IRENA Publishes Latest Report: Future of Solar Photovoltaic

CHANGCHUN, China, November. 15, 2019
/PVTIME/ -- According to the Future
of Solar Photovoltaic
published by The International Renewable Energy
Agency (IRENA) in November, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions is at the heart of the world’s accelerating shift from
climate-damaging fossil fuels towards clean, renewable forms of energy. The
steady rise of solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation forms a vital part of
this global energy transformation.

In addition to fulfilling
the Paris Agreement, renewables are crucial to reduce air pollution, improve
health and well-being, and provide affordable energy access worldwide. This study
from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) presents options to
speed up deployment and fully unlock the world’s vast solar PV potential over
the period until 2050.

The analysis follows the
REmap Case outlined in IRENA’s Global
Energy Transformation Roadmap
, which highlights ways to step up the energy
transformation over the next three decades in contrast to current plans. 

Specifically, the paper
highlights the growth needed in solar PV to achieve climate goals. It also
offers insights on cost reduction, technology trends and the need to prepare
electricity grids for rising shares of solar PV.

Among the findings:

  • Accelerated solar PV deployment coupled
    with deep electrification could deliver 21% of the CO₂ emission reductions
    (nearly 4.9 gigatonnes annually) by 2050.
  • Solar PV could cover a quarter of global
    electricity needs by mid-century, becoming the second largest generation
    source after wind.
  • Global capacity must reach 18 times
    current levels, or more than 8 000 gigawatts by 2050.
  • Asia would continue to dominate solar PV
    use, with over 50% of installed capacity, followed by North America (20%)
    and Europe (10%).
  • Solar PV project costs, already below
    marginal fossil-fuel costs in global terms, are set to decline further in
    the decades ahead.
  • Mobilising finance will be key, with
    IRENA’s roadmap estimates implying a 68% increase in average annual solar
    PV investment until 2050.
  • Solar PV is a fast-evolving industry,
    with innovations along the entire value chain driving further, rapid cost
    reductions. Floating PV is a prime example, with global cumulative
    installed capacity exceeding one gigawatt in 2018 and clear potential
    for rapid growth.
  • Rooftop solar PV systems have spread
    rapidly thanks to supporting policies, such as net metering and fiscal
  • Energy transformation brings
    socio-economic benefits. The global solar industry could employ over 18
    million people by 2050.
  • The levelised
    cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar PV is already competitive compared to all fossil fuel generation sources
    and is set to decline further as installed costs and performance continue to improve.
    Globally, the LCOE for solar PV will continue to fall from an average of USD 0.085
    per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2018 to between USD
    0.02 to 0.08/kWh by 2030 and between USD 0.014 to 0.05/kWh by 2050.

See the
executive summary in English
or Spanish (Español).

SOURCE: International Renewable Energy