Overall development of photovoltaics has been an exponential bend between 1992– 2017. During this timeframe, photovoltaic’s (PV), also called solar PV, developed from a specialty market of small-scale applications to a standard power source. At the point when solar PV systems were first perceived as a promising renewable  energy technology, programs, such as feed-in tariffs, were implemented by a number of governments in order to provide economic incentives for investments. For several years, growth was mainly driven by Japan and pioneering European countries. As a consequence, the cost of solar declined significantly due to experience curve effects like improvements in technology and economies of scale.


In 2016, photovoltaic capacity increased by at least 75 GW, with a 50% growth year-on-year of new installations. Cumulative installed capacity reached at least 302 GW by the end of the year, sufficient to supply 1.8 percent of the world’s total electricity consumption.


In 2014, Asia was the fastest growing region, with more than 60% of global installations. China and Japan alone accounted for 20 GW or half of the worldwide deployment. Europe continued to decline and installed 7 GW or 18% of the global PV market, three times less than in the record-year of 2011 when 22 GW had been installed. For the first time, North and South America combined accounted for at least as much as Europe, about 7.1 GW or about 18% of global total. This was due to the strong growth in the United States, supported by Canada, Chile, and Mexico


  China (28.3%)

  Japan (25.1%)

  South Korea (2.3%)

  Thailand (1.2%)

  India (1.6%)

  Australia (2.4%)

  United States (16.0%)

  Canada (1.3%)

  Chile (0.9%)

  Germany (4.9%)

  Italy (1.0%)

  United Kingdom (5.9%)

  Rest of Europe (5.6%)

  South Africa (2.1%)

  Rest of the World (1.4%)

Worldwide growth of photovoltaics is extremely dynamic and varies strongly by country. The top installers of 2016 were China, the United States, and India.There are more than 24 countries around the world with a cumulative PV capacity of more than one gigawatt. Austria, Chile, and South Africa, all crossed the one gigawatt-mark in 2016. The available solar PV capacity in Honduras is now sufficient to supply 12.5% of the nation’s electrical power while Italy, Germany and Greece can produce between 7% and 8% of their respective domestic electricity consumption

Worldwide installation of PV Panels

Worldwide annual deployment

Due to the exponential nature of PV deployment, most of the overall capacity has been installed in the years leading up to 2017. Since the 1990s, each year has been a record-breaking year in terms of newly installed PV capacity, except for 2012. Contrary to some earlier predictions, early 2017 forecasts were that 85 gig watts would be installed in 2017. Near end-of-year figures, however, raised estimates to 95 GW for 2017-installations