New report anticipates 15.3% growth-rate for solar through 2015


A solar installation in ChileTechnical and functional advancements in solar will drive the global solar industry to grow by 15.3 percent annually through to 2015. That’s according to TechNavio’s latest report “Global Solar Panels Market 2011-2015”. During this period there’s likely to be a number of shifts in solar, from new markets growing to newer PV types gaining ground on traditional silicon PV.

Another large driver of the growth has been the large drop in PV prices because of increased production, going back to 2010. “Even though a few leading players were dominating the Global Solar PV market [in 2010], those players could not meet the inflated demand with their existing production capacity. This created an opportunity for new players from other regions to enter the global PV market,” said an analyst with TechNavio. “The price of solar PV has reduced due to the entry of Chinese companies with an advantage of producing solar panels at a lower price than their competitors.”

Another factor in the price reduction is the falling price of polysilicon because of oversupply. Just between April and May of 2012, the price fell from $24.30 per kilogram to $23.50 per kilogram. The trend in both price drops is expected to in the near term. “However, the pace of price decline is expected to slow down during 2012–2013,” the analyst said.

While silicon was the predominant type of PV, accounting for up to 80 percent of installations in 2011, thin-film and other technologies, like concentrating PV are likely to start taking a bigger chunk of the international market. “The usage of thin-films for solar PV panels is expected to increase in the future. For instance, approximately 55 percent of the solar projects in India have opted for thin-films as raw material,” the analyst said. “CPV systems are in the demonstration phase, and will gradually start gaining market share after 2013.”

Today Germany and Italy are the world leaders in installing solar but as their markets are more saturated and incentives are cut back, they are expected to slow and others are expected to rise. “Increase in participation from players in the Asia Pacific and the Americas is also another reason for the decline in the growth rate within European countries,” the analyst said. “Alternatively, emerging markets such as China, Japan, France, and India will experience remarkable growth from 2011 onwards,” the analyst said. Also, the U.S. PV market is expected to grow by approximately 60 percent to 70 percent between 2011 and 2012.