Solar market set to ignite in 2014, led by China
- 27 February 2014
BEIJING: Solar energy will rapidly expand in 2014, with Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) analysts predicting that 44.5 gigawatts will be added globally.
BNEF suggests there will be a 20.9% increase on 2013's global solar installations, with China expected to be the driver of this international growth.
In 2013 China hosted the biggest solar market, expansion of which was enabled by significant state support.
Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at BNEF, highlighted the cost efficiency of solar, stating: “PV is becoming ever cheaper and simpler to install, and China’s government has been as surprised as European governments by how quickly it can be deployed in response to incentives.”
The strong Chinese interest contributed to a surge in productivity among manufacturers, with Bloomberg recording that some players are beginning to make a profit in the solar industry. At end of 2013 the international investment in the solar market stood at US$102 billion.
This increase in global interest in solar technology is evidenced by the rise in share prices for this renewable industry. The NYSE Bloomberg Global Solar Energy Index has jumped more than 70% over the past year.
The 2014 forecast comes just weeks after The Solar Foundation’s research found that 23,682 new solar jobs were created in the US in 2013, giving the American solar industry a growth rate of 19.9% on 2012's total.
Ash Sharma, senior research director at IHS, responding to the 2014 predictions, noted “After two years of a punishing downturn, the global solar industry is on the rebound. Worldwide PV installations are set to rise by double digits in 2014, solar manufacturing capital spending is recovering, module prices are stabilizing and emerging markets are on the rise.”
However, IHS cautions that challenges remain, not least the on-going opposition to the rise in renewables in certain quarters.
By Alana Ryan