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Global Solar Power Market

  • June 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan

Summary

Table of Contents

Solar PV is becoming a High-growth Mainstream Energy Source in Emerging Markets

Frost & Sullivan estimates that global solar market revenues will grow between 2014 and 2020 despite the economic uncertainty in the global markets. A number of government sponsored initiatives are expected to boost the proportion of energy coming from 'green sources' and political willingness will also be a key driver of this market.With climate change high on the agenda for most governments, renewable energy has come to the forefront as one of the solutions proposed to combat global warming. Incentive mechanisms are also an important factor encouraging investments for the growth of the solar power market.

Key Findings

-Frost & Sullivan estimates that the global solar market revenue decreased by % in 2013 compared to the previous year. Market revenue is estimated to reach $ billion in 2020 growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of %. The market is expected to follow a positive growth pattern throughout the forecast period despite economic uncertainty in the global market.
-As a result of significant overcapacity and price decline of photovoltaic (PV) modules, the market registered negative growth in 2013 and larger global suppliers of PV panels struggled to make a profit, with some of them filing for bankruptcy.
-In 2013, the industrial and public projects segment accounted for the majority of the annual installed capacity at % and will be the fastest-growing segment for annual capacity installed at a CAGR of %.
-One of the key drivers for this market has been defining the structure of feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for solar PV-generated power. Favourable legislation should continue to propel the growth of the industry as a whole.
-A number of government-sponsored initiatives are expected to boost the proportion of energy coming from green sources, and political willingness will also be a key driver of this market throughout the forecast period. With climate change high on the agenda for most governments, renewable energy has come to the forefront as one of the solutions proposed to combat global warming.
Growth in the solar power market is impacted by the level of insolation that a region receives. Insolation is defined as the amount of solar energy reaching the earth, which is usually strongest on and around the equator and is measured in kWh/m/day.
-Higher latitudes have lower insolation levels, therefore, some regions are unattractive markets for solar PV.

Key Findings (continued)

-According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), ‘‘China and India will lead the way as PV prices fall and economies rapidly develop in countries located ±° around the equator.’’ China and India have become the most attractive markets over the last years. Most large PV module manufacturers are building up their capabilities with tie-ups and alliances in these countries. Increased investment into this market is a result of the likely introduction of FiT systems, adequate solar radiation, and increasing awareness of renewable technologies.
-With increased technological efficiency, the cost of generating solar energy has decreased significantly, though the installation and maintenance costs still remain relatively high. Therefore, incentive mechanisms are an important factor encouraging investments for growth of the solar power market.
-The reduction of emissions from greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other pollutants is a priority for many countries, while energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways to enhance security of energy supply. In many ways, energy sufficiency is one of the drivers impacting growth of the solar power market.
-The competitive landscape of the solar power market has been extremely dynamic with companies registering high growth at one point and declaring bankruptcy a few years later.
-Low manufacturing costs in Asia, particularly China, have resulted in the liquidation of some industry pioneers such as BP Solar, Photowatt (one of the first PV companies to become profitable), and Evergreen Solar (which closed its solar division, as was the case for BP). Q-Cells also closed down (although it was later rescued by BMW heir, Quandt). Suntech declared bankruptcy in March 2013.
-However, the market currently looks quite buoyant and Frost & Sullivan expects the market revenue to reach $ billion in 2014, an increase of % over 2013.

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