IHS Technology analysts top 10 predictions for the 2015 global photovoltaic (PV) market
EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. (January 8, 2014) – While 2014 remained a challenging time for the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry, it marked an inflection point in the market’s development. According to a new white paper issued by the IHS Solar service at information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS), solar PV demand grew at a double-digit pace, largely due to policies in China and Japan; yet conditions remained extremely tough for suppliers.
“Through mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies, the supplier base consolidated further, as companies struggled with debt-laden balance sheets and a rapid shift in their customer base away from their traditional markets,” said Ash Sharma, senior research director for solar at IHS. “All signs point to a strengthening recovery of the solar industry in 2015, even if the recovery itself remains incredibly fragile.”
Following are the top 10 predictions for 2015, from the IHS solar research team:
1. Global solar PV demand is forecast to grow by up to 25 percent in 2015. Due to the ongoing cost reductions for solar PV, IHS forecasts that installation demand will grow at a double-digit rate of 16 to 25 percent and installations in the range of 53 to 57 gigawatts (GW). Geographically, the largest markets again will be China, Japan and the United States, while the largest contributors in terms of absolute growth will be China, the United States and India.
2. Concentrated Photovoltaic Solar (CPV) to experience accelerated growth. Starting in 2015, IHS forecasts an accelerated CPV market expansion of 37 percent, to reach approximately 250 megawatts (MW) of new installations. Installations of both high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) and low-concentration photovoltaic (LCPV) systems will expand at double-digit percentages every year through 2020.
3. Distributed PV (DPV) in China to fall behind expectations, but continues to grow. With challenges ahead for China’s ambitious plans for DPV, IHS forecasts the country will struggle to achieve it aggressive targets. Even so, the market is clearly beginning to build momentum, and policies and business models are helping to accelerate growth. IHS forecasts that DPV installations in China will reach 4.7 GW in 2015, an increase of nearly 20 percent from 2014.
4. Grid-connected PV energy storage installations to triple. The PV power system is evolving away from the traditional and relatively simple system of one-directional flow—from large-scale conventional generators through transmission and distribution lines to consumers, to an increasingly complex mix of small, distributed generators and consumers at all points in the electricity grid. Annual installations of grid-connected PV systems, paired with energy storage, will grow more than threefold, to reach 775 MW in 2015.
5. Emerging markets mature – Chile will follow South Africa to reach 1 GW of installed PV capacity. IHS forecasts that Chile will be the next emerging market, after South Africa, to reach the milestone of 1 GW in installed PV solar capacity. Aside from Chile, other new emerging markets poised for rapid growth in 2015 are Jordan, the Philippines and Honduras. Conversely, great uncertainty still surrounds Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.
6. Monocrystalline technology to increase market share. Although monocrystalline technology will not threaten multicrystalline domination in the near future, IHS expects it will steadily gain share, benefiting from growth on rooftop installations, as well as increasing demand for higher-efficiency products. IHS forecasts the monocrystalline share of global cell production will increase to 27 percent in 2015, up from 24 percent in 2014.
7. Systems up to 100 kilowatts to account for 30 percent of global installations. There is potential in store for DPV in both established and emerging markets around the world. IHS forecasts distributed photovoltaic (DPV) systems—i.e., those sized 100 kilowatts (kW) or smaller—to account for 30 percent of global installations in 2015, with 15.7 GW projected, up from 13.2 GW in 2014. The largest market for these installations in 2015 will be Japan, with DPV accounting for nearly 70 percent of installations. The U.S. is also expected to install more than 2.2 GW of DPV in 2015, as net-metering and third-party ownership models continue to drive this market.
8. Second quarter (Q2) halt to U.K. utility-scale PV to trigger new wave of consolidation among European Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors. The clock is running down for integrators of large-sized solar systems in Europe, with the expiration of a U.K. incentive program bringing an end to a boom in utility-scale installations and triggering a flurry of consolidation. The U.K. in 2015 will dominate the utility-scale PV landscape in Europe by installing 1.4 GW of ground-mount systems, primarily under the renewable obligation certificates (ROC) scheme.
9. Three-phase string inverters to account for one-third of global solar inverter revenue. Driven by attractive prices in key PV markets, global revenue for three-phase string inverters is forecast in 2015, to reach more than $2.2 billion, equivalent to one-third of worldwide revenue for the overall market for inverters. Estimated shipments next year of three-phase string inverters will exceed 15 GW, up 31 percent from 2014. A surge is expected in important markets like China and Japan, whose combined shipments will account for 7.6 GW of the total.
10. California in 2015 will become global leader in solar power penetration. IHS expects that by the end of 2015, California—the largest renewable power market in the United States—will attain worldwide leadership in market share of annual power generation received from solar PV. Following another year of strong utility-scale and DPV additions, solar power is expected to provide more than 10 percent of California’s annual power generation in 2015. This penetration level would push California above other leading global solar markets, such as Germany and Italy, in terms of the share of total power generation sourced from solar PV.
December 22, 2014 – Kyocera Corporation (President: Goro Yamaguchi; herein “Kyocera”) and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation (President: Shunichi Asada; herein “Century Tokyo Leasing”) announced today that Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture established by the two companies, will develop and operate a 13.4-megawatt (MW) floating solar power plant on the Yamakura Dam reservoir, managed by the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture in Japan for industrial water services. The plant will become the largest floating solar installation in the world*1.
Aiming to reduce its burden on the environment, the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture had been publicly seeking companies to construct and operate a floating solar power plant at the Yamakura Dam. Kyocera TCL Solar was selected to undertake this project in part due to its experience and expertise in developing utility-scale solar power plants in Japan. The company aims to begin operations in March 2016 after negotiating with related parties including Tokyo Electric Power Company.
“When we first started R&D for solar energy in the mid 1970’s, the technology was only viable for small applications such as street lamps, traffic signs and telecommunication stations in mountainous areas,” stated Nobuo Kitamura, senior executive officer and general manager of the Corporate Solar Energy Group at Kyocera. “Since then, we have been working to make solar energy use more ubiquitous in society, and have expanded our business to residential, commercial and utility-scale solar applications. We are excited to work with our partners on this project, taking another step forward by utilizing untapped bodies of water as solar power generation sites.”
The project will be comprised of approximately 50,000 Kyocera modules installed over a water surface area of 180,000m2. The plant will generate an estimated 15,635 megawatt hours (MWh) per year — enough electricity to power approximately 4,700 typical households*2 — while offsetting about 7,800 tons*3 of CO2 emissions annually.
Under the plan, Kyocera TCL Solar will build and operate the installation, and Century Tokyo Leasing will provide project financing. The Kyocera Group will be responsible for the supply of solar modules and related equipment in addition to construction, operation and maintenance. The modules will be installed on floating platforms manufactured by Ciel et Terre (headquarters: France), which is also supplying the platforms for a floating solar power plant project in Hyogo Prefecture currently being constructed by Kyocera TCL Solar.
By cooperating with local companies on construction and operation, and establishing an environmental education facility adjacent to the plant to provide environmental classes for local elementary school students, Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing hope that the project will play a role in the development of the local community. The companies are committed to promoting solar energy as a means to attain a low-carbon society.
*1 World’s largest floating solar power plant in terms of output (as of December 22, 2014)
*2 Based on an average annual use of 3,313kWh per household. Source: Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (2012)
*3 Based on calculations derived from JPEA standards
By 2018, a large solar power plant in the Tunisian part of the Sahara desert may start sending power to energy-hungry Western Europe. The company running the plant says once it is fully operational it will generate almost twice as much electricity as an average nuclear plant and supply two million homes in Europe.
Solar Power Rocks, the nation’s leading source for clear and detailed information about U.S. residential solar energy policy, has just released its 2015 State Solar Power Rankings report.
The report contains ratings of all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on twelve key criteria leading to strong financial results for homeowners interested in installing solar panels. State summaries include links to pages with detailed discussions of policy, incentives and rules that affect each state’s residential solar power prospects.
Solar Power Rocks is committed to giving homeowners a clear picture of the policy, incentives, and investment returns on local solar panel installations. The organization also seeks to recognize the best states for solar and clearly illustrate how all state legislatures can encourage residential solar energy growth based on the best practices in the most successful states.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) today announced that U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will keynote the general session at Solar Power International (SPI) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, Oct. 22. In his cabinet role, Dr. Moniz implements critical Department of Energy missions in support of President Obama’s goals of growing the economy, enhancing security and protecting the environment.
“Since Secretary Moniz took office, he has been a strong supporter of the solar industry and the 143,000 Americans who work in solar energy,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “From the new pilot job training program for veterans to the continuation of the hugely successful SunShot Initiative and the important research at its national laboratories, the Energy Department under Secretary Moniz has helped reduce red tape and facilitated the development of clean, renewable solar energy. This Administration’s forward-looking public policies – which allow emerging technologies to compete with entrenched energy sources – are helping to ensure a clean, prosperous future for our nation.”
”Under the leadership of Secretary Moniz, the Department of Energy recognizes the important role of collaboration between the solar and utility industries to successfully advance our nation towards a cleaner energy future,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA president and CEO. “Through funding of partnerships on smart grid deployment, solar research, and soft cost reduction, Secretary Moniz and the Energy Department are helping parties with often disparate interests to collaborate on areas of common interest. His participation in SPI 2014 is a demonstration of his commitment to further those positive efforts.”
Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in the United States, pumping $15 billion a year into the U.S. economy and helping to reduce pollution.
New analysis by the Worldwatch Institute examines global trends in solar power
Washington, D.C.—-The year 2013 saw record-breaking growth for solar electricity generation as the photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) markets continued to grow. With over 39 gigawatts installed worldwide, the PV solar market represented one third of all newly-added renewable energy capacity, write Worldwatch’s Max Lander and Climate and Energy Intern Xiangyu Wu in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online trend (www.worldwatch.org).
Solar PV installations nearly matched those of hydropower and, for the first time, outpaced wind additions. Even though photovoltaics continue to dwarf CSP capacity, the CSP market also had another year of impressive growth. By the end of 2013, a total of 19 countries had CSP plants installed or under construction.
Consumption of power from PV and CSP plants increased by 30 percent globally in 2013 to reach 124.8 terawatt-hours. Europe accounted for the majority of global solar power consumption (67 percent), followed by Asia (23.9 percent) and North America (8.1 percent). Worldwide, solar consumption equaled 0.5 percent of electricity generation from all sources.
Despite the record growth in installations, global investments in solar electricity were down 20 percent (from $142.9 billion in 2012 to $113.7 billion in 2013), reflecting a significant decrease in costs. In July 2014, global PV module spot prices reached an all-time low of $0.63 per watt. For the first time, Asia overtook Europe as the largest regional market.
While global PV module production increased by only 3 percent over 2012, module shipments jumped by 24 percent, signaling an easing of oversupply problems.
Prospects are bright for solar development as prices continue to fall and approach grid parity in an increasing number of contexts. Rooftop solar is already less expensive per megawatt-hour than retail electricity in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, and Germany. Estimates now also show that PV has become price-competitive without subsidies in 15 countries. For 2014, solar installations are estimated to reach 40-51 gigawatts.
Country Highlights from the Report:
~ China installed 12.9 gigawatts of PV, the most ever installed in one year by any country. The country’s momentous expansion was fueled largely by its feed-in tariff (FIT) program, which supports large, grid-connected utility-scale projects as well as distributed generation projects. However, grid connections are struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of China’s PV deployment.
~ Europe installed close to 11 GW of PV. This represented the second annual decline in installations after peaking at 22.3 GW in 2011. In Germany, a reduction of FIT rates and an increase in regulations for utility-scale projects contributed to the fall in installations.
~ North America added 5.2 GW of PV. The United States installed the third most PV worldwide, with 4.8 GW.
~ In Central and South America, solar development has been sluggish. Despite power consumption more than doubling in 2013, the region still accounts for a small fraction of the world’s solar power.
~ The Middle East and Africa had little PV activity, with the exception of Israel and South Africa, which added 420 MW and 75 MW, respectively.
About the Worldwatch Institute:
Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C. that works on energy, resource, and environmental issues. The Institute’s State of the World report is published annually in more than a dozen languages. For more information, visit www.worldwatch.org.
In 2014, major debates and discussions surrounding climate change and green living in the United States has placed an unprecedented focus on renewable energy. The future growth in the renewable energy sector is slated to be significant as American’s make an effort to minimize their energy footprint on Earth.
While the support and evolution of renewable energy technologies is growing rapidly in 2014, supporters of renewable energy have been considering and exploring such technologies for close to a century.
For instance, the technological growth during the World Wars lead to the military exploring different renewable energy sources. In the 1950’s, solar power began to be developed, with the first high power solar cell made of silicon developed in 1954. It provided 6% efficiency, with a cost of $286/watt.
The early 1970’s marked further interest, as the Club of Rome think tank published a report stating that Earth has finite resources.
During the 1980’s, a 1 megawatt solar power station was built in California. This was the first facility designed on a utility scale.
Nuclear power had been considered a serious possibility for clean energy, though the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear incident cast doubt on this as a viable energy source.
Throughout the early 2000’s, talk and use of renewable energies has increased significantly, with an 8% use in 2007 in the US. Europe also saw an increase, with a 62% new power generating capacity in 2009.
There are several indications of positive future trends when it comes to clean, renewable sources of energy. These include the following:
*Importing of net energy in the US has decreased since 2012, by 15%, while there has been a 13% increase in renewable energy production within the US since 2012.
*There are 80,700 workers in the field of wind power, as of 2012, 25,000 jobs in the geothermal field, and 70,400 jobs in the field of biopower. Also, other careers have seen an upward trend in recent years.
*This is a global trend, with 5.7 million workers who work in the field of renewable energy. There is currently a shortage of workers in these fields, so an increase in technical training is necessary.
*2030 is the year that is being focused on for projected growth of trained professionals in these areas, and increased use of these energy sources.
To learn more about the future of renewable energy, checkout the infographic below created by the New Jersey Institute of Technology