Global Aggregate For PV Exceeded 1.18 TW At 2022-End

IEA PVPS: As Global Solar Capacity Grows, Market Concentration Fuels Fears Of Market Stability

Global Aggregate For PV Exceeded 1.18 TW At 2022-End

IEA PVPS says the annual installed capacity threshold for any country to get into top 10 solar markets steadily increased to almost 4 GW in 2022, but it is not always uniform. (Photo Credit: IEA PVPS)

  • IEA PVPS’ new report says the world installed a minimum of 236 GW of new solar PV capacity in 2022 
  • It was led by top 5 countries led by China and followed by the US, India, Brazil and Spain 
  • Grid congestion and labor shortages are likely to continue being the reasons detrimental to annual installations 

Despite challenges related to COVID, high module prices, trade disputes and grid congestion in several geographies, the world added a minimum of 236 GW of new solar PV capacity in 2022, its highest annual ever. However, it is highly concentrated in 5 leading individual countries that represent around 69% of all installations last year.  

China alone commanded 45% of new capacity in 2022. In terms of cumulative installed capacity of 1.18 TW at the end of last year, China along with the US, India, Brazil and Spain accounted for 66% of the global share, says the International Energy Agency (IEA) Photovoltaic Power System Programme (IEA PVPS). European Union (EU), when considered as a single unit, would come in on the 2nd spot with 40 GW capacity. 

The IEA PVPS countries represented 927.5 GW of global installed capacity. Outside of the IEA PVPS network, the largest market in terms of installations and potential is India. In its latest edition of the Trends in Photovoltaic Applications 2023 report, IEA PVPS says about India, “Given the population of the country, its potential is on a level with China, (or more, given the need for electrification).” 

Nonetheless, the report writers warn of the continued market concentration for solar PV capacity, led of course by China. They state, “Market concentration has been fueling fears for the market’s stability in the past, if one of the top three or top five markets would experience a slowdown, although the past years have shown that when one market slows, another is often in growth.” 

The report further reads, “As new markets are starting to emerge, the concentration of the global PV market minus China reduces, and therefore the risks. However, the size of the Chinese PV market continues to shape the evolution of the PV market as a whole.” 

For a country to get into the top 10 list, the annual installation requirement has steadily increased from 1.6 GW in 2018 to nearly 4 GW in 2022. However, policy changes lead to fluctuations in installations for markets, thus leaving out some countries that previously installed several GWs in a single year, for instance South Korea, Italy and France. 

Analysts identify grid congestion and labor shortage among reasons that can continue to hamper annual installations in any single market in the future as well. 

In terms of technology and manufacturing, IEA PVPS sees the speed of upscale manufacturing growing faster than market development, hence 2023 has been seeing a significant drop in module prices with market oversupply.  

Going forward, the analysts recommend the need for more forward planning to find equitable ways for the world to pay for requisite infrastructure upgrades as PV technology increasingly becomes the preferred solution for energy generation.  

The complete report is available for free download on IEA PVPS’ website 

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. --Email : [email protected] --

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