03 May 2023

In 2022, the photovoltaic sector again recorded significant growth worldwide according to the current PVPS report "Snapshot of Global PV Markets 2023" by the International Energy Agency (IEA). According to preliminary data, globally installed photovoltaic capacity currently hits around 1.2 terawatts.

The new report of the IEA's Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPS) programme shows how the photovoltaic market has developed over the past year. According to preliminary market data, the cumulative capacity of photovoltaic systems installed worldwide reached a total of 1,185 gigawatts. 240 gigawatts alone are accounted for by new plants that went into operation in 2022.

In keeping with today's Sun Day, the photovoltaic sector is underlining its increasing relevance in electricity generation with the expansion of its capacity. In addition, it makes a valuable long-term contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in the energy sector.

Front-runners in Europe: Spain and Germany

In Europe, photovoltaics is experiencing continuously strong growth. Spain (8.1 gigawatts), Germany (7.5 gigawatts), Poland (4.9 gigawatts) and the Netherlands (3.9 gigawatts) lead the way in newly installed photovoltaic systems. In total, the EU recorded an addition of 39 gigawatts last year, thus increasing the total capacity to around 209 gigawatts of which 67 gigawatts is accounted for by Germany.

Compared to the EU, China is growing even faster. The country doubled its output last year. Worldwide, the Chinese photovoltaic market ranks first – both in terms of the capacity of newly installed systems and the total capacity installed in the country. With an addition of 106 gigawatts in 2022, the cumulative photovoltaic capacity there is about 415 gigawatts.

The USA follows in third place where photovoltaic systems with an output of 18.6 gigawatts were newly installed last year. This represents a significant decline compared to 2021 (26.9 gigawatts) and brings the total photovoltaic capacity of the United States to around 142 gigawatts.

Photovoltaics is competitive in many countries

In principle, photovoltaics is competitive in most market segments in many countries. Nevertheless, individual markets remain highly dependent on the extent to which they receive political support. It can be observed that political support is increasingly shifting to indirect measures, thus the permitting processes are being accelerated, prosumer models facilitated and grid bottlenecks managed.

In addition, concerns regarding the photovoltaic value-added chain concentrated in China have increased. This development is currently being countered on an industrial and a political level, with policy measures and initiatives aiming to reinvigorate national photovoltaic production – including in Germany.

Snapshot Report contains latest data and estimates

In its annual Snapshot-Report, the IEA's PVPS programme compiles the latest data and estimates analysing the global expansion of photovoltaics in the past year. The PVPS programme consists of several internationally staffed working groups or so-called work tasks. The Snapshot Report is a publication of Task 1 "Strategic PV Analysis & Outreach".
The underlying data is partly based on preliminary market figures provided by the different member countries for the report. The figures for Germany were provided by Project Management Jülich on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). At the end of the year, the Snapshot Report will be supplemented by the "Trends in Photovoltaic Applications" report, which will contain the final data on global photovoltaic development in 2022. (av)

Sun Day

Sun Day is an environmental awareness day that supports the cause of further promoting the expansion of photovoltaics. The day falls on May 3rd annually and focuses on the sun as a source of energy. Organisations around the world use the Sun Day as an opportunity to draw attention to the potential of solar energy. Events and initiatives highlight the climate-friendly and reliable nature of solar power generation. The environmental awareness day first took place in 1978 and was initiated by the former US President Jimmy Carter.


Dr. Georg Altenhöfer-Pflaum
Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)
52425 Jülich


Solar panels on rooftop.
© Eaknarin – stock.adobe.com

Trends and research developments in photovoltaics

Reports from the International Energy Agency's PVPS Photovoltaic programme address current trends and developments in photvoltaics.