In its most recent Global PV Market Report, the PVMA has said that despite a possible decrease this year on the back of the Chinese Government’s recent, and abrupt, policy changes, the global solar PV market is not expected to be significantly affected.
Indeed, it forecasts that outside of China, the market will grow from 45 GW in 2017, to over 60 GW this year, while China will “at best” see market stagnation, or experience a “possible decrease”.
This would tie in with Taiwan-based TrendForce's expectations of negative growth in the global PV market this year – around 5-8% – leading to new installations of 92 to 95 GW, with installations in China dropping 40%, to 31.6 GW. In contrast, both IHS Markit and SolarPower Europe – which recently revised their forecasts down – still expect to see over 100 GW added this year.
Speaking to pv magazine at this year’s Smarter E/Intersolar Europe event, Mr. Zhen Guo Li, General Manager, Director at Longi said he expects the Chinese policy changes to affect the demand side by about 10 GW, but that there will be higher demand outside of the country. Whether this will offset the decrease in China, however, is unclear, he said.
Taking up the slack
India, Europe, and “many emerging markets on all continents” will see strong growth in 2018, continued PVMA. By 2019, the world PV market, excluding China, will record 100 GW of new installations. This figure is expected to keep on growing.
In its recently released Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2018-2022, SolarPower Europe said 14 countries are on track to install more than 1 GW of new PV capacity this year – a group that in 2017 was limited to just seven countries.
Overall, PVMA sees a doubling of the global PV market over the next five years, to reach between 180 and 200 GW by 2022. “Although a significant level of uncertainty prevails, the current transition period in China will not produce significant effects after 2020 and the PV market will continue its solid growth,” read a statement released.
This is below the expectations of Longi's Guo Li, however, who said he expects to see annual global PV demand in the range of 300 GW in the next three to five years.
The PVMA also expects to see market diversification continue in the PV industry, with “significant” contribution from new segments. Overall, it says that these new applications – floating PV, agricultural PV, BIPV and PV for vehicles (VIPV) – will account for 25% of the entire market by 2022.
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