The role of quality infraestructure
Summary for policy makers
The upsurge of solar photovoltaics
By the end of 2016, the global cumulative installed capacity for photovoltaic (PV) power had reached an estimated 290 gigawatts (GW), indicating nearly 50 times the growth in cumulative installed capacity within a decade (see Figure 1.1).
The uptrend of new installed capacity is expected to be maintained in the years to come as new markets expand,
such as those of Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Asia. Projections for total PV installed capacity by 2030 range between 1 760 GW and 2 500 GW. This can be attributed in large part to a continued decrease in the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) expected for solar PV.
The decrease in PV system LCOE over the past decade has been driven by substantial PV module cost reductions,
although projected reductions in the coming decade will be largely driven by a decrease in Balance of System (BoS)
costs. IRENA estimates that global average total installed cost of new utility-scale PV systems could fall from approximately USD 1.8/watt (W) in 2015 to USD 0.8/W in 2025, a 57% reduction within a decade. A breakdown of typical costs over time is depicted in Figure 1.2.