Solar PV Factors, 2010 vs. 2020, Efficiency, Global Cumulative Capacity & LCOE Compared

In this content, we aim at comparing the facts of the solar industry, especially the solar PV segment, during the past decade from 2010 to 2019 in order to show that “where we were” and now “where we are”. Here, we want to compare three factors that are relevant to this industry sector including the PV module’s efficiency, cumulative solar capacity, and Levelized Cost of Electricity or LCOE.

PV Module’s Efficiency

The PV module’s efficiency has risen up to 30% from 14.7% in 2010 to 19.2% in 2019. This is because the market has shifted from the conventional solar cell architecture, Aluminium Back Surface Field (Al-BSF), to highly efficient Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact (PERC) architecture of cells in the module.

Cumulative Solar Capacity

The global cumulative solar capacity has represented 14-fold growth for this technology since 2010. At the end of 2019, the capacity reached 580 GW which is 98 GW of it was installed only in 2019. This is mainly due to the next factor, i.e. Levelized Cost of Electricity or LCOE.


The Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) is a calculated measure of the costs of a power system that allows policymakers & researchers to compare various methods of electricity generation on a consistent basis. The global weighted average of LCOE from utility-scale renewable power generation has experienced a decline during the past decade. This decline was sharper for the solar photovoltaic (solar PV) than the other technologies. Solar PV indicated an 82% decrease in cost between 2010 to 2019.



Photo: @Solar_Edition


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