Preliminary market numbers show that the PV market grew significantly in 2016. In total, about 75 GW of PV capacity were installed in the IEA PVPS countries and in other major markets during 2016. The total installed capacity in the IEA PVPS countries and key markets has risen to at least 303 GW. These are the main outcomes of the latest IEA PVPS "Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Market 2016" report, published on 18 April 2017.
Solar PV technology continued to expand in 2016 thanks to the rapid development in China, America and India. The 50% growth reported in 2016 came from these countries, with disparities in other markets. Japan and Europe contributed less than in 2015 and emerging countries contributed in the same way. In other words, the global PV market outside of China grew by 5 GW to 40 GW while China drove the global numbers up to at least 75 GW. Once driven by financial incentives in developed countries, PV has started to progress in developing countries, answering a crucial need for electricity. Whereas in several developed countries, PV comes in direct competition with existing plants from incumbent utilities and in emerging countries, PV already helps to satisfy a growing need for energy in general and electricity in particular, pushed by declining prices.
In a decade, PV has become a major source of electricity at an extremely rapid pace in several countries all over the world. The speed of its development stems from its unique ability to cover most market segments; from the very small individual systems for rural electrification to utility-size power plants (today over 1 GWp). From the built environment to large ground-mounted installations, PV finds its way, depending on various criteria that makes it suitable for most environments.
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