Worldwide annual solar PV installations will double by 2020, says report

November 10, 2013
Annual solar PV

(Credit: Navigant Research)

Annual installations of new solar PV capacity will more than double in capacity by 2020, growing from a total 35.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2013 to 73.4 GW in 2020, according to a recent report from Navigant Research.

Despite waning government support, the threat of international trade wars, and high-profile bankruptcies, the solar photovoltaic (PV) market continues to grow, solar PV technology costs have steadily declined, and pathways to further cost reduction are being pursued. And by 2020, solar PV is expected to be cost competitive — even without subsidies — with retail electricity prices in a significant portion of the world.  the “Solar PV Market Forecasts” report says.

New markets, reaching grid parity

“Lower prices for solar PV modules are opening up new markets for distributed (small on-site sources, instead of centralized)  PV, while also helping the technology reach grid parity more quickly in high-cost retail electricity markets,” says Dexter Gauntlett, senior research analyst with Navigant Research.  “The Asia Pacific region is expected to be the leading regional market for solar PV installations throughout the forecast period, led by China, where more than 100 GW of solar PV will be deployed by 2020.”

As the industry matures, the market will evolve in several ways.  While installation types vary by region, there is a general shift expected toward non-distributed solar PV systems as a larger percentage of all solar PV installed capacity, according to the report.  Non-distributed systems will represent more than half of the market through 2020.

The report provides solar PV installed capacity and revenue forecasts through 2020, segmented by distributed (<1 MW) and non-distributed (>1 MW) systems, and  broken down by region and by selected countries.  Policy issues and market drivers are detailed for each region, along with average solar PV installation prices over the forecast period.

The report also includes a detailed discussion of key inflection points that will help shape the solar PV market over the next several years.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.