Global Solar energy outlook
2016 was a record year for Solar energy installation, with a total of 76.6GW of Solar energy installed and connected to the grid in 2016. That’s a 50% year on year increase over the previous year in 2015.
With current trends in mind it is projected that the current market will continue to grow at these rates and we expect to see new record installations for this year and into the medium term future.
50% - Global Solar Market Growth in 2016
The quickly decreasing solar power costs continue to improve the cost competitiveness of Solar energy when compared to other energy sources. The latest calculations of US Investment Bank Lazard Capital clearly demonstrates that utility scale solar is today already cheaper than new combined gas turbines, Coal and Nuclear Power plants. This makes Solar the best choice for industry and governments when planning to reduce their CO2 emissions and develop their renewable energy sector.
1 TW – Nearly 1 TW of Installed Solar Power possible by 2021
The global solar market remains driven by utility scale solar power systems – more than ever before. This trend will continue for the next five years even if leading solar countries are striving to quickly develop their rooftop segments.
The global solar market in 2016 was even more dominated by one country than it was the year before - CHINA. China connected 34.5GW to the grid, which was a 128% increase over the
previous year. This strong growth level came as a surprise but was driven by a Feed-in-tariff which led Chinese developers to install 20GW in the first six months alone. With falling prices this enabled an annual installation volume in China representing nearly half of the entire worlds new solar capacity in 2016.
After a slight increase in 2015, solar in Europe declined 2016, adding 6.7 GW, a 21% decrease compared to the 8.6 GW installed in 2015. The European market decline in 2016 is primarily a result of the UK terminating its attractive solar incentive program. Two European countries belonged to the top 10 global solar markets in 2016 – the Spain ranked 4th and Germany ranked 5th.
Looking forward to future trends it is very obvious that China and India will be the world leaders in Solar installations in the medium term, but as Europe and the USA continue to support domestic utility scale solar installations the market will reach new records in the coming years.