New PV Installations Approaching 100 GW in 2017

25.10.2017
 Top Ten PV Markets in 2017; Source: Bernreuter Research
Top Ten PV Markets in 2017; Source: Bernreuter Research

The newly installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity worldwide will exceed 95 gigawatts (GW) in 2017, according to the latest forecast of Bernreuter Research. "Supply of the feedstock polysilicon would even allow PV installations to reach 100 GW if inventories were strongly reduced," says Johannes Bernreuter, head of the market research firm and author of the Polysilicon Market Outlook 2020.

Bernreuter Research expects a global polysilicon output of 460,000 to 465,000 metric tons (MT), including 30,000 MT of electronic-grade material for the semiconductor industry, in 2017. "As sawing solar wafers with diamond wire instead of using slurry is reducing the specific silicon consumption more and more, polysilicon supply will be sufficient to produce 100 GW of crystalline solar cells without overly depleting inventories," says Bernreuter.

The analyst predicts that the polysilicon spot price will fall from around 16.60 US$/kg currently to a range of 14 to 15 US$/kg by the end of the year when capacities presently under maintenance have returned to operation. Should China, however, impose higher duties on polysilicon imports from South Korea in November, the spot price would be driven up again.

Taking into account production and shipment time lags as well as inventories in the value chain, Bernreuter Research estimates that 100 GW of crystalline solar cells plus 5 GW of thin-film modules produced will translate into 95 to 97 GW of PV installations in 2017. "Several gigawatts of solar module shipments into the United States will be stockpiled for installation in 2018 to avoid impending tariffs on cell and module imports in the trade case brought up by Suniva and SolarWorld Americas," explains Bernreuter.

The supply-side analysis of Bernreuter Research is supported by its bottom-up assessment of PV demand in 85 countries, which results in global installations of 96.5 GW in 2017 – up 30% from more than 74 GW in 2016. Another indicator points in the same direction: By extrapolating global demand from the aggregate shipment guidance of the four major module suppliers Jinko, Canadian Solar, JA Solar and Hanwha Q Cells, Bernreuter Research has arrived at a similar result for 2017.

The strong PV growth is mainly propelled by the massive installation boom in China, which no analyst anticipated at the beginning of this year. After 42 GW were already connected to the grid in the first three quarters, Bernreuter Research expects that new PV installations in China will exceed 50 GW in 2017 (see table).

It is India that has already been feeling a negative effect of the rampant Chinese demand: High module prices and canceled module shipments from China, among other factors, have slowed down the momentum of installations on the subcontinent since the middle of the year.

Nevertheless, with 9 GW, India will rise to number three behind the USA (12.5 GW). It will leave behind Japan, where PV installations will drop from 7.9 GW in 2016 to below 6 GW this year.

For more information, please go to www.bernreuter.com

 

About Bernreuter Research

Bernreuter Research was founded in 2008 by Johannes Bernreuter, one of the most reputable photovoltaic journalists in Germany, to publish global polysilicon market reports. As early as 2001, Bernreuter authored his first analysis of an upcoming polysilicon bottleneck and new production processes. Since publishing its first report in 2010, Bernreuter Research has gained a reputation of providing the most comprehensive and accurate polysilicon reports on the market.

Similar Entries

With 472 GWth installed at the end of 2017, solar heating and cooling was again the largest solar sector worldwide followed by Photovoltaics (402 GWp) and Concentrating Solar Power (5 GWel). The new report, Solar Heat Worldwide, highlights as well the increasing use of megawatt solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and private buildings as well as factories. The annual report was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC. With data from 66 countries, it is the most comprehensive annual evaluation of solar heating and cooling markets worldwide. In 2016 (most recent available data), the global solar thermal sector employed 708,000 people and reached a global turnover of EUR 16 billion (USD 19.2 billion).

DNV GL published its fourth annual PV Module Reliability Scorecard report. This year’s report finds that the reliability and durability of modules submitted to DNV GL for testing for the 2018 PV Module Reliability Scorecard generally improved in several of the test categories. However, in one of the test categories, damp heat, performance decreased. With 22% of manufacturers experiencing at least one failure in overall testing, buyers being conscious of the specific Bill of Materials (BOM) that identify specific models as Top Performers is crucial.

Thermal Energy Storage Market

Favorable government initiatives toward renewable energy based power generation along with increasing demand for uninterrupted power supply will augment the thermal energy storage market. In addition, increasing customer focus toward energy efficiency coupled with the implementation of energy storage plans will further complement the industry landscape.

Year 2018 was another consecutive year of dynamic development of photovoltaics in Poland – particularly in the field of micro-plants, whose number exceeded 27k, with total power of more than 160 MWp. This is an impressive result. Information gathered by Stowarzyszenie Branży Fotowoltaicznej Polska PV (SBF Polska PV, PV Poland Society for Photovoltaics), in cooperation with the Globenergia editors, shows the dynamics of photovoltaic industry development in all fields.