Global investment in solar photovoltaic technology could double from 35 billion – 40 billion euros today to over 70 billion euros in 2015, according to a study published recently by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) and Greenpeace International. The estimated investment in the European Union (EU) alone would rise from today's 25 billion – 30 billion euros to over 35 billion euros in 2015.
The report, ‘Solar Generation 6,’ foresees that PV could account for 12% of Europe's power demand by 2020, and up to 9% of the global power demand by 2030.
PV prices have dropped some 40% since 2005, and by 2015, the cost of PV systems is expected to drop by an additional 40% compared to current levels. As a result, PV systems will be able to compete with electricity prices for households in many countries in the EU within the next five years.
The report estimates that current global solar PV capacity could grow from over 36 GW at the end of 2010 to close to 180 GW by 2015. European PV capacity is expected to increase from over 28 GW in 2010 to nearly 100 GW by 2015, and has the potential to reach up to 350 GW on a global basis by 2020, the report adds.
The report also highlights the enormous PV potential for Europe in light of the EU's established target of 20% renewable energy and 20% energy efficiency. Based on this potential for photovoltaic growth, the EU could easily increase its emissions-reduction target from the current 20% by 2020 to a more aggressive 30% level, the study concludes.
The Solar Generation 6 report is available for download here.