The global solar energy installed capacity registered to be 728 GW and is estimated to be 1645 gigawatts (GW) in 2026 and are expected to grow at a CAGR of 13. 78% from 2021 to 2026. With the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the global solar energy market did not witness any direct significant impact.
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In fact, many countries ramped up solar panel production and shipment, with several projects put into operation during Q3 and Q4. Factors such as declining prices and installation costs for solar PV and favorable government policies are expected to drive the solar energy market during the forecast period. However, the rising adoption of alternate renewable sources such as wind is expected to restrain the market’s growth.
- The solar photovoltaic (PV) segment, due to its high installations share, is expected to dominate the solar energy market during the forecast period.
- An increase in off-grid solar utilization due to decreasing cost of solar PV equipment and a supportive global initiative to eliminate the carbon-emission is expected to create several opportunities for the market in the future.
- Due to its increasing solar installations, the Asia-Pacific region has dominated the solar energy market in the past few years and is expected to be the largest and fastest-growing region in the solar energy market during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Expected to be the Largest Market Segment
- Solar photovoltaic (PV) is expected to account for the largest annual capacity additions for renewables, well above wind and hydro, for the next five years. The solar PV market has cut costs dramatically in the past six years through economies of scale. As the market was flooded with equipment, prices plummeted, the cost of solar panels has dropped exponentially, leading to increased solar PV system installation. ??
- In recent years, utility-scale PV systems have dominated the PV market; however, distributed PV systems, mostly in commercial and industrial sectors, have become essential in many countries due to their favorable economics; when combined with increased self-consumption. The ongoing cost reduction of PV systems favors the increasing off-grid markets, in turn, driving the solar PV market.
- Further, the ground-mounted utility-scale solar PV systems are expected to dominate the market during the forecast year. The ground-mounted utility-scale solar accounted for about 64% of the solar PV installed capacity in 2019, led majorly by China and India. This is supported by the fact that large volumes of utility-scale solar are much simpler to deploy than creating a distributed PV rooftop market.
- In April 2020, the world’s largest solar wafer manufacturer, LONGi Group, which manufactures mono products, announced its plan to expand mono ingot/wafer capacity from 42 GW at the end of 2019 to 75 GW by the end of 2020, accelerating and boosting its earlier plans which were for 65 GW by the end of 2021. Hence, a paradigm shift to mono c-Si from multi c-Si has created several opportunities for the market players in the previous years.
- In June 2020, Adani Green Energy won the world’s largest single bid for solar installation of 8 GW to be delivered by the end of 2025. The project is estimated to have a total investment of USD 6 billion and is expected to displace 900 million tonnes of CO2 from the environment in its lifetime. Based on the award agreement, the 8 GW of solar development projects will be implemented over the next five years. The first 2 GW of generation capacity will come online by 2022, and the subsequent 6 GW capacity will be added in 2 GW annual increments through 2025.
- Therefore, owing to the above points, the solar photovoltaic (PV) segment is likely to dominate the solar energy market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific Expected to Dominate the Market
- Asia-Pacific, in recent years, has been the primary market for solar energy installations. With an additional installed capacity of around 78.01 GW in 2020, the region has a market share of about 58% of the global solar power installed capacity.
- The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for solar PV in the last decade reduced by more than 88%, because of which developing countries in the region such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam saw an increase in solar installation capacity in their total energy mix.
- China is the major contributor to the solar energy market growth in the Asia-Pacific region and globally. After the decrease in installed capacity addition in 2019 to only 30.05 GW, China recovered in 2020 and contributed an additional installed capacity of around 48.2 GW of solar power.
- In July 2020, India commissioned a 750 MW Rewa solar project in Madhya Pradesh. The Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power comprises three solar generating units, each with 250 MW capacity. The project is implemented by Rewa Ultra Mega Solar (RUMSL), a joint venture of Madhya Pradesh UrjaVikas Nigam (MPUVN), and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). RUMSL was provided central financial assistance of INR1.38 billion for the project development.
- In January 2020, the State electricity company of Indonesia, PLN’s Pembangkitan Jawa Bali (PJB) unit, announced its plans to construct a USD 129 million Cirata floating solar power plant in West Java by 2021, with the support from Abu Dhabi-based renewables firm Masdar. The companies are expected to kick off the development of the 145-megawatt (MW) Cirata floating solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in February 2020, when PLN signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Masdar. In its first stage of development, the Cirata plant is expected to have a capacity of 50 MW. Further, the capacity is expected to increase to 145 MW by 2022.
- Therefore, owing to the above points, Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the solar energy market during the forecast period.
The solar energy market is fragmented. Some of the key players in this market include Canadian Solar Inc., JinkoSolar Holding Co. Ltd, Trina Solar Co. Ltd, SunPower Corporation, First Solar Inc., and JA Solar Holding.
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