policies. It warns, “While large scale PV manufacturing is emerging in India, import tariffs are causing short-term demand and supply mismatches.”
Another highlight of the report is the forecast for global manufacturing capacity for all solar PV production segments to ‘more than double’ to 1,000 GW by 2024, led of course by China and also by ongoing diversification efforts in the US, India and Europe.
“While the competitiveness of wind and solar PV has improved since last year, government policies need to adapt to changing market conditions, particularly for renewable energy auctions, which were undersubscribed by a record 16% in 2022,” states the report. “Moreover, policies need to focus on timely planning and investment in grids in order to securely and cost-effectively integrate high shares of variable renewables in power systems.”
The IEA forecasts the world to have enough solar PV manufacturing capacity in 2030 to comfortably meet the level of annual demand envisaged in its Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, again of course led by China.
The complete report is available for free download on the IEA’s website.