Solar photovoltaics demand for the global energy transition in the power sector

Christian Breyer (Corresponding Author), Dmitrii Bogdanov, Arman Aghahosseini, Ashish Gulagi, Michael Child, Ayobami Solomon Oyewo, Javier Farfan, Kristina Sadovskaia, Pasi Vainikka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    156 Citations (Scopus)


    The power sector is faced with strict requirements in reducing harmful emissions and substantially increasing the level of sustainability. Renewable energy (RE) in general and solar photovoltaic (PV) in particular can offer societally beneficial solutions. The LUT energy system transition model is used to simulate a cost-optimised transition pathway towards 100% RE in the power sector by 2050. The model is based on hourly resolution for an entire year, the world structured in 145 regions, high spatial resolution of the input RE resource data, and transition steps of 5-year periods. The global average solar PV electricity generation contribution is found to be about 69% in 2050, the highest ever reported. Detailed energy transition results are presented for representative countries in the world, namely, Poland, Britain and Ireland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Ethiopia, and Indonesia. The global average energy system levelised cost of electricity gradually declines from 70 €/MWh in 2015 to 52 €/MWh in 2050 throughout the transition period, while deep decarbonisation of more than 95% around 2040, referenced to 2015, would be possible. The targets of the Paris Agreement can be well achieved in the power sector, while increasing societal welfare, given strong policy leadership.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)505-523
    JournalProgress in Photovoltaics
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
    Event33rd European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, EU PVSEC 2017 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 25 Sept 201729 Sept 2017


    The authors gratefully acknowledge the public financing of Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation) for the “Neo‐Carbon Energy” project under the number 40101/14 and support for Finnish Solar Revolution project under the number 880/31/2016, as well as support from the Energy Watch Group based on financing from Stiftung Mercator GmbH and Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt. Ashish Gulagi and Ayobami Solomon Oyewo would like to thank Fortum Foundation and LUT Foundation, respectively, for the valuable scholarship.


    • 100% renewable energy
    • battery
    • energy system
    • energy transition
    • photovoltaic


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    • Neo-Carbon Energy

      Vainikka, P., Breyer, C., Partanen, J., Heinonen, S., Simell, P. & Ahola, J.


      Project: Business Finland project

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