Clean Power

Published on July 8th, 2013 | by Giles Parkinson


World Solar PV Market To Hit 45 GW In 2014, Deutsche Bank Forecasts

July 8th, 2013 by  

This article was first published on RenewEconomy.

After spending much of the first part of the year preparing modest outlooks for the global solar PV industry, analysts are now busy upgrading their forecasts as the world’s biggest economies show increased demand for the technology.

Deutsche Bank is the latest to upgrade its forecasts – for the second time in as many months – predicting that the 2014 global solar market could jump to 45 GW, after rising to 38-40 GW in 2013.

In a preview to the Intersolar conference in San Francisco this week, Deutsche bases its forecasts on strong demand from “sustainable” markets such as Japan, US, India, and China; the acceleration in demand from emerging markets such as Chile, the Middle East, and South East Asia; and stabilising demand from Europe.

Deutsche’s analysis is more bullish than an NPD Solarbuzz report last week that forecast solar PV demand for calendar 2013 to reach a record high of 35.1 GW, after a strong second half that would result in 20 GW being installed. In March, the research group predicted full year demand of just 31 GW.

NPD Solarbuzz analyst Michael Barker said the market was still in transition (from older markets such as Europe to newer ones in Asia), and would continue to rely on four key countries for the bulk of demand – Germany, China, Japan, and the US – which accounted for more than 60% of demand in the first half.

It said China and Japan alone would account for 45% of global demand in the second half, up from just 10% three years ago.

“In 2013, the number of large-scale PV projects completed in these two countries alone will determine the level of annual growth from the industry, and by how much global demand can exceed the 35 GW mark,” Barker said.

world solar pv market

NPD Solarbuzz noted that nearly half of the demand in the first half came from large-scale utility and commercial ground-mount applications, with just 20% from residential rooftops (which accounts for nearly 90% of Australian installations). The rest came from non-residential rooftop installations – such as businesses – and off-grid applications.

Deutsche, meanwhile, says the supply situation is also improving as several second- and third-tier module suppliers in China are facing a credit crunch and will likely wind down their operations.

Tier 1 solar companies are now enjoying a rebound in margins, with prices for modules jumping more than 10% from early February from 60c-63c/watt to 71c-73c/W. Even though the “street price,” code for cheaper modules in the mass market, remains around 60c/W.

Deutsche said this will push margins for some companies from the low single digits in the first quarter to the high single digits or even as high as the mid teens in the second half of the year, and allow Chinese firms to post positive earnings per share results for the first time in 8 to 10 quarters.

“Furthermore, we expect investor sentiment to improve as policy overhangs decrease and there is greater evidence of sustainability of some of these growth drivers,” it said.

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About the Author

is the founding editor of, an Australian-based website that provides news and analysis on cleantech, carbon, and climate issues. Giles is based in Sydney and is watching the (slow, but quickening) transformation of Australia's energy grid with great interest.

  • Bob_Wallace

    “Deutsche said this will push margins for some companies from the low
    single digits in the first quarter to the high single digits or even as
    high as the mid teens in the second half of the year, and allow Chinese
    firms to post positive earnings per share results for the first time in 8
    to 10 quarters.”

    That will probably be adequate profit to encourage installation of more efficient equipment which will further drive down manufacturing costs.

    Now, to get those BOS costs down….

  • Shiggity

    Game over for any new fossil fuel or nuclear plants going up now in a sunny region. They’ll be obsolete by the time they get finished.

    In the time it takes to site, regulate, and get a nuclear plant online, we’ll have put up 100’s of power plants worth of energy generation.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Investing in a new coal or nuclear plant would be foolish. You’d be years away from coming on line and there is so much happening with renewable energy generation and storage that you might not be able to sell a single kWh into open markets.

      Wind is already cheap. Solar is getting cheap. It looks like storage is going to be cheap. A new thermal plant build would have to be able to produce electricity at well under $0.10/kWh and it can’t be done.

      • Shiggity

        Yup, in the US south and southeast they are ramming these plants through, so those poor citizens will be thinking they’re getting ‘cheap’ electricity, only to find out later they’re paying far more.

        I’m only in my mid 20’s, but the most important factors for a home for me would be fiber internet and optimal solar positioning. Cheap land + low taxes + low regulation + fiber internet + sunny region = wealth.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I’ve got cheap land + low taxes + low regulation + long distance wifi + fairly sunny region = happiness for me.

          If I didn’t have a nice big hunk of land with mostly BLM land at my boarders I probably wouldn’t be happy with low regulation. If you live close to people then regulations are a lot more important.

          (Well, the land was cheap when I bought it compared to now. Prices went up 5x in less than ten years. Legalize and they’ll settle back down.)

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