Solar photovoltaics is one of the most cost-effective technologies for electricity generation and therefore its use is growing across the globe. Global solar photovoltaic capacity has grown from around five gigawatts in 2005 to approximately 940 gigawatts in 2021. In that same year, cumulative solar PV installations reached some 307 gigawatts in China alone. Investment in solar energy has grown during the last years and the technology remains one of the most heavily funded renewable sources.
China's solar PV market
The capacity of newly installed solar PV has continued to steadily grow over the last decades, with China being one of the largest markets for solar cells and modules. China is home to the majority of the world’s solar module manufacturers. In 2021, the country accounted for almost 75 percent of solar module manufacturers. Although China is the country with the largest solar PV capacity worldwide, the technology contributes only to a small portion of the country's electricity mix. However, China continues to place a larger focus on moving to clean energy sources and is expected to continue adding solar capacity. Since the industry’s beginnings in the country, China has moved from a small, rural-oriented solar program to one of the largest markets in the world.
Decline in solar energy costs
The cost of solar PV systems has greatly decreased during the last few years. This has allowed the technology to scale up in recent years, with more and more new projects not relying on subsidies. Solar investments are therefore expected to increase greatly. Many companies are now signing renewable corporate purchase agreements (PPAs) for energy sourcing, with solar usually being the main technology of choice across the world.
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