The worldwide photovoltaics (PV) market has been growing at over35% per annum in recent years and it can now make a significant contribution to electricity generation. Development work is focused on increasing the energy efficiency and reducing material usage of systems and modules. New technologies are developing quickly, including PV thin film (using alternative semiconductor materials) or dye sensitive solar cells and these present a huge potential for cost reduction.
Photovoltaics have been following a fairly consistent pattern of cost reduction of 20% each time the capacity doubles; the scenario assumes 5 to10 c/ kWh, by 2050 depending on the region. During the following five to ten years, PV will become competitive with retail electricity prices in many parts of the world and competitive with fossil fuel costs by 2050.Solar PV is a critical part of the energy mix – it can be used in decentralized or centralised formats, it is useful in an urban environment and has huge potential for cost reduction.
employment in PV
Under the Energy [R]evolution scenario, solar PV would provide5% of total electricity generation by 2030, and 1.6 million jobs.Growth is much more modest in the Reference scenario, and the increase in employment at 2020 levels out at 2030. In the Reference scenario the additional capacity of solar does not compensate for the reduction that comes from regional job multipliers and decline factors.
If the decline factors were not applied to the model, solar PV jobs would be more than three times greater by 2030, an extra 3 million jobs. Decline factors are used because the cost of PV is expected to fall by half by 2020 and 70% by 203015.
These calculations based on energy supply projects and counting direct jobs only, estimate that the Solar PV sector provides about190,000 jobs in 2010. The industry itself estimates it provides about 200,000 jobs right now so global numbers are already higher than the model projections.
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