Solar Market to Exceed 65 GW in 2019
The solar industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3 percent—from 37.5 GW in 2013 to 65.6 GW in 2019, according to a report from Lux Research titled “Solar Market Size Update 2014: Reform for the Long Haul.” While China will lead the solar market, emerging trade and global policies cast a shadow over its short-term prospects.
China became the biggest solar market in the world with 11.8 GW installations in 2013, and has been key to a faster-than-expected global recovery. Since the competitive bankruptcy-ridden cost environment of 2012, module supplier margins have increased, with most Tier-1 suppliers topping 10 percent toward the end of 2013 and 15 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
In its evaluation of the growth trajectory of the solar industry, Lux made the following findings:
- Growth is fastest in the Americas. At a CAGR of 16.3 percent, the Americas will be the fastest-growing region in the world as its new installations market nearly triples from 5.3 GW in 2013 to 15.4 GW in 2019. The United States will pace the rest of the Americas, growing from 4.7 GW to 11.7 GW but South America will grow 10-fold to 2.5 GW in 2019. The Asia-Pacific region will grow at a lower 8.2 percent CAGR but will account for over 50 percent of global demand, led by China, Japan and other emerging markets.
- Cost cuts will be sustained. Due to incremental increases in efficiency from technologies such as passivated emitter rear contact (PERC), heterojunction with intrinsic layer (HIT) and selective emitter (SE), system costs will drop by between $0.36/W for utility-scale and $0.60/W for residential by 2019. This will translate to a 20 percent cut in total system costs.
- X-Si remains the technology of choice. Crystalline silicon (x-Si) will dominate the solar market through 2019. X-Si, with an 84.6 percent market share, will grow from 31.6 GW in 2013 to 55.7 GW in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 8.45 percent. Cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper iridium gallium diselenide (CIGS) will be a distant second and third, growing to 4.8 GW and 4.2 GW, respectively, in 2019.
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