Cumulative global installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity is set to continue its growth from 271.4 GW in 2016 to 756.1 GW by 2025, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.1%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
That definitely sounds great, and while it’s certainly not bad, it needs noted that this latest report is a decline compared to the 2006-2015 period, which saw an exceptional CAGR of 50.1 percent. But still, GlobalData says growth will remain considerable over the next decade, most notably in China.
Pavan Vyakaranam, GlobalData’s Project Manager covering Power, says that China is the largest solar installation market in the world, accounting for 19.7 percent of global cumulative photovoltaic installations in 2015, with this figure forecast to reach 31.3 percent by 2025.
Vyakaranam explains: “China is a world leader in renewable energy investment, having proved itself a leader in wind power installation, wind turbine manufacturing, and solar PV manufacturing. Solar PV capacity in the country will continue to grow during the forecast period, from 60.5 GW in 2016 to 236.7 GW in 2025, at a CAGR of 18.5 percent.
“Solar PV will play a significant role in China’s future energy supply, as the government looks to this resource to meet growing energy demand. The central government, spurred on by growing environmental concerns, has planned many initiatives for rapid development of the domestic PV market. For example, China has implemented a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme for utility scale and incentives for roof-top PV, while the National Energy Agency has been promoting off-grid solar installations.”
GlobalData’s report states that the key factors driving growth in China will also pervade in other parts of the world. Aside from the overwhelming environmental concern driving solar PV uptake, the sector is capital intensive, and favorable policies and financial incentives have played a large role in promoting its growth.
Vyakaranam continues: “Policies such as net metering, FiTs, and renewable portfolio standards have had a key impact. Indeed, the US and Canada have implemented all three of these policies, and will register notable CAGRs of 14.6 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively in cumulative installed capacity during 2016–2025.
“Finally, the formation of solar alliances will also drive growth globally. Those such as the International Solar Alliance formed at COP21 between India and France may improve the investment scenario in the solar energy sector, helping it to grow further in the near future.”
— Solar Builder magazine