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Key Facts & Figures


Covering just 0.7% of Europe's total land with photovoltaic modules would provide 100% of the continent's electricity needs.
Photovoltaics can play an important role in insuring Europe’s security of energy supply.



The carbon footprint of photovoltaics is up to 65 times lower than that of fossil fuel-based electricity (16-32 g CO2eq/kWh vs. 300-1.000 g CO2eq/kWh), and is continuously decreasing.

Read more: EPIA, Fact Sheet on the PV Carbon Footprint, 2012


265,000 jobs

The photovoltaic industry directly employs around 265,000 people in Europe.
Based on EPIA scenarios on the potential annual market, job creation in Europe can reach 1 million by 2020. Given the expected increase of electricity needs and as photovoltaics becomes more of a mainstream electricity source, the photovoltaic industry will strongly contribute to the creation of value and jobs.

Read more: EPIA, Fact Sheet on Job Creation, 2012



Photovoltaics has the potential to meet 15% of the EU electricity demand by 2030.
Based on current market trends, photovoltaics could meet 8% of the EU electricity demand in 2020 and 15% in 2030. But if all barriers are lifted and specific boundary conditions are met, photovoltaics could meet until 25% of the EU electricity demand by 2030.

Read more: EPIA, Connecting the Sun: Solar photovoltaics on the road to large-scale grid integration, 2012



Photovoltaic modules can be recycled and the materials can be reused.
This is beneficial to the environment and also contributes to reducing the production cost. More information on the European initiative PV CYCLE at www.pvcycle.org.



Competitiveness could be reached as early as 2014 in the residential segment in France if favourable conditions are met.
In France, competitiveness of photovoltaics in the residential segment could be reached between 2014 and 2020, depending on a certain number of conditions. In the commercial and industrial segments, competitiveness could occur as early as 2015.

Read more: EPIA, Connecting the Sun: Solar photovoltaics on the road to large-scale grid integration, 2012 



Policy measures should aim at creating a continuum among all players of the electricity sector.
Solar photovoltaics has the potential to provide 15% of the electricity demand in Europe by 2030, and up to 25% under certain conditions. Such cooperation among electricity players would enable them to unlock the potential of photovoltaics and to address complex issues together, improve coordination in investment planning, better use photovoltaics’ capability to participate in system operation, foster harmonised national connection rules, unlock the potential of aggregation and identify the right functionalities for smart-meters.

Read more: EPIA, Connecting the Sun: Solar photovoltaics on the road to large-scale grid integration, 2012



Over the past 30 years, the price of modules has decreased by over 20% every time the cumulative sold volume of PV modules has doubled.
Thanks to ever-improving technology and economies of scale, there is a huge potential for further generation cost decline: around 50% until 2020. Under the right conditions PV can be competitive in the residential segment across Europe by 2020.



Our energy independence starts with solar. By 2020, Europe could generate up to 460 TWh of photovoltaic electricity, the equivalent of powering 357 million European homes.
Photovoltaic power can be produced virtually anywhere, supporting energy independence at national, regional, local and individual level.

Read more: EPIA, Greenpeace International, Solar Generation VI, 2011



Around 58% of the €58 billion of the European photovoltaic market is being created in Europe (without considering exports).
This notably includes around €14.3 billion created by European installation services. Here, all of the value is created locally. European companies are even exporting part of expertise, especially in terms of project management, to emerging markets.

Read more: EPIA, Fact Sheet on the PV Value Chain, 2012



The fuel is free.
The sun is the only resource needed to power a solar photovoltaic system. And the sun will keep shining.


100 GW

The world's cumulative solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity capacity surpassed 100 gigawatts (GW) in 2012, achieving just over 102 GW.
This global capacity to harness the power of the sun produces as much electricity energy in a year as 16 coal power plants or nuclear reactors of 1 GW each, enough to cover the annual power supply needs of over 30 million European households. Each year, the world's PV installations reduce CO2 emissions by 53 million tons.

Read more: EPIA, Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-2017, May 2013


31 GW

In 2012, an estimated 31 GW of new photovoltaic capacity was commissioned worldwide.
For the second year in a row and the second time in history, photovoltaics in 2012 was the number-one electricity source in the EU in terms of newly installed capacity.

Read more: EPIA, Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2013-2017, May 2013


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