The share of global electricity generated by solar photovoltaics (PV) could increase from 2% now to as much as 13% by 2030, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It estimates that solar PV capacity could reach between 1 760 and 2 500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, up from 227GW currently.
“Recent analysis from IRENA finds that cost reductions for solar and wind will continue into the future, with further declines of up to 59% possible for solar PV in the next ten years,” said IRENA director-general Adnan Z Amin.
Solar PV regularly costs just 5 to 10 US cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in Europe, China, India, South Africa and the United States. In 2015, record low prices were set in the United Arab Emirates (5,84 cents/kWh), Peru (4,8 cents/kWh) and Mexico (4,8 cents/kWh). In May 2016, a solar PV auction in Dubai attracted a bid of 3 cents/kWh. These record lows indicate a continued trend and potential for further cost reduction.
“The world electricity demand is expected to grow by more than 50% by 2030, mostly in developing and emerging economies,” said Amin. “To meet this demand while also realising global development and sustainability goals, governments must implement policies that enable solar to achieve its full potential.”