The amount of solar power installed across the world continues to beat expectations almost every year and, if new research from Bernreuter Research proves to be correct, the amount of solar power installed in 2017 could be much higher previously expected. The German-based research firm anticipates that the amount of photovoltaics installed in 2017 could surpass 95 gigawatts and even reach 100 GWs.
That’s much higher than some analysts were anticipating early in 2017 and late in 2016. For instance, this past January the Photovoltaic Market Alliance anticipated that the amount of solar power installed in 2017 could reach 75 GWs. It and other analysts anticipated that the amount of solar power installed in 2017 could fall below the 75 GWs installed in 2016—the then record year.
However, Bernreuter, which produced Polysilicon Market Outlook 2020, anticipated that the amount installed in this year will now be significantly higher. "Supply of the feedstock polysilicon would even allow PV installations to reach 100 GW if inventories were strongly reduced," Johannes Bernreuter, head of the market research firm, said.
The company anticipated that China will lead the world with roughly 52 GWs of new photovoltaics installed in 2017. The US will be the second largest market with 12.5 GWs of photovoltaics installed in 2017, followed by India with 9 GWs of new photovoltaics installed in 2017.
"Several gigawatts of solar module shipments into the United States will be stockpiled for installation in 2018 to avoid impending tariffs on cell and module imports in the trade case brought up by Suniva and SolarWorld Americas,” Bernreuter also observed.
The firm anticipated that by the end of 2017 global output of polysilicon will range from 460,000 to 465,000 metric tons. Part of that will be due to better production techniques.
”As sawing solar wafers with diamond wire instead of using slurry is reducing the specific silicon consumption more and more, polysilicon supply will be sufficient to produce 100 GW of crystalline solar cells without overly depleting inventories,” Bernreuter contended.
The increased production efficiency also is likely to help reduce the price of polysilicon further, the company anticipated. Though some uncertainties remain as to whether China will impose duties on polysilicon imports from South Korea, the research firm anticipated that prices will fall from $16.60 (US) per kg to between $14 per kg and $15 per kg by the end of the year.Tweet