Research from London-based GlobalData forecasts solar installed capacity to triple in size by 2020. From 135.66 GW at the end of 2013, the market researchers predict over 400 GW to have been installed by 2020.
While the European markets of Germany, Italy and Spain saw strong installed capacity growth in years past, GlobalData see the emerging economies of the Asia-Pacific region, South and Central America, the MENA region and Africa as being the major markets in the future. GlobalData attributes this to solar being employed to meet future economic growth in these regions.
Asia-Pacific is home to many developing countries, including India and China, where substantial installations are being made, said Swati Singh, GlobalDatas power analyst. Singh notes that governments in the Asia-Pacific region are simultaneously promoting solar manufacturing capacity.
Governments in the region are promoting solar module manufacturing through various long-term policies, financial incentives, subsidies and tax benefits, said Singh. This strong commitment to solar energy development has led to numerous research and development initiatives and increased solar module production and installations, which will drive future market growth.
GlobalData notes that Japan, China and Taiwan are the three largest PV solar cell manufacturers. Across the global PV device supplies market GlobalData reports Chinese companies occupy seven of the top ten module manufacturer places.
2014, notes GlobalData, represented a turning point for the PV industry with China, India and Japan accounting for the majority of installations. China itself, in growth GlobalData describes as remarkable added 12 GW of the global 37 GW of new solar generating capacity in 2013.