The Path to Drawdown: Solar PV Manufacturing
To solve climate change and stay below 1.5ºC of global warming, the world needs to switch from generating power from fossil fuels to using 100% emissions-free sources.
The biggest source of this clean energy is the sun (barring advances in nuclear fusion). Photovoltaic or PV solar panels (the kind you see on rooftops) have emerged as the predominant way of capturing the sun's energy and converting it into electricity.
The solar PV industry has been growing fast and, as of 2020, solar panels are now the cheapest source of electricity in most places on earth.
Solar accounts for ~2% of global electricity today. According to Project Drawdown, to be on a path to remain under 1.5ºC of warming, rooftop and utility scale solar will need to be generating a combined ~40% of global electricity by 2050.
To get there, the PV solar industry will need to continue to massively scale over the few next decades:
- <::marker> 720 TWh of solar electricity generated in 2019
- <::marker> 28,200 TWh needed by 2050
- <::marker> CAGR of 12.56% from 2019 - 2050
Another analysis from the IEA predicts that, to reach a 100% clean electricity grid by 2050, annual solar panel manufacturing capacity will need to scale from 110 GWs in 2019 to 630 GWs in 2030.