Global Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market - Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2018 - 2023)
Since 2004, the global investment in the solar power market has increased ten folds, from USD 11.2 billion to USD 113.7 billion in 2016, thereby making solar power one of the fastest-growing industries across the globe. In 2016, solar power consumption grew by 29.6% from 256.2 TWh in 2015, with China and India leading the solar power market. China and India registered a consumption growth rate of more than 80% per annum during 2005-2015. Backed by the rapid decline in the cost of solar technology, coupled with the growing energy demand, the solar power market is projected to register a CAGR of 16.8% during the forecast period of 2017-2023.
Declining Cost of Solar Module Accelerates Growth
The decline in the cost of solar PV modules is one of the major factors driving the global solar PV market. In 2014, solar PV module prices reduced by 75%, as compared to that in 2009. The decline can be mainly attributed to the improvement in material efficiency, production optimization, and economies of scale. Solar PV modules can be installed at utility, commercial, and residential scales. Volatility in crude oil price, environmental concern of hydro power, and risk of nuclear radiation accidents in nuclear power plants provide a great opportunity for solar power to meet the increasing demand of energy soon. This would, in turn, have a positive impact on the growth of global solar photovoltaic (PV) market.
Competitive utility-scale solar PV projects are delivering electricity for USD 0.08 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) without financial support, whereas, in the recent years, the weighted average LCOE of CSP varied from a low of USD 0.20 in Asia to a high of USD 0.25/kWh in Europe, with the LCOE of individual projects varying significantly depending on location and level of storage.
Asia to Dominate the Solar PV Market
For the last three to four years, Asia accounted for about two-third of the global solar PV addition. In 2017, the top five markets of China, United States, Japan, India, and United Kingdom, accounting for almost 85% of the addition. In terms of cumulative capacity, the top two countries are China and Japan. China continued to dominate both the use and manufacturing of solar PV. It is estimated that by the end of 2016, every continent had installed 1 GW of solar PV capacity. The leaders in solar PV capacity per inhabitant were Germany, Belgium, Japan, Italy, and Australia.
China and India to Register Robust Growth Rate
The Chinese solar photovoltaic industry has grown faster than any other country over the years. The market share of Chinese PV increased from 1% to 35% over a period of eight years. As on March 2016, China achieved 28.33 GW SPV capacity. The Indian government has given solar energy significant preference in the country’s renewable energy mix. In 2014, the Government of India launched the Rooftop Subsidy program and Golden Sun Demonstration (GSD) program. Under GSD, 50% monetary support has been provided in the form of subsidy for large grid connected rooftop having capacity >300 kW, and 70% support for off-grid systems. Under Solar Mission 2014, the Indian government has set a target of installing 100 GW installed capacity of solar electricity by 2022, out of which, 40 GW is projected to be through grid connected rooftop solar systems. In addition, under centralized grid connection and stand-alone solar energy strategy development, the government aims to ensure energy security for the nation to achieve ‘24 × 7 power to all’. Moreover, the government plans to invest USD 3.1 billion on state aid for India’s solar panel manufacturing industry, to increase India's photovoltaic capacity, thus propelling the growth of the solar power market.
Key Developments in the market