Growth of photovoltaics

fast-growingfast-growing PV marketworld's leading installer512 GWcumulative as of 2013forecast for solar photovoltaicgrown into the millionsLargest photovoltaics producerList of countries by photovoltaics productionphotovoltaic
Worldwide growth of photovoltaics has been close to exponential between 1992 and 2018.wikipedia
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Solar power in China

ChinaSolar energy in ChinaZhejiang solar panel plant protest
In 2015, China surpassed Germany to become the world's largest producer of photovoltaic power, and in 2017 became the first country to surpass the 100 GW of installed capacity.
Since 2013 China has been the world's leading installer of solar photovoltaics (PV).

Solar power in the United States

United Statessolar powerSolar Energy Industry Association
Historically, the United States was the leader of installed photovoltaics for many years, and its total capacity amounted to 77 megawatts in 1996—more than any other country in the world at the time. China and India moved above the world average of 2.55%, while, in descending order, the United States, South Korea, France and South Africa are below the world's average.
Solar energy deployment increased at a record pace in the United States and throughout the world in 2008, according to industry reports.

Solar power in Germany

GermanySolarGerman market
From the late 1990s, Japan was the world's leader of produced solar electricity until 2005, when Germany took the lead and by 2016 had a capacity of over 40 gigawatts.
Germany has been amongst the world's top PV installer for several years, with total installed capacity amounting to 41.3 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2016, behind only China.

Solar power

solarsolar-poweredsolar power plant
By 2050, the IEA foresees solar PV to reach 4.7 terawatts (4,674 GW) in its high-renewable scenario, of which more than half will be deployed in China and India, making solar power the world's largest source of electricity.
As the cost of solar electricity has fallen, the number of grid-connected solar PV systems has grown into the millions and utility-scale photovoltaic power stations with hundreds of megawatts are being built.

Renewable energy

renewablesrenewable energiesrenewable
When solar PV systems were first recognized as a promising renewable energy technology, subsidy programs, such as feed-in tariffs, were implemented by a number of governments in order to provide economic incentives for investments.
Solar PV has turned into a multi-billion, fast-growing industry, continues to improve its cost-effectiveness, and has the most potential of any renewable technologies together with CSP.

Solar power in India

Indiasolarsolar loan
China and India moved above the world average of 2.55%, while, in descending order, the United States, South Korea, France and South Africa are below the world's average.
In August 2016, the forecast for solar photovoltaic installations was about 4.8 GW for the calendar year.

Photovoltaic power station

solar farmPhotovoltaic power stationsphotovoltaic power plant
In the early 21st Century a market for utility-scale plants emerged to complement rooftop and other distributed applications.
Total capacity of worldwide PV plants above 4 MW AC was assessed by Wiki-Solar as c. 180 GW in c. 7,300 installations at the end of 2018 and represents about 35 percent of total global PV capacity of 512 GW, up from 25 percent in 2014.

Duck curve

a handful of utilities have started combining PV installations with battery banks, thus obtaining several hours of dispatchable generation to help mitigate problems associated with the duck curve after sunset.
Without any form of energy storage, after times of high solar generation generating companies must rapidly increase power output around the time of sunset to compensate for the loss of solar generation, a major concern for grid operators where there is rapid growth of photovoltaics.

Energy development

energy productionenergy sourceenergy
During this period of time, photovoltaics (PV), also known as solar PV, evolved from a niche market of small scale applications to a mainstream electricity source.
;Other: Thorium-based nuclear power, List of oil pipelines, List of natural gas pipelines, Ocean thermal energy conversion, Growth of photovoltaics

Photovoltaic system

solar arraysolar photovoltaicsolar PV
When solar PV systems were first recognized as a promising renewable energy technology, subsidy programs, such as feed-in tariffs, were implemented by a number of governments in order to provide economic incentives for investments.
Due to the growth of photovoltaics, prices for PV systems have rapidly declined in since their introduction.

Thin-film solar cell

thin film solar cellthin-film photovoltaicthin-film
Prices for thin-film solar cells and for c-Si solar panels were around $.60 per watt. The falling cost of the polysilicon since 2009, that followed after a period of severe shortage (see below) of silicon feedstock, pressure increased on manufacturers of commercial thin-film PV technologies, including amorphous thin-film silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), led to the bankruptcy of several thin-film companies that had once been highly touted.
Despite these enhancements, market-share of thin-film never reached more than 20 percent in the last two decades and has been declining in recent years to about 9 percent of worldwide photovoltaic installations in 2013.

Solar power by country

Deployment of solar power to energy gridsInstalled solar power capacity
Worldwide growth of photovoltaics is extremely dynamic and varies strongly by country.

Crystalline silicon

energy payback timecrystalline silicon solar cellc-Si
It was also there at Bell Labs where the first practical c-silicon cell was developed in 1954.
Alltime deployed PV capacity of 139 gigawatts (cumulative as of 2013) splits up into 121 GW crystalline silicon (87%) and 18 GW thin-film (13%) technology.

Solar cell

solar cellsphotovoltaic cellphotovoltaic cells
Solar PV is growing fastest in Asia, with China and Japan currently accounting for half of worldwide deployment.

Concentrated solar power

concentrating solar powersolar thermal powerCSP
Because they both utilize the sun's energy, CSP is often compared to photovoltaic solar (PV), which experienced huge growth in recent years due to falling prices for panel manufacturing and modular growth.

Polycrystalline silicon

polysiliconmulti-crystalline siliconpolycrystalline
The falling cost of the polysilicon since 2009, that followed after a period of severe shortage (see below) of silicon feedstock, pressure increased on manufacturers of commercial thin-film PV technologies, including amorphous thin-film silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe), and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), led to the bankruptcy of several thin-film companies that had once been highly touted.
Multicrystalline solar cells are the most common type of solar cells in the fast-growing PV market and consume most of the worldwide produced polysilicon.

Copper indium gallium selenide solar cells

CIGSCIGS solar cellCIGS cell
CIGS and CdTe-PV remain the only two commercially successful thin-film technologies in a globally fast-growing PV market.

Cadmium telluride photovoltaics

CdTecadmium telluridecadmium telluride modules
Due to the exponential growth of photovoltaics the number of worldwide installed PV systems has increased significantly.

Swanson's law

This price trend was seen as evidence supporting Swanson's law (an observation similar to the famous Moore's Law) that states that the per-watt cost of solar cells and panels fall by 20 percent for every doubling of cumulative photovoltaic production.