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Solar PV investment doubles to €70bn in 2015

Investment in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology could double from €35-40 billion in 2010 to over €70bn in 2015, according to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

By Kari Williamson

JRC's PV Status Report also shows that solar PV production reached 23.5 GW in 2010 and that newly installed solar PV systems reached an estimated 17-19 GW in Europe in the same year.

This brings cumulative capacity to over 29 GW and by the end of the year, European solar PV installations provided more than 70% of the total worldwide solar PV generation capacity.

However, manufacturing is increasingly shifting towards China, followed by Taiwan, Germany and Japan.

Falling prices

Solar PV module prices, which have fallen almost 50% over the last three years, are set to continue to decrease as solar PV modules shifts from supply to demand-driven market.

Falling prices combined with more countries introducing support mechanisms for solar PV and rising energy prices, the growth of the solar PV market is expected to remain high in the long term.

To sustain growth, however, JRC says the industry needs to reduce the consumption of silicon per cell, that thin-film manufacturing should be increased and that the introduction of concentrating PV (CPV) should be accelerated.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets