In their paper, solar researchers from leading global institutes and PV industry companies argue that 75 terawatt of photovoltaics should be installed by 2050 to ensure a sustainable global energy supply from renewable sources, and that this undertaking is feasible.
The article, published in the renowned Science Journal, demonstrates the urgency with which the global expansion of photovoltaics must occur. To meet ambitious climate goals and rising energy demand, PV expansion must be supported and implemented transnationally. Projections indicate that 50 to 65 terawatt is achievable by 2050. However, the consensus among researchers is that the expansion targets at the global level are set too low. As a result, further expansion from 2035 onward may not be able to catch up realistically or sustainably. The target of 75 TW by 2050 must therefore be clearly communicated and considered in PV expansion around the world.
Currently, just under 1 terawatt are installed, with an expansion of approximately 300 gigawatt per year. It is predicted that more than 1 terawatt will be added annually by 2030, with further growth to 3 terawatt annually. To conclude: the world is still at the very beginning of a Photovoltaics revolution.
Co-author of the article is Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Powalla, Head of the Photovoltaics Division and board member of the ZSW.