The latest edition of the NPD Solarbuzz Martketbuzz report forecasts that the photovoltaic (PV) industry is set for rapid growth over the next five years, with up to 100 gigawatts (GW) annual deployment being targeted in 2018. This end-market growth is projected to increase annual PV module revenues, which are forecast to reach $50 billion in 2018.
Despite being severely hampered by overcapacity and declining operating margins during 2012 and 2013, the PV industry still grew by 34% over this two-year period. Having grown to more than 37GW of end-market demand in 2013, the global solar PV industry is now set to hit a new milestone in 2018, reaching a cumulative installed capacity level of 500MW. This strong demand will also further stimulate revenues for the industry’s manufacturers, with PV module revenues of more than $200 billion available over the five year period from 2014 to 2018.
Crystalline silicon (c-Si) based modules are forecast to increase market share over the competing thin-film variants. Between 2014 and 2018, 91% of solar PV modules produced are forecast to be c-Si types.
PV module average selling prices (ASPs) are expected to decline moderately over the next few years and are forecast to reach $0.51 per watt (W) in 2018. In addition, system prices will decline each year, driven mainly by cost reductions in balance-of-systems components and economy-of-scale improvements enabled by project developers and installers.