Supply and demand in balance in 2015

The solar photovoltaics market is poised to rise from the ashes of its present crisis with a healthy 10.5 % compound annual growth rate (CAGR), to reach US$ 155 billion in 2018, at least according to predictions by market analyst Lux Research. Taken the most likely scenario of a report titled “Market Size Update 2013: Return to Equilibrium” Lux Research has just released, the PV market will grow to 35 GW in 2013, before rapidly ramping up to 61.7 GW in 2018. “Manufacturers’ nightmare is turning into a long-term boon for the industry. Record low prices pushed gross margins to near zero or below, but they’ve made solar installations competitive in more markets,” said Ed Cahill, Lux Research Associate and the lead author of the report. “Supply and demand will come back into balance in 2015, easing price pressure, returning manufacturers to profitability and restoring the industry to equilibrium,” he added.

For the report, Lux Research analyzed detailed levelized costs of energy (LCOE) in 156 separate geographies, accounting for 82 % of the world’s population, to determine the viability and competitiveness of solar in each market. Their findings are: The US, China, Japan, and India will outpace Germany and Italy. With a CAGR of 10.8 GW of installations in 2018, the US will become the second-largest market in the world – only topped by China, growing to 12.4 GW in 2018. Utility-scale solar will grow the fastest – from 8.6 GW in 2012 to 19.9 GW in 2018 – as developing markets turn to PV.

Volker Buddensiek

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