On a global scale solar power is still tiny, providing around 2%of the world’s electricity… but the growth over the last years has been significant.
Solar PV panels are based on different physics from other electricity generating systems. A PV cell consists of layers of semiconductor material. Light shining on it creates an electric field across the layers, causing electricity to flow as in a battery. More intense light increases the power.
Solar PV prices have dropped dramatically in recent years, albeit from a very high level. In very sunny places the unsubsidized levelized cost of solar power is competitive with retail power, and in some areas competitive with wholesale power. The biggest challenges ahead are storage and the technology’s large land footprint.
Read the full briefing by downloading the pdf attached.
Solar Energy Perspective, IEA 2020