177 GW of solar installed worldwide: IEA 2014 snapshot report

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released their ‘2014 Snapshot of Global PV Markets’ report. The published figures state that, as of the end of 2014, there is now a cumulative total of 177 gigawatts (GW) of PV capacity installed worldwide. In 2014 alone there was at least 38.7 GW of PV installed*.

Highlights from the report are listed below:

  • The top 10 countries for PV installations in the 2014 calendar year were China (10.6 GW), Japan (9.7 GW), USA (6.2 GW), UK (2.3 GW), Germany (1.9 GW), France (0.9 GW), Australia (0.9 GW), South Korea (0.9 GW), South Africa (0.8 GW) and India (0.6 GW).
  • The top 10 countries for total cumulative PV installations are now Germany (38.2 GW), China (28.1 GW), Japan (23.3 GW), Italy (18.5 GW), USA (18.3 GW), France (5.7 GW), Spain (5.4 GW), UK (5.1 GW), Australia (4.1 GW) and Belgium (3.1 GW).
  • Asia accounted for around 60% of all installations in 2014, leading the world for the second year in a row.
  • There are a number of notable emerging markets in South America, including Chile (0.4 GW installed in 2014), Mexico (64 MW in 2014) and Peru.
  • In the Middle East, Israel (250 MW in 2014) and Turkey (40 MW in 2014) led the way.
  • Sunny UK has now moved ahead of Australia’s cumulative total of installed PV.

Cumulative PV installed by region

Cumulative PV installed by region. [Image source: IEA PVPS]

Assuming the same amount of PV is installed worldwide next year – which is a fairly conservative assessment – then the projected cost of PV based on historical learning curve data should drop to below US$0.55 per watt on average.

Cost of PV modules curve

The ITRPV learning curve for the cost of PV modules. [Image Source: ITPRV]

Our local PV market is punching well above its weight despite having little to no regulatory support from the Australian government, ranking in the top 10 worldwide in both yearly and cumulative install numbers. Given the strong public support for solar and renewable energy, there’s every reason to predict more growth in the Australian market.

*This is a preliminary total. Final figures from the IEA could potentially reach 40 GW installed in 2014.

Top Image Credit: IEA PVPS

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

John Rodriguez

John regularly contributes original technology articles to Solar Choice News. He is a PhD candidate in solar PV engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), having graduated with First Class Honours in a Bachelor of Engineering (UNSW, specialising in PV). His knowledge of and passion for renewables technology led to him receiving the federally-funded Australian Postgraduate Award and Engineering Research Award for research excellence, in addition to being a Co-operative Program scholar during his undergraduate studies. John also works as an energy efficiency and process engineer and analyst.
John Rodriguez