- Reliable and cost-effective electricity generation, independent of an existing grid
- Easy to install and robust design with no moving parts
- A wide range of applications from very small systems to large-scale installations thanks to modular structure
- Quiet electricity generation
- Silicon as primary material is common, inexpensive and easily recyclable
- Low maintenance requirements
Solar energy is an environmentally friendly, inexhaustible and economically efficient energy source. As a result, electricity generation based on photovoltaics is very attractive, especially in countries with lots of sunshine. It is often the cheapest form of energy production in these locations.
Photovoltaic (PV) power systems are increasing in number across the globe. In 2016, the total installed capacity exceeded 300 gigawatts (see ). The main reason for this trend is the technology increasingly becoming cheaper.
In addition to grid-connected, rooftop-mounted photovoltaic systems and PV power plants with capacities exceeding several megawatts, the technology also enables a grid-independent and decentralised energy supply in remote regions. Developing and emerging countries therefore represent another important future market. Currently, 1.1 billion people across the globe still have no access to electricity supply (see ).
At the end of 2016, Germany already had an installed capacity exceeding 41 gigawatts (see ). German companies are among the top providers in the world at developing and constructing photovoltaic plants.