Global Solar Market to Grow by 20% in 2014

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) recently conducted a survey of some of the world’s most knowledgeable solar analysts to gather their forecasts on the solar sector’s performance in 2014.

The survey revealed that most experts anticipate a 44.5 GW growth of PV capacity this year. This means the industry will grow by 20.9% compared to 2013.

Experts at IHS Inc., Deustche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc., Yingli, NPD Solarbuzz, Wacker Chemie AG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP were interviewed by BNEF.

Between 2012-2013, the global solar PV market had grown by 20.3% and authorities predict similar levels of growth in 2014 as well. With state support of PV pushing the industry towards an additional 10-14 GW of capacity, China is predicted to lead the way this year and will cement its position as the world’s largest solar PV market ahead of Japan and USA. It would be these three markets that will boost PV to greater heights they believe. Jenny Chase, BNEF’s head of solar analysis stated that the 2013 figures show the astonishing scale of the Chinese market. She added that PV is becoming ever cheaper and simpler to install and it can easily be deployed in response to incentives.

Ash Sharma, IHS senior research director for solar energy stated that the global solar industry is on a rebound after two years of strenuous recession. PV installations are set to rise and solar manufacturing capital spending is recovering. This year will also witness the stabilization of module prices and a rise in emerging markets.

BNEF survey revealed that 2014 will see a more balanced solar market with the growth in China, Japan and US reflected in the new emerging markets of Brazil, Chile, Thailand and Australia.

The rise in the solar share prices in Asia in the last 12 months proves that big solar players including SunPower Corp. and Yingli are returning to profit. According to Bloomberg, the NYSE Bloomberg Global Solar Energy Index has grown by 70% in the last year. The survey revealed that SunPower, Panasonic and Yingli were getting encouraging financial figures, with the second quarter of this year promising to be a watershed moment as even more leading companies post their first profits for as much as three years.

In total, BNEF report that $102 billion was invested in global solar installations in 2013. Ash Sharma expects manufacturers of polysilicon to benefit the most this year, owing to the disappearance of the oversupply that nearly ruined the markets at the beginning of last year.