Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power is a commercially available and reliable technology with a significant potential for long-term growth in nearly all world regions. This technology roadmap estimates that by 2050, PV could provide 11% of global electricity production and avoid 2.3 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 emissions per year.
Achieving this roadmap’s vision requires an effective, long-term and balanced policy effort in the next decade to allow for optimal technology progress, cost reduction and ramp-up of industrial manufacturing for mass deployment. Further, governments will need to provide long-term targets and supporting policies in order to build confidence for investments in manufacturing capacity and deployment of PV systems.
With effective policies in place, PV on residential and commercial buildings could achieve grid parity – i.e. with electricity grid retail prices – by 2020 in many regions. In this scenario, utility-scale PV could become competitive in the sunniest regions by 2030 and provide 5% of global electricity by 2050. As PV matures into a mainstream technology, grid integration and management and energy storage become key issues. The PV industry, grid operators and utilities would need to develop new technologies and strategies to integrate large amounts of PV into flexible, efficient and smart grids.