Clean Power

Published on October 26th, 2013 | by Giles Parkinson


Deutsche Says Solar PV Market Could Reach 50 GW In 2014

October 26th, 2013 by  

Originally published on RenewEconomy

The upgrades to the outlook for the solar PV market continue, with analysts at Deutsche Bank now suggesting that some module manufacturers expect the global market to rise as high as 50GW in 2014.

It says solar companies are bullish on the fundamentals of the market and demand from Japan, China and the US. The market could rise to 45-50GW in 2014, which would be nearly 50 per cent more than the anticipated 35GW of intallations in the current yar.

It says most companies now expect at least 45GW next year – compared to recent industry estimates of around 40GW – and some companies such as Yingli – the world’s biggest manufacturer – suggest it could be as high as 50GW.

China appears to be the big source of demand upside – and could install up to 15GW in 2014. This is after major revisions to the current year’s target to as high as 9GW from prior estimates of 5-6GW, mostly the result of a big boost to the distributed market in that country.

This will be supported by strong demand from Japan, the US and other emerging market.

Deutsche Bank said this was good news for solar stocks, given that increased demand will bring improvements in pricing, margins and therefore revenue and profit improvements. “We expect the current solar rally to continue through the year-end. Trina, Yingli are its top picks in the China solar sector.

Adding to the improved outlook for solar companies was a further shake-out in tier 2 and tier 3 Chinese module manufacturers, most of whom were struggling to access finance and could face problems meeting debt payments.

“Most solar companies plan to add module capacity by spending limited amount on capex or in some cases acquire equipment of bankrupt companies at a discount to market price. In any case, capacity growth from tier 1 companies would be likely constrained by availability of poly, wafers and cells.

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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.

  • JamesWimberley

    Deutsche are not out of line with other estimates. NPD Solarbuzz give 45-55GW; IHS are more pessimistic at 41 GW. These estimates come ultimately from the manufacturers; after the nightmare of 2012, they are likely to be cautious. But 50GW is exactly on the exponential growth curve fitted from 2000 – the years 2010-2012 were above trend.
    It will be important how the first-tier manufacturers ramp up output. The cautious route is to buy equipment from bankrupt lower-tier firms and make do.The radical route is to build new gigawatt fabs, which would drive down costs much faster. Their bankers will probably force them to do the former until they have no choice but to go for new build.

    • Omega Centauri

      So rather than the slow growth rates of the past 3-4years a dropoff, they were a return to trend, which is now going to continue? Whatever it is, getting back to fast growth is a bug deal.

      • dcard88

        slow growth? 50% per year?

        • Omega Centauri

          No. The past few years have been more like 20%. Getting back to doubling in two years (41%) is what may be happening. The overcapacity happened because manufacturing capacity was planned/built under the expectation 40-50% gowth would continue.

          • mds

            Good comments, but I think the over-capacity happened because they actually got too far out ahead of 40-50% growth. That and a change in economics from primarily subsidy driven to primarily pure market driven. (see longer comment below)

          • doug card

            80% plus in the USA for the last 3 years

          • Bob_Wallace

            (Second try)

            US produced electricity from thermal and PV solar increased:

            2009 – 2010 36%
            2010 – 2011 50%
            2011 – 2012 139%
            2012 – 2013 70% (est. based on first six months)

            Up about 500% from 2009 to 2013. 1,212 MWh to 7,353 MWh.

      • JamesWimberley

        The new installations for the last bumpy four years, according to the EPIA, were:
        2009 7,376 Mw + 10.0%
        2010 26,065 + 253.4%
        2011 21,391 – 17.9% (collapse in Spain with austerity)
        2012 31,095 + 45.4%
        let’s add:
        2013 35,000 E +12.6% (managed cutback in Germany)
        So basically you had a huge spike in 2010, than a pause, normal growth in 2012, and another pause this year. The predictions are for normal growth next year. Excellent news.
        The market is now much more balanced and diverse geographically, so a policy shock in one country will affect the totals less. And since subsidies are now lower or nonexistent, the general sensitivity to policy is less too.

        • Shiggity

          If you look back all the way to the 1970s, solar PV has been doubling in capacity every 2.5 years. The curve is incredibly smooth. It’s just that solar PV hasn’t been at a level that was globally relevant until very recently. It was still doubling but no one was writing about it or was noticing it.

          At end of year 2012 worldwide capacity was ~100GW. That means that we should be hitting 200GW half way through 2015. That is exactly what these predictions are saying.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Not worldwide data, only US. But I was playing around with generation (not installed capacity) numbers and thought I’d share.

            The 2013 data point is an estimate made by doubling generation for the first six months. The actual point should be somewhat higher, reflecting capacity which is installed during the year.

            It looks like we may hit 0.2% this year, up from 0.11% in 2012.

            Wind is going to be close to 5%, up from 3.5%. Throw in hydro and other renewable generation at it looks like 14% for 2013.

          • mds

            Nice! Better with data points shown more clearly. Is 2012 in there?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Yes. Just happens to plot as a fairly straight line from 2011 to 2013.

            2011 1,818
            2012 4,342
            2013 7,353

            Your next question about thousands of MWh…

            The EIA page states numbers are in million kWh. 1 million kWh = 1,000 MWh, does it not? I don’t work much in these large numbers. Mistakes are likely.



          • mds

            Per year, thanks Bob. I was doing a sanity check based on amount installed. Very rough since I don’t have a curve to get area under. I’m in the ball park of these numbers though and I see where you’re getting the data from. Interesting. Coal has been losing ground. Wind growing fast. Solar very fast. Thanks again. mike

          • Bob_Wallace

            Solar is growing fast but it’s barely pulling off the bottom in the greater picture.

            We’ve got quite a way to go to catch up with Germany and their 25% from wind and solar.

            eta: How I ended up with four copies of the graph only the wizards at Disqus know.

          • mds

            Wait, thousands of MWh per year?

          • Bmozza

            At 100GW my calculations show that based on Australian power prices (high at about 25 cents kWh) that’s about 40 billion $$ saved per year across the world on power…

        • mds

          I do not think their number for 2011 is correct. Here is a different number:
 – January 2013
          “IHS: PV installs reached 32GW in 2012 and 35GW forecasted for 2013”
          “Global PV installations hit 32GW in 2012, up from 28GW
          in 2011, according to the latest figures from market research firm, IHS. Growth is also expected in 2013 but restricted to only a 3GW rise to 35GW.”

          28 GW in 2011 sounds more reasonable to me.

          The PV industry really had to take new medicine in starting in 2011 when they had 50 GW production capability but demand was little more than half that.

          The PV production slow down over the last few years has occurred for two reasons:
          1. Over production cycle, as is typical in all disruptive markets.
          2. Reduction in global subsidies.
          The former may have been just as important as the later and we all know a shake-out resulted.

          A simple 48% growth prediction:
 PV production up 50% in 2007 – Dec 2007
          “Solar Cell Production Jumps 50 Percent in 2007” “jumped to 3,800 megawatts worldwide in 2007”
          “Growing by an impressive average of 48 percent each
          year since 2002” “world’s fastest-growing energy source”
          Good plot of PV production growth from 1975 to 2007. mds
          2007 = 3.8 GW
          2008 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 1.48 = 5.6 GW predicted
          – Actual 6 GW?
          2009 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 2.19 = 8.3 GW predicted
          – Actual 7.2 or 7.3 GW
          2010 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 3.2 = 12.3 GW predicted
          – Actual 26 or 27 GW
          2011 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 4.8 = 18.2 GW predicted
          – Actual 28 GW
          2012 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 7.1 = 27.0 GW predicted
          – Actual 32 GW
          2013 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 10.5 = 39.9 GW predicted
          – CURRENT PREDICTIONS in this article 45-55 GW

          Amazing as it may seem, we are still above this 48% per year growth curve. Please fasten your seat belts:
          2014 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 15.6 = 59.1 GW predicted
          2015@ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 23.0 = 87.5 GW predicted
          2016 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 34.1 = 129.5 GW predicted
          2017 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 50.4 = 191.6 GW predicted
          2018 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 74.6 = 283.6 GW predicted
          2019 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 110.4 = 419.7 GW predicted
          2020 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 163.5 = 621.1 GW predicted
          2021 @ 48% per year = 3.8 GW x 241.9 = 919.2 GW predicted
          Would anyone like to go on record as saying this is not going to happen? Nay-sayers, it should be easy for you, I double-dare you 😉

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