Solar Photovoltaic electricity empowering the world
The A.T. Kearney Energy Transition Institute launches a new FactBook, “Solar Photovoltaic – Sunny days,” focusing on the latest status of the solar PV industry, technologies and their outlook.
Starting from a low base where solar PV represents 1.8% of global electricity in 2016, the outlook is bright. Since its onset, solar PV development has accelerated through the mid-2000s, with numerous countries introducing policies to support it. By the end of 2016 – another record-breaking year for the solar PV market – cumulative capacity had reached 291 GW.
Global PV outlook
Initially driven predominantly by Europe and Japan, solar PV deployment has spread across the world. In recent years, there has been rapid development of PV systems in China and the US, for example. At the end of 2016, China (77.4 GW) led in terms of cumulative capacity, followed by Japan (41.6 GW), Germany (40.9 GW), US (32.9 GW) and Italy (19.2 GW). Together these five countries account for about 73% of the total global installed capacity.
“The global outlook for solar energy and in particular solar PV energy solutions is bright,” commented Richard Forrest, chairman of the A.T. Kearney Energy Transition Institute. “Solar energy is one of the most evenly distributed energy sources available across the world and solar PV solutions can now provide energy at competitive price levels in key locations compared to more traditional carbon.”
“The potential to increase access to fresh water in arid regions is one of the exciting opportunities offered by solar PV,” commented Romain Debarre, managing director of the A.T. Kearney Energy Transition Institute. “Solar PV-driven desalination integrated with water storage instead of electricity storage presents promising potential at a cost-competitive price point.”
“We expect a rapidly increasing contribution of solar PV to the global power generation mix starting from a low base,” stated Richard Forrest, chairman of the A.T. Kearney Energy Transition Institute. “With new technological and cost-competitive solar PV solutions readily available, energy transition will accelerate and challenge conventional companies in the energy value chain.”
Middle East Insights
“The solar energy potential of the Middle East is huge given the favorable geographic location and the ambitious renewables targets of the individual countries,” commented Kurt Oswald, board member of the A.T. Kearney Energy Transition Institute and lead partner of the Utilities practice of A.T. Kearney Middle East. “We live in a region where the demand for electricity throughout the year correlates well with solar irradiation”
“Countries in the Middle East have recognized the opportunities offered by solar power. Regional solar capacity is forecast to witness rapid growth with a record capacity addition in 2016 across the MENA region”, said Oswald.
“Specific opportunities exist for solar PV-driven desalination integrated with water storage, especially in water-stressed regions, such as Middle East,” added Oswald.