EGU24-1956, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Global technical, economic and ecological performance of different solar photovoltaic modules 

Changkun Shao, Kun Yang, and Xinyao Zhang
Changkun Shao et al.
  • Tsinghua University, Department of Earth System Science, (

Bifacial solar modules and solar trackers are experiencing worldwide rapid development, and they are proven to be effective in increase solar power generation. This study presents a comprehensive worldwide assessment on technical and economic potential of combination of mono or bifacial photovoltaic modules with different solar trackers based on a high-quality long-term solar radiation dataset and a physical model chain. Impact factors such as topography, land suitability, etc. were taken into consideration when evaluating electricity generation potential. Overall, bifacial photovoltaic modules can increase power generation and lower levelized tariffs globally. Solar trackers can increase the efficiency of PV panels, but reduce the total power generation due to lower land utilization. Fixed bifacial modules contributed the highest total global power generation of 2217 PWh and the lowest average global levelized cost of electricity of 3.6. The spatial distribution of the optimal PV module and solar tracker combination is also revealed by this study. Furthermore, there is a significant mismatch between energy generation and demand, despite the fact that total global electricity generation potential far exceeds total electricity demand. Countries with 70% of the total generation potential consume less than 20 % of the demand. Distributed PV may contribute to solving this problem. As for the environmental and ecological impact, the global carbon reduction and loss in ecosystems service values are 1205 million Mt and 3244 million dollars per year, respectively. The Sahara Desert and Western Asia, with high power generation potential and low ecological costs, serve to be hotspots for photovoltaic. This study providing guidance for selecting, sitting and deploying different solar modules combination, and emphasize the ecological and environmental impact of solar panels.

How to cite: Shao, C., Yang, K., and Zhang, X.: Global technical, economic and ecological performance of different solar photovoltaic modules , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1956,, 2024.