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  • Arnulf Jäger-Waldau

    October 2016

    PV Status Report 2016

    EUR 28159 EN

  • This publication is a Science for Policy report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s

    science and knowledge service. It aims to provide evidence-based scientific support to the European policy-

    making process. The scientific output expressed does not imply a policy position of the European Commission.

    Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use

    which might be made of this publication.

    Contact information

    Name: Arnulf Jäger-Waldau

    Address: European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Directorate C – Energy, Transport and Climate,

    Via E. Fermi 2749, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy

    E-mail: [email protected]pa.eu

    JRC Science Hub


    JRC 103426

    EUR 28159 EN

    Print ISBN 978-92-79-63054-5 ISSN 1018-5593 doi:10.2790/749737

    PDF ISBN 978-92-79-63055-2 ISSN 1831-9424 doi:10.2790/682995

    Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2016

    © European Union, 2016

    Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.

    How to cite: Arnulf Jäger-Waldau; PV Status Report 2016; EUR 28159 EN; doi:10.2790/682995

    All images except cover photo © European Union 2016

    Cover photo ©kalafoto – Fotolia.com

    Title PV Status Report 2016


    Photovoltaics is a solar-power technology for generating electricity using semiconductor devices known as solar

    cells. A number of solar cells form a solar ‘module’ or ‘panel’, which can then be combined to form solar power

    systems, ranging from a few watts of electricity output to multi-megawatt power stations.

    Growth in the solar photovoltaic sector has been robust. The Compound Annual Growth Rate over the last 15

    years was over 40 %, thus making photovoltaics one of the fastest growing industries at present. The PV Status

    Report provides comprehensive and relevant information on this dynamic sector for the interested public, as well

    as decision-makers in policy and industry.

  • PV Status Report 2016

    October 2016

    Arnulf Jäger-Waldau

    European Commission, Joint Research Centre,

    Directorate C, Energy Efficiency and Renewables Unit

    Via Enrico Fermi 2749, TP 450 I — 21027, Ispra (VA), Italy

    EUR 28159 EN

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    In December 2015, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC in Paris, France ended with a landmark agreement to keep the maxi- mum global average temperature rise as close as possible to 1.5 °C. With the sig- nature of the European Union (EU) on 5 October 2016, the necessary number of at least 55 Parties to the Convention ac- counting in total for at least an estimated 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas

    emissions have deposited their instru- ments of ratification, acceptance, approv- al or accession with the Depositar [UNFC 2016]. Therefore, the Paris Agreement

    will enter into force on 4 November 2016 just 3 days before COP22 (7- 18 November 2016) will start in Marra- kesh, Morocco.

    The contribution of the EU was defined during the European Council meeting on 23-24 October 2014, when the following

    Conclusions on 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework were adopted:

     The European Council endorsed a bind- ing EU target of at least 40 % domes- tic reduction in greenhouse gas emis- sions by 2030 compared to 1990.

     An EU target of at least 27 % is set for the share of renewable energy con- sumed in the EU in 2030. This target will be binding at EU level.

     An indicative target at the EU level of

    at least 27 % is set for improving en- ergy efficiency in 2030 compared to projections of future energy consump- tion.

    On 8 October 2016, at the Climate Minis- terial during the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group — International Mone- tary Fund the President of the World Bank Group Mr Jim Yong Kim stressed the point that there is no prospect of achieving the

    goals set out under the historic Paris Cli- mate Change Agreement if current plans for coal-fired stations, especially those planned for Asia, are built. He called on Ministers to accelerate the transition to low carbon as a matter of urgency and said:

    ‘Many countries want to move in the right direction. We can and should all help to find renewable energy and energy effi-

    ciency solutions that allow them to phase-out of coal. Key to this is creating the right policy environment, building the business environment, implementing good practices like solar auctions, and de-

    risking investments in clean energy tech- nology. Private sector interest in renewa- bles is picking up but accelerating that interest will need a big increase in con- cessional finance that is:

     Well targeted and ‘follows the carbon’;

     Leveraged and blended to crowd in the

    private sector; and

     Available quickly, at scale and easily


    Photovoltaics (PV) is a key technology op-

    tion for implementing the shift to a de- carbonised energy supply and can be de- ployed in a modular way almost every- where on this planet. Solar resources in Europe and across the world are abun- dant and cannot be monopolised by one country. Regardless of how fast energy

    prices increase in the future, and the rea- sons behind these increases, PV and other renewable energies are the only ones of- fering the stabilisation of, or even a re- duction in future prices.

    From 2008 to the second quarter of 2016, residential PV electricity system prices fell by over 80 % in most competi- tive markets, and in an increasing number of markets the cost of PV-generated elec-

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    tricity is already cheaper than residential

    electricity retail prices. It is interesting to note that module prices decreased even more, by over 80 %, during the same pe- riod and now represent less than half of the costs of an installed PV system. Due to falling PV system prices and increasing electricity prices, the number of such markets is steadily increasing. Moreover, the nuclear accident which took place in Fukushima in March 2011 has brought about a shift in energy investments to- ward more renewables and PV systems.

    In 2015, solar energy attracted 56 % of all new renewable energy investments or USD 161 billion (EUR 142.5 billion). Asset financing for PV energy systems amount- ed to USD 148 billion (EUR 131 billion) out of which about USD 67 billion (EUR 59.3 billion) went to small distributed PV systems.

    In 2016, PV industry production rose again although more modestly than in previous years, increasing by about 20 %

    and reaching a worldwide production vol- ume of about 60 GW of PV modules. The

    compound annual growth rate (CAGR)

    over the last 15 years was above 40 %, which makes PV one of the fastest grow- ing industries at present.

    The 14th edition of the PV Status Report gives an overview of current trends. Over the last 15 years, the PV industry has grown from a small group of companies and key players into a global business where information gathering is becoming increasingly complex. Any additional in- formation would be most welcome and will be used to update the report.

    Ispra, October 2016

    Piotr Szymanski Director, JRC Directorate C: Energy, Transport and Climate


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    ADB Asian Development Bank

    ASP average selling price

    BNEF Bloomberg New Energy Finance

    BOS balance of system

    CAGR compound annual growth rate

    CAPEX capital expenditure

    CEL Clean Energy Certificates

    COP Conference of the Parties

    CPV concentrating photovoltaics

    CWaPE Wallonian Energy Commission

    °C degree Celsius

    DC direct current

    DoE Department of Energy

    EEG Energie Einspeisegesetz (energy feed in law)

    EU European Union

    FiT feed-in tariff

    FY financial year

    GW Giga Watt

    H1 1st half year

    IEA International Energy Agency

    IMF International Monetary Fund

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    IPP independent power producers

    IRENA International Renewable Energy Agency

    ITC investment tax credit

    JJNSM Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission

    JRC Joint Research Centre

    KfW Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau

    kW kilo Watt

    LCOE levelised cost of electricity

    MASEN Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy

    MNRE Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

    METI Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

    MW Mega Watt

    NREAP National Renewable Energy Action Plan

    OEM original equipment manufacturing

    OPEX operational expenditure

    O&M operation and maintenance

    PPA power purchase agreement

    PV photovoltaic

    Q1 1st quarter year

    RES renewable energy sources

    ROC renewable obligation certificate

    ROI return on investment

    RPS renewable portfolio standard

    RTE réseau de transport d