Solar PV will account for 60 per cent of the growth of renewable power in the coming years. Photo: © Ampol Kaenchaiyaphoom /

Global solar PV market set for dramatic growth over next 5 years

The installation of solar PV systems on homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities is set to take off over the next five years, transforming the way electricity is generated and consumed, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest renewable energy market forecast. The report forecasts that the world’s total renewable-based power capacity will grow by 50 per cent between 2019 and 2024, and solar PV will account for 60 per cent of the rise. Distributed PV accounts for almost half of the growth in the overall solar PV market through 2024. Contrary to conventional wisdom, commercial and industrial applications rather than residential uses dominate distributed PV growth, accounting for three-quarters of new installations over the next five years. This is because economies of scale combined with better alignment of PV supply and electricity demand enable more self-consumption and bigger savings on electricity bills in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Latin America and the Caribbean could grow their installed solar capacity by a factor of 40 by 2050, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows. Annual investments exceeding USD seven billion would see the region’s solar PV capacity rise from 7 gigawatts (GW) today, to more than 280 GW by mid-century. As new markets emerge worldwide, IRENA’s latest report sees solar PV providing a quarter of global power by 2050. By that time, solar PV would represent the second-largest power source behind wind, according to the Future of Solar Photovoltaic report launched at Sun World 2019 in Lima. In total, global solar power capacity would rise from 480 GW in 2018 to over 8000 GW by 2050, growing by nearly nine per cent every year.

The magazine Spiegel reports that the world’s largest solar power station is being constructed at the moment in Egypt. 650 kilometres south of Cairo, seven million photovoltaic panels will cover a 37-square-kilometre site and have a planned capacity of 1800 MW. For comparison, Spiegel reports that today’s largest solar power installation is in China, with a capacity of 850 MW.

Compiled by Reinhold Pape

IEA 21 October 2019,
IRENA, Future of solar photovoltaic,
Spiegel 28 October 2019,



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