Solar electricity for over 1 billion people and 2 million jobs by 2020.
Executive summary: Global Status of Solar PhotovoltaicsThe solar electricity market is booming. In the year 2000 thecumulative installed capacity of all solar photovoltaic (PV)systems around the world passed the landmark figure of1,200 Megawatt peak (MWp). At the same time globalshipments of PV cells and modules have been growingat an average annual rate of 33% since 1996.Such has been the growth in the solar electricity industry that it isnow worth more than an annual $1 billion in sales. Competitionamong the major manufacturers has become increasingly intense,with new players entering the market as the potential for PV opensup. The world wide photovoltaics industry, particularly in Europeand Japan, is investing heavily in new production facilities andtechnologies. At the same time, political support for thedevelopment of solar electricity has led to far-reaching support andpromotion frameworks being put in place in a number of countries,notably Germany and Japan.This clear commercial and political commitment to the expansion ofthe PV industry means that the current surge of activity in the solarelectricity sector is just the start of the massive transformation andexpansion expected to occur over the coming decades.The target: realisation of a common goal of substantially increasingthe penetration of solar electricity into the global energy mix whilealso cutting greenhouse gas emissions.Much work still needs to be done to turn potential into reality. Onecrucial step is to bring a far broader range of actors into the sector,particularly in the investment finance, marketing and retail areas. Atthe same time, there is a need to transmit to as wide an audience aspossible the message that solar electricity will bring socio-economicand environmental benefits to regions which proactively encourageits uptake and the development of a local industrial base.
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