Solar PV Investment Set to Surpass All Other Technologies Combined in 2024

Table of Contents

The International Energy Agency (IEA)  announced a groundbreaking development in the renewable energy sector this Thursday: investments in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology are projected to surpass investments in all other energy technologies combined by 2024. This significant milestone marks a pivotal moment in the global transition to clean energy and underscores the growing dominance of solar power.

Large Solar Installation

Accelerating Growth in Solar PV

The IEA’s forecast indicates a rapid acceleration in solar PV deployment, driven by a combination of economic, policy, and environmental factors. In 2023, global clean energy investment reached a staggering $1.8 trillion, with solar PV accounting for a substantial portion of this figure. This upward trend is expected to continue, positioning solar PV at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution .

Key Drivers Behind the Surge

There are a number of drivers behind the recent growth in solar, but some of the most impactful are as follows:

Economic Competitiveness: Solar PV has emerged as one of the most cost-effective sources of new electricity generation. Technological advancements and economies of scale have significantly reduced the cost of solar power, making it cheaper than new coal and gas plants in many regions. In 2023, approximately 96% of newly installed utility-scale solar PV and onshore wind capacity had lower generation costs than new fossil fuel plants. This economic advantage is a primary driver of the surge in solar investments .

Policy Support: Governments around the world are implementing robust policies to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy. The United States’ Inflation Reduction Act, for example, provides significant incentives for solar PV deployment, contributing to the sector’s growth. Similarly, Europe and China have introduced comprehensive policy frameworks to support renewable energy expansion. China’s role is particularly noteworthy, as it is expected to install more than half of the new renewable capacity required globally by 2030 .

Energy Security: The global energy crisis, exacerbated by geopolitical tensions such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has underscored the importance of energy security. Countries are increasingly turning to renewable energy sources like solar PV to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and enhance energy resilience. This shift is driving a sharp acceleration in installations of renewable power, with total capacity growth worldwide set to almost double in the next five years .

Environmental Impact: The expansion of solar PV plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. By accelerating the transition to renewable energy, the world can make significant progress toward achieving net-zero emissions targets. The IEA’s forecast indicates that renewable energy sources will account for over 42% of global electricity generation by 2028, with the share of wind and solar PV doubling to 25% .

Implications for the Future

The anticipated surge in solar PV investment has several far-reaching implications for the global energy landscape:

Transformation of the Global Power Mix: By 2025, renewable energy sources are expected to surpass coal as the largest source of electricity generation globally. Solar PV and wind power will play critical roles in this transformation, with solar PV alone projected to account for a significant share of new capacity additions. This shift will fundamentally alter the global power mix, paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient energy system .

Market Dynamics: The rapid growth in solar PV deployment is reshaping energy markets. Increased investment in manufacturing capacity is driving down costs further, making solar power even more competitive. However, this growth is currently concentrated in a few key regions, notably China and advanced economies, highlighting the need for broader global adoption. To achieve the global goal of tripling renewables by 2030, the rate of new installations needs to accelerate in emerging and developing economies .

Technological Advancements: The surge in solar PV investment is also spurring technological innovation. Advances in solar panel efficiency, energy storage solutions, and grid integration are enhancing the reliability and performance of solar power systems. These technological improvements are crucial for integrating higher shares of variable renewable energy into the grid and ensuring stable and reliable electricity supply .

Economic Opportunities: The expansion of solar PV is creating significant economic opportunities. The renewable energy sector is a major industrial sector and an important contributor to the global economy. Investment in solar PV is driving job creation, stimulating economic growth, and providing economic benefits to local communities. Developing domestic PV manufacturing capabilities can also increase the security of supply and reduce dependence on imports .

Challenges and Considerations: Despite the positive outlook, several challenges need to be addressed to sustain the growth of solar PV. These include the need for supportive policies, investment in grid infrastructure, and measures to enhance the flexibility and reliability of the power system. Additionally, the global supply chain for solar PV remains highly concentrated in a few countries, particularly China, which poses risks to the security of supply. Efforts to diversify the supply chain and develop domestic manufacturing capabilities in other regions are crucial for mitigating these risks .


The IEA’s projection that solar PV investment will outpace all other energy technologies combined by 2024 is a testament to the transformative power of renewable energy. As the world continues to embrace solar power, this shift will not only enhance energy security and economic competitiveness but also play a crucial role in addressing the global climate crisis. The rapid growth of solar PV is a clear example of how the current energy landscape is evolving, driven by technological advancements, supportive policies, and the imperative to build a sustainable future.

About PowerMarket

At PowerMarket, we are committed to advancing the adoption of solar energy. Our software as a service (SaaS) platform helps map real estate rooftops for solar potential and facilitates solar offtake. Operating primarily in the UK, we strive to support the transition to a sustainable energy future.

For more detailed information, you can refer to the IEA reports and analyses available here and here.

Share this article with a friend

Create an account to access this functionality.
Discover the advantages