Solar industry one of the main pillars of renewables

Photovoltaics has become one of the most important sources of energy over the last 10 years. After the long downturn in 2011-2013, the industry is revitalizing since the beginning of 2014 and heading for a sustainable and stable future development. In 2014, global PV Installations surged past 45GW. [1] Leading solar analysts from IHS, Bloomberg (BNEF), NPD SolarBuzz and others expect 55 up to 60GW demand in 2015. This trend is mirrored in global solar investments: in 2014, 149,6 Billion USD (126,37 Billion EUR) have been invested in solar projects worldwide, this is an increase of 25% compared to 2013.[2] In 2014, 50% of all global investment in renewable energy was channeled into the solar industry alone, which shows that solar power by now has established itself as a leading technology among renewables. [3]

The positive dynamics in the solar sector is forecast to continue way beyond 2018, when demand is expected to double to more than 100GW.[4] Solar power has become a force to be reckoned with, a most stable column among renewable energy resources. This development entails global diversification of demand, decreasing production costs and competitive prices without Feed-In-Tariffs or other bonus regulations around the globe. [5]

The upward surge in the solar industry in the first quarter 2014 encouraged the polysilicon industry for renewed activity, too. Polysilicon plants around the globe are running at 75-90% utility. [6] Prices for solar silicon have risen 25% compared to 2013. Analysts expect a stable price development for polysilicon in the long-term view.

Continued growth with Bright prospects

EPIA sees future cumulative growth in the PV sector between 2014 and 2018: Asia-Pacific countries and China will attract the largest part of global solar installations (China 24%, North- and South-America 19%, MEA rising to 5%). Worldwide, 375-430GW PV installations can exist cumulatively by 2018. [7] The PV potential of the sunbelt-countries, where PV is able to substitute diesel generators even now, can increase to 60 - 250 GW until 2020 and up to more than 1.000GW until 2030.


[1] IHS on pvtech.org, www.pv-tech.org/news/ihs_remains_cautious_on_pv_market_demand_growth; Jan 13th, 2015

[2] BNEF on www.pv-tech.org/news/solar_took_half_of_all_renewables_investment_in_2014_says_bnef Jan 13th, 2015

[3] ebd.

[4] NPD Solarbuzz Polysilicon and Wafer Supply Chain Quarterly, Q3’14, Oct 2014  

[5] ebd.

[6] Mark Osborne, Polysilicon demand outpacing silicon per-watt reduction strategies; pv-tech.org, Feb 10th/2014, NPD Solarbuzz Polysilicon and Wafer Supply Chain Quarterly, Q2’14, Jun 2014

[7] EPIA Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014-2018, EPIA, 2014