Solar energy is the largest renewable resource available and solar photovoltaics is the fastest growing energy source in the world. Consequently, massive investment has been occurring right across the supply chain. A 50% drop (in one year) in the installed costs of solar photovoltaics and the increasing cost of fossil fuels is making solar increasingly more competitive with traditional sources of electricity. Solar photovoltaics is particularly well suited to off-grid applications, making it ideal for rural electricification. Currently, solar PV installations total 20 GW globally.
IFC invests in emerging market-based manufacturers of solar photovoltaics and components that have the potential to reduce costs and build scale across the solar supply chain. By supporting these fledgling private sector enterprises, IFC is helping the industry to bring economies of scale in markets with suitable regulatory support or where solar is sufficiently cost competitive. Thus, the sector can reach grid parity, provide cleaner energy and create manufacturing employment and income in emerging markets.